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Clifton Dogs Gone Wild | Clifton PD barks back at roaming dog problem

Clifton Police Chief Chris Blanton says citizens will get one warning for their dog being on the loose, then they'll be issued a citation anytime after that.

CLIFTON, Texas — A small city in Bosque County has a loose dog problem and the police chief says his department is working more animal control calls than other crimes right now.

Clifton Police Chief Chris Blanton says the city has had an issue of dogs running loose for a long time, but recently it's gotten out of hand.

"There's two- to- five a day of animal calls of some sort and usually most of those are involved in dogs," he said.

Blanton says dogs are on the loose around town and it's causing problems with traffic, citizens and within their small department.

"I've got officers that need to be in the school, or they need to be patrolling, or enforcing traffic law, but instead, they're spending two or three hours out here chasing dogs, trying to catch dogs and none of us here are track stars," Blanton explained.

Recently two people were mauled by roaming dogs in Clifton, which is why concerned citizens like Mary Smith are thankful for the proactive work of Blanton and his team.

"We got a police department now that seems to take the dog situation seriously, whether they're out running around lose, whether they're chained up," she said.

Clifton Police Department is working to end the city wide issue by giving people one warning and then hitting them with tickets. It's something Blanton says they don't like doing and they're not a revenue driven department but they need people to take it seriously for the safety of all citizens and animals.

Message from the Chief: I think it goes without saying that aminal control is a hot-button topic in Clifton. Our...

Posted by Clifton Police on Tuesday, February 15, 2022

After a citizen gets a warning for their dog being on the loose, then they'll be issued a citation for allowing a dog to roam at large every time after that.

They are also fining people on the spot who are illegally chaining up their dogs.

The Texas legislature passed a new law that went into effect Jan. 18 called the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act. One of the big things is officers no longer have to wait a 24-hour period before addressing any violation. The new law also prohibits using chains as the tether, or any other material that could cause harm to the dog. It requires that dogs have drinking water available. 

RELATED: It is now illegal to leave your dog chained up outside in Texas

The law also defines what qualifies as an adequate shelter for a dog, which includes protection from extreme temperatures, standing water and other things that could be dangerous for an animal. The tether has to be at least 10 feet or five times the length of the dog.

Chelsie Ringo works for Bosque Spay Neuter, a non-profit that helps foster animals, as well as eliminate the populous dog issue by providing discounter or free spay/neutering services. She says Clifton has a surplus of dogs and not enough people in the county to give the animals the homes they need.

"With offering spay and neuter at low cost, we're hoping to fix some of that problem so that the parents get fixed and we don't have a surplus of all these dogs in the future, that's the goal," she said.

Ringo says she has had random dogs appeared in her yard, and even at her car when driving through town. She wants people to know there are resources out there to help you and your pet.

"If it's a fence problem, if it's a medical issue, we're willing to help with whatever it is to keep the dog in the home safely," Ringo explained. "If the dog can't be safe in the home then just reach out and let us know your problems and maybe we can help with re-homing or even transporting anything like that."

Dogs that are picked up and taken to the pound are held for seven days before adopted out, but if they aren't adopted or fostered, Blanton says they have no other choice but to euthanize.

Bosque County rescue groups are looking for more people to foster dogs and cats, too. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to adopt an animal needing a forever home, check out BARK or Bosque Spay Neuter.

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