Animal lovers are calling on the city of San Antonio to take stronger action against an ongoing problem with dog dumping in a Southeast side park.
They said for years, pet owners who no longer want their animals have been using Southside Lions Park as a place to get rid of them.
Lately, though, the problem seems to be getting worse.
“Somebody told me they found 28 dogs here in the last month,” said Martin Garza, who jogs in the park each morning. “The dogs don’t bother nobody, but that’s not the point. The point is they shouldn’t be dumping them out here.”
Another unidentified woman, who said she regularly gives food and water to the unwanted animals, said this week alone she has rescued two litters of puppies. One of them had been attacked, she said, by other stray dogs already living there.
The animal lovers said it’s time for the city to step in and do something to stem the problem.
“I would advise (them) to put cameras out here so the people will stop dumping the dogs,” said Garza. “At least they're going to get caught on video."
Lisa Norwood with Animal Care Services said her agency is aware of the dog dumping problem, not just in that park, but in other parks and neighborhoods throughout the city.
“To dump a litter of puppies, a litter of kittens, it's unconscionable,” she said. "Obviously, if we catch people doing it and we're able to determine that yes, indeed, this person did dump an animal there, we will give them a citation."
Norwood said abandoning pets in this fashion is a misdemeanor. It’s also an issue her office has been addressing through a number of neighborhood initiatives.
She said ACS has conducted two pet care-oriented campaigns in the area near Southside Lions Park this year.
As for the idea of installing cameras in the park, Norwood said it’s been suggested before but may not be feasible.
“That's a 600-acre park,” Norwood said. "You can imagine how difficult it would be to put cameras or even signs in every single place."
Southside Lions Park is located in San Antonio City Council District 3.
Spokeswoman DeAnne Cueller said Councilwoman Leticia Ozuna had not been made aware of the dog dumping problem since she took office in January.
She said, however, that Ozuna will be looking into the issue, and may visit the park on her own to observe what’s going on.