AUSTIN (KXAN) — Warning signs about an aggressive dog are going up in a south Austin neighborhood after multiple attacks.

“Ran out of his house, ran out of his yard and ran across the street to attack us,” said Jessica Boston, who said her dog Ladybird was attacked in August. “Puncture wounds all up and down her legs, around her head and in her ears and also the dog had clamped onto her neck.”

Boston said she took the dog to the emergency vet after the attack, but after filing a report, she said no one ever followed up.

“I was able to go into the system and look up my case report, but unfortunately when I did look it up, and my attack happened back in August, when I looked it up it said ‘no violation,'” said Boston. “That they had spoken to someone at the residence, but it was not confirmed that it was the owner of the home.”

Boston isn’t the only one who has dealt with the aggressive dog. In fact, KXAN received multiple reports and checked into 311 data which shows there have been 14 requests on Cooper Lane this year, nine of which were in October.

There were six requests for “animal control-assistance requested,” five “loose dog” reports, two “animal bite” reports and one “animal proper care” report.

“The dog locked eyes with me and then he sprinted unprovoked, knocked me down repeatedly, bit my hands, drug me in the street,” said Glo Villarreal, who was walking her two dogs, Tito and Tallulah, in early October.

Villarreal said she rushed her dogs to the emergency vet after the attack.

“Unfortunately my younger dog Tito succumbed to his injuries and did not make it through the night,” said Villarreal. “My dog Tallulah is healing well, but she is still very traumatized.”

Meaghan Hurley, who lives in the neighborhood, said she spotted an injured dog running by her home last week and went out to see what was wrong. After picking the dog up she said she spotted the owner, who was bleeding, and another injured dog. Hurley took both dogs and the man to the emergency vet.

“To have all these warning signs ahead of time it just feels like more can be done,” said Hurley.

KXAN reached out to Animal Protection to find out more about the dog attacks.

If a dog is attacked, do animal control services step in?

If the dog is loose and no owner is identified, then the dog is impounded. If the owner is present and takes control of the dog, Animal Protection does not have the authority to take the dog away from its owner.

At what point does the department remove a dog that is aggressive?

Animal Protection cannot seize someone’s property without a court order (and animals are considered property in Texas). If a dog has inflicted a serious bodily injury to a person, then the court can issue a warrant for the animal control authority to seize the dog while the case is ongoing.

This case is currently under investigation so Animal Protection did not comment or give KXAN information on what actions were being taken or were underway.

An owner can be held liable for any damage inflicted by their animal. This would be a civil proceeding.

The City of Austin does have a registered dangerous dog page, which shows a list of dogs.

According to the page, all registered dangerous dogs in the City of Austin and Travis County should never be running at large. They are court-ordered to be restrained at all times and
should be wearing a large tag stating they are a dangerous dog. They have attacked
in the past. The owner is required to provide $100,000 in financial responsibility.
If they attack again the court could order them to be put to sleep.