Animal Care Services investigating vicious dog attack on East Side

If you or your dog is attacked by another dog, call 311 immediately

A San Antonio woman says she wants answers after a pack of dogs brutally attacked her chihuahua near Herman Hirsch Elementary on the East Side.

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio woman says she wants answers after a pack of dogs brutally attacked her chihuahua near Herman Hirsch Elementary on the East Side.

Sandra Lara said her dog’s wounds are still fresh and painful.

“This is the one where they dug in. That was a real deep one,” said Lara while showing the injuries her dog, Fifi, suffered.

For Lara, it’s last Wednesday’s attack that feels most raw.

“It’s an eye-waking experience when you go through that,” Lara said.

She said she was walking her two dogs around the corner of Seabreeze Drive and Diane Road when a pack of three dogs charged her, grabbed Fifi and started shaking her.

Lara said she called police and 311 to file a report and said the dogs belonged to a woman who lived on the street.

“It’s not the dog’s fault because it really is the owners who should take care of the dog,” Lara said.

If you suspect a loose dog in your neighborhood is acting aggressively, or if your animal is attacked, calling 311 is the first step in getting it reported to Animal Care Services.

ACS confirmed their dangerous dog investigators are looking into Fifi’s alleged attack, which includes an affidavit filled out by Lara and the other dogs’ owner.

“There’s only two officers for the entire city. What we do is we investigate aggressive and dangerous dogs,” said Officer Shanna De La Cruz, an investigator for ACS.

The terms “dangerous” and “aggressive” aren’t left up to the opinions of Officer De La Cruz. They’re legal terms set by the city of San Antonio and the State of Texas.

“An aggressive animal is something that’s either attacked, injured or even killed another animal. Dangerous is going to be a dog on a person,” De La Cruz said.

If a dog is deemed dangerous or aggressive by the city, De La Cruz said, “We can put the restrictions on those animals to prevent it from happening again.”

Lara wishes the dog’s owners would be held more accountable and help her pay back the $475 she spent on vet bills. However, that’s not something ACS can enforce.

“We don’t help with any kind of recuperation from that. We just make sure that the dogs are no longer an issue,” De La Cruz said.

She added that ACS has two different systems to track dangerous or aggressive dogs. There is also required signage that needs to be placed on a property if a dog is deemed aggressive or dangerous.

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About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.