After Granite Shoals residents expressed concern at the perceived lack of animal control enforcement in the city, Police Chief Gary Boshears explained that officers can’t respond to what they don’t know about.
During a previous City Council meeting, several residents suggested Granite Shoals needed stronger animal control ordinances. Residents also posted complaints on social media about dogs roaming loose in the city. During the City Council meeting May 25, Boshears asked residents to take another step in the process.
“The majority of the posts on (social media) are calls we’re not getting,” Boshears said.
The chief asked people to report unleashed animals to the police department at 830-598-4818.
Boshears also suggested pet owners get their animals microchipped, which greatly increases the chance they will be returned to them if picked up by animal services.
“The owners get the animals back 98 percent of the time if people keep the microchip information up to date,” Boshears said. “It’s not expensive. It’s not difficult at all.”
The service can run between $15 to $50, and Boshears noted the microchip costs are usually included when adopting animals from a shelter.
“Making the microchips a requirement — that’s the way to go,” he said.
The chief pointed out that while registration includes tags for an animal, a dog often loses its collar and corresponding identification when it escapes from a yard or home. A microchip, however, goes where the dog goes.
So far in 2021, the police department has impounded 43 animals and issued 49 citations, Boshears told the council. The animal control officer and other officers have responded to 530 calls for service regarding animals.
Since Oct. 1, Granite Shoals officers have transported 38 animals to the Hill Country Humane Society facility in Buchanan Dam. The city contracts with the shelter for a place to take unclaimed animals.
Residents previously suggested the city strengthen its animal control ordinances, especially when it comes to registration. Other ideas included having the city offer free dog registration for a month, setting up a registration booth at the monthly Granite Shoals Market Days, publicizing resources for low-cost vaccines, and hosting an informational meeting for residents.
Boshears noted that animal control officer Rey Salinas frequently checks animal registrations and issues citations if a dog or cat isn’t registered. Free registration comes with administrative costs, and the department already has been publicizing resources for low-cost vaccines.