There were some tense times at a community meeting between Animal Care Services and people who live in an area of recent dog attacks.
City council member Ben Molina, who represents District 2, joined several leaders of the Corpus Christi Police Department for Thursday afternoon’s meeting at Animal Care Services on Holly Road. Residents from the Del Mar area packed a room to hear how the city is responding to the attacks that have left several neighborhood cats dead.
Fred Hoffmann had two cats that were attacked and killed. He personally called ACS Director Mike Gillis on Friday to talk to him about the incident. That call led to Thursday’s meeting with other nearby residents.
“I’ve lived there a long time and it’s not the first time it’s happened. But at some point, you finally say enough is enough,” Hoffmann told KRIS 6 News.
Gillis assured residents that his department has a plan to try to catch these dogs. ACS has already set up three traps in the area of the attacks. He adds, “I also started sending my early officer out at 6:00 in the morning to sweep the neighborhood, as well as check the traps. We have to check the traps three times a day.”
Based on surveillance video and eyewitness accounts, the city believes these dogs are not strays. Most of them have collars and tags so they likely have owners. Gillis says they need the neighborhood’s help to try to track down the owners.
“If you see Fluffy going back into the house, call us with that address and we will approach that citizen,” Gillis says.
Barbara Baker also attended Thursday’s meeting. She hasn’t had a pet harmed in these recent attacks. However, her cat was attacked and killed in front of her by a pack of dogs. Although she believes Animal Care Services can improve its response, she’s hopeful the meeting will be the start of a new type of long-term partnership between the city and the community.
“I’m a little concerned about resources but I think the people here were very willing to help the department,” Baker says.
In Gillis’ words, “It’s a community problem. and we’ll get through this but we have to get through it together.”
Fred Hoffmann says a good first step would be capturing this dangerous pack of dogs.
“I’m just hopeful that this doesn’t die down and all of a sudden, Animal Control has another wheel that they need to grease and we’re forgotten about.,” Hoffmann says.
Police also told these people at the meeting that officers patrolling the Del Mar area at night have contact information for the on-call Animal Control supervisors. This will allow a quicker response, if a call about the dogs comes in during the late night or early morning hours.