Athens residents express concern after continued dog attacks in neighborhood
ATHENS, Texas (KETK) – Residents who live on Thunderbird Drive say they’ve had enough. They say these dogs have attacked children, including an incident on Wednesday morning when a dog bit an 8-year-old child.
“Every time I go out I open the door and look outside to see if there are any dogs in the front yard and especially these dogs because they are vicious,” says Athens resident Lee Dickson.
Residents of Thunderbird Drive say they have stopped taking daily walks or letting their children play outside for fear of running into these dogs. This is a problem that has been going on for months.
“Residents tell the animal control officer that they are service dogs. I’ve never seen service dogs vicious or even allowed to roam free in the neighborhood and never restrained. Usually service dogs are kept indoors with owners,” says Athens resident Michael Howell.
Neighbors say that on Wednesday morning, an 8-year-old boy was playing in his yard with his 3-year-old brother when he was attacked.
“I opened the door and the dogs ran after me and I chased them away and they bit my arm,” Caleb Handley said.
Caleb shares that if his mother hadn’t scared the dogs away, the bite could have been much worse.
“If he could have bitten me a second time, I could have bled and I could have gone to the hospital to get stitched up,” Handley says.
Neighbors say the attacks happened in their neighborhood, which is only a few blocks from an elementary school.
“The big dog is the one that started biting me. Luckily it didn’t penetrate my skin, but it grabbed hold of my trouser leg and ripped it pretty badly,” Howell explains.
With dogs attacking and biting those they come into contact with, rabies is a growing concern. Residents share owners were unable to provide vaccination records on these animals. Now the Athens Police Department is investigating the situation.
Officials released this statement:
“We are very concerned about this situation and the safety of these residents. As a result, the Athens Police Department is pursuing all legal measures to take custody of the dog from the owner who refuses to hand over the animal for quarantine.
Athens Police Department
Athens Police and Animal Control were present on Wednesday morning when the child was attacked. This gives neighbors hope that a solution is on the way.