EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After last week’s report of a San Elizario man’s 17 sheep being mauled by stray dogs, residents responded through social media by sharing similar experiences.
Licon Dairy’s owners, who faced the same fate, say the problem seems to be getting worse.
In 2019, Licon Dairy’s petting zoo faced a massacre by two dogs who mauled 20 of their animals.
Angel Licon, manager of the dairy, still recalls the gory scene.
“It’s just a problem that we’ve had for many, many years but it just seems it’s been this past few years it’s becoming a major issue,” Licon said.
He said they had to reinforce their petting zoo by putting a concrete barrier in the ground and setting up a tougher fence so it doesn’t repeat.
“You’ll see all over the supermarkets here in the local area, the dollar stores, everywhere, the gass stations are full of stray animals,” Licon said.
And the strays are not just wandering around, Licon said that they get litters of puppies and even chickens dropped off to their property from people, whom he assumes, who cannot take care of the animals.
They have even adopted some of those animals or tried to find them homes, but he thinks it shouldn’t be their responsibility.
He said that the Animal Services or the county respond sometimes and often tell them they don’t have the capacity to keep the animals or do anything.
The County told KTSM they are not seeing an increase of stray animals but that they are receiving calls about livestock getting mauled.
They encourage owners to “consider wire or electric fencing as a preventative measure to keep the predators out.”
The County also explained how they respond to the calls:
“Our officers request canine descriptions to attempt and find the owners and make them responsible for any loss or damages through a Civil Suit. If the dogs are unowned, our officers attempt to trap the pets and remove them from the area as they are considered a danger to the public.”
Licon explained that the strays are not only a danger to the animals at the dairy, but are also affecting tourism.
“They come out and they chase the customers down the street, and we can’t even encourage them to see the whole city of San Elizario because of that same reason, ” he said.
Another resident, Debbie Ann Venegas, said she had two dogs kill all of her 10 chickens.
“I really don’t blame the dogs, rather the owners who do not look after them. I see dogs tied up, dogs walking along the streets and seeing them take out livestock.” Venegas said, adding “I know the city is doing their best. But the Animal Control is too slow to respond. It is terrible.”
KTSM reported on Valentines Day about another San Elizario man, John Byland, losing a flock of 17 sheep to dogs.
Byland said he called the Sherriff’s Office but was told they couldn’t do anything about it since the dogs ran away.
Byland, Licon and Venegas agree that a change needs to be made in how the issue with stray dogs in the county is handled and better educate residents to become responsible pet owners or don’t become ones in the first place.
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