District 7 Councilwoman pushing for new policies to handle dangerous dogs in San Antonio

Marina Alderete Gavito holds press conference with those affected by dog attacks

SAN ANTONIO – Severe and ongoing is how the District 7 councilwoman describes the dangerous and loose dog situation in San Antonio.

“We have a loose, dangerous dog crisis in San Antonio, and so we need to address it,” District 7 Councilwoman Marina Alderete Gavito said.

Alderete Gavito held a press conference on her push for new policies for dangerous, aggressive and loose dogs.

Joining her was Raymond Najera, whose dad was attacked and killed by loose dogs in February 2023, and Max De Los Santos, who was attacked in August 2023 and said he had to amputate his legs because of it.

“It’s on us as pet owners to make our neighbors and our citizens have a safe environment to walk about in our community,” Najera said

“If they want animals, there (are) fences, and there are locks for the fences,” De Los Santos said. “If they want animals, keep them in their yard, locked up, but don’t let them loose.”

Both the Najera and De Los Santos families are bonded through their trauma and are now looking for a change. They support Alderete Gavito’s recommendations.

The councilwoman pointed to a 2019 ACS study documenting 34,000 loose dogs roaming around Alamo City at any given time; of those, about 87-96% had owners.

“Hit them in the checkbook,” De Los Santos said. “The city needs to make them accountable, so hit them where it hurts so they think twice.”

Alderete Gavito wants steeper fines for dog owners. She recommends that people be fined a minimum of $500 for a second offense and a minimum of $750 fine afterward.

Alderete Gavito is also asking ACS to spay and neuter dogs found roaming off their property before the dog is returned to the owner. The surgery would come at the cost of the owner.

Lastly, the councilwoman wants people who report dangerous dogs to be able to remain anonymous.

About the Authors

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

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