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After dog attack, Cottonwood Shores reminds pet owners of ‘consequences’

Cottonwood Shores animal ordinances

The city of Cottonwood Shores animal control kennel is where some dogs spend a quarantine period if they are picked up by officers as strays or following complaints by residents. The city requires that residents register their pets. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

After a recent dog attack killed a pet cat, city of Cottonwood Shores officials are reminding pet owners of their responsibility when it comes to their animals.

“Our ordinances are for the protection of everyone,” said Cottonwood Shores Police Chief Johnny L. Liendo. “There are consequences to the owners. I’d like for citizens to let us know of loose dogs in their neighborhoods.” 

On Feb. 24, a Cottonwood Shores resident posted to the NextDoor app about her pet cat being killed by loose dogs. At about 6:45 a.m. that morning, the resident heard noises on her porch. When she opened the door to investigate, she saw two dogs attacking her cat. The dogs then lunged toward her, but she was able to close the door. 

Liendo said he recognized the two dogs and immediately contacted their owner. Police issued dangerous dog and nuisance citations to the dogs’ owner. 

The chief recounted another incident during which a young girl kneeled down to pet a dog just as the owner was getting ready to feed the animal. The dog bit the girl on her face.

Officers impounded the dog for 10 days to make sure it was in good health and didn’t exhibit signs of rabies. 

After the 10 days, officers turned the dog over to its owner but later responded to the neighborhood after another person reported the same dog charged her while she was walking her dog.

Residents who see a loose dog or pet in their neighborhood, or are bitten or feel threatened by one, should contact the police department at 830-693-1410 to report it.

Officers will retrieve the animal and place it in the city’s kennel for five to 10 days. If the pet isn’t claimed, it will be sent to the Hill Country Humane Society, 9150 RR 1431 West in Buchanan Dam.

Pet owners must also register their animals at City Hall, 3808 Cottonwood Drive in Cottonwood Shores, the chief added.

“They’ll be given a tag,” he said. “The tags will have a number and the owner’s phone number. They’re used to identify the animals when we need to.”

Pet registration is incredibly important, the chief said, because the department can track whether the animal has received its required vaccinations as well as identify its owner. 

If the animal doesn’t have a registration or its not vaccinated, officers will quarantine it for 10 days to make sure it isn’t sick or exhibit signs of rabies. Liendo said if the dog has a clean bill of health, the owner can reclaim it.

The police department has a kennel for quarantining animals or securing strays. If the owner isn’t located or doesn’t claim the animal, it’s transferred to the Hill Country Humane Society. 

Liendo pointed out it costs the city $250 to drop off animals at the shelter. 

“That’s a cost to the city,” he said. “The department has been fortunate enough to have owners claim their animals.”

The chief added that the city does put unclaimed animals up for adoption. While there is no adoption fee, Liendo said they do screen potential adopters.

“We’re glad the animals are getting a home,” he added.

Contact the police department regarding adoptions or the animal control ordinance.

jfierro@thepicayune.com