San Antonio lawmakers file bills to better protect public from dangerous dogs

Texas Reps Elizabeth Campos and Diego Bernal, State Sen. José Menéndez filed three bills on Friday

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio lawmakers are taking notice of the dangerous dog problem in the city and the state, and have filed three bills to better protect the public.

Each bill aims at addressing specific problems with current laws that deal with dangerous dogs.

The filings come after a dog attack two weeks ago that killed 81-year-old Ramon Najera Jr., and injured his wife and multiple others on Depla Street.

“It’s a tragedy. We want to do everything that we can with the state government as well as local animal care services to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

Nirenberg said the city is looking for ways to protect the public when it comes to dangerous dogs as well as compliance issues with neighbors.

“If there are a number of calls -- animal care, code compliance, police calls to a particular house where it’s evident the neighbor is being negligent or being reckless with the community around them, we want to be able to flag that and prevent incidents from happening in the future,” Nirenberg said.

The bills proposed by State Representatives Elizabeth Campos and Diego Bernal and State Senator José Menéndez would increase the criminal penalty related to an attack by a dangerous dog, allow animal services to deem a dog dangerous without a victim’s affidavit and allow victims to anonymously file dangerous dog affidavits.

Nirenberg said neighbors on Depla St. didn’t file affidavits because they feared retaliation.

One person was already arrested for retaliation in this case.

Destiny Marie Cardona was arrested on March 9 for threatening a neighbor.

Cardona is the sister of one of the dogs’ owners, Abilene Schnieder, and has since bailed out of jail.

Christian Moreno and Schnieder remain in the Bexar County Jail, charged with attack by dangerous dog resulting in death and injury to an elderly person.

On March 22, Nirenberg said Animal Care Services is expected to brief the city council about the case.


About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.