|The Birdwell family cat that was seriously injured in a|
vicious dog attack Saturday morning (Birdwell family photo)
South Side—It was supposed to be a happy time for Tia Birdwell and her family early Saturday morning as they welcomed Tia’s mother in from Big Spring. However, that joyous time was interrupted when vicious dog began attacking the family cat and ultimately injuring Tia’s 16 year-old daughter.
The incident happened around 2:00 Saturday morning in the area of Crepe Myrtle off of Lipes.
“We just unloaded her car and saw the commotion,” said Birdwell, who still in obvious shock hours after the event. “That dog came up after my cat and didn't care we were there trying to stop it at all.”
The type of breed that the Birdwell’s had a run in with was a Husky, said Birdwell.
“This one had a collar and tags,” she said. “I mean it was a full grown husky.”
However, to get the large dog seemed malnourished but it was still able to pack a pretty good punch.
“It took a good 20 min to stop this dog. I'm sure if my small child was there he would have gotten her too.”
The city last took up the topic of vicious animals back in March when they added to the current city ordinance. Under the new plan, city Animal Care Services would come to assist on an initial call of an animal attack. But the process gets even more drawn out from there.
According to the city, the responding staff would have to obtain proper documentation proving the injury or death of another animal and then from there the case is referred to the court system.
Once the judge hears the case, they would then determine if there was substantial evidence to deem that dog “vicious.” If the presiding judge sees fit that the dog is vicious, a number of things could happen from there.
The owners of the animal could be forced to either re-locate that animal outside of city limits, or they could have to turn it over to Animal Care Services. From there, ACS might decide to work with rescues and adopters outside of the city to take that animal elsewhere, if possible.
The ordinance basically bans a dog from city limits if it has killed or seriously injured another pet. However, in the Birdwell’s case, it might not have done any good because the dog was at large and there were no identifiers in place identifying the legal owner.
“I'm just really upset someone's ‘pet’ was running loose and hurt my kid and cat. They need to be held responsible as well,” says Birdwell. “I'd like to send them a bill. One for kitty and one from my daughter.”
The future for the beloved family cat isn’t exactly clear at the moment as Tia and her family patiently wait for signs of improvement.
“I feel like a shitty person but I don't have the money to take her to an emergency vet and I really think her back end is broke,” Tia says. “She can’t walk.”
The city said on Saturday evening that little could be done in this case unless they caught the dog and were able to apprehend it. But for concerned residents of the South Side like the Birdwell family—that response just isn’t enough.
“It's one thing to be a stray, it's another to be a tagged and collared dog running the streets at night,” Tia says.
“If you own one you should keep it locked up. I'm so angry at the owners,” and to many who feel her pain, Tia Birdwell’s anger is more than justified.