Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez extended his sympathies to the family of Antoinette Brown, the woman who died Monday after being attacked by a group of loose dogs. Brown was in a medically-induced coma for a week after the May 2 attack before succumbing to her injuries.
Gonzalez said in a statement that the City of Dallas believes that the dogs that attacked Brown are in the custody of Dallas Animal Services. Gonzalez said the loose dog problem continues in south Dallas and that city officials are determined to uncover the details in the case so they can bring irresponsible owners to account for their animals, if ownership can be proven.
Additionally, he said officials are working to correct and improve City systems to help prevent vicious dog attacks in the future and protect the community from loose dogs. Additional protection has been added to the neighborhood where Brown’s attack occurred.
The dogs suspected in the attack have been in custody since Friday. Gonzalez said the City did not properly identify a pattern of behavior that developed which would have given the opportunity for the Dallas Police Department to be brought into the loop sooner to investigate possible criminal activity.
He said those gaps are being fixed by changing procedures and technology so first responders at the scene of a dog attack can immediately contact Dallas Animal Services.
Since learning of the attack, Gonzalez said Dallas officials have saturated the area with patrols, traps and additional police and animal services resources. Jointly, the departments are working to create a process to identify and share escalated incidents and information about repeat offenders. The marshal’s office has also been contacted to review and prioritize criteria for service warrants for animal citations.
Detectives canvassed the area on the day of the attack and interviewed both people who reported the incident at the location where the attack took place. Crime scene processed the attack scene and went to Baylor Hospital to gather evidence from Brown. The reporting persons identified a nearby home where they believed the dogs may have come from. Detectives went to the location and could not find anyone at the house and no dogs were located. The people who called the attack in were advised to call 3-1-1 if any dogs were spotted in the area.
On May 5, Dallas Animal Services reviewed the address and found previous 3-1-1 calls regarding loose dogs complaints. Seven dogs were found living at the location and Dallas Animal Services was able to take six dogs into possession on May 6. The seventh dog was located May 9 and quarantined. Between July 2013 and August 2014, records indicate residents made 10 calls regarding this location. In 2014, the owner surrendered 10 dogs after repeated visits and violation notices from Dallas Animal Services. In September 2015, neighbors reported an attack in progress, resulting in five citations being issued and surrendering of three more dogs that were subsequently euthanized, according to Dallas police. Dallas Animal Services issued an additional 16 citations May 6.
The owners gave permission on May 6 for Dallas Animal Services to take custody of the animals. The dogs were processed for evidence to confirm whether they were involved in Brown’s attack. Dallas police have submitted the evidence to Southwest Institute of Forensics Science and are awaiting the results of testing.
The Dallas Police Department is investigating this incident as an attack by dog offense as defined in Section 822.005 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.