SAN ANTONIO-- Some west-side residents say Officer Richard Cuellar Park off SW 36th Street and San Fernando Street is full of roaming dogs that tend to gang up.
"Any time that you have animals that roam together, they can pack up and that is a potential danger," said Lisa Norwood of Animal Care Services. "Any time that there is an animal roaming in our community, whether it be in the street or in the city park, you've got the potential for danger and that's why it's so important that people keep their animals on their property."
Pet owners who allow dogs to roam freely can face a misdemeanor citation with a fine starting at $169.
"If it's your property then it's your responsibility," said Norwood. "You need to ensure that your pet stays on your property and not just for the health and safety of your pet, but for the health and safety of the neighborhood as well."
Norwood said sweeping area parks and green spaces for wild dogs is an ongoing effort.
Wednesday morning investigators with ACS were in the 4200 block of Nogales Street looking into a complaint of animal abuse and neglect.
Stephanie Barrera lives in the neighborhood and said she's seen two dogs that appear to be malnourished and living in filthy conditions.
"You could see the rib cage on both dogs," said Barrera. "I went over there and gave them some food and the dogs just devoured it."
Barrera keeps four dogs of her own on her property and is a self-proclaimed true animal lover. She has seen first-hand all of the roaming dogs in the neighborhood and has decided to speak up.
"If you get one and you can't take care of it, take it to the dog pound," said Barrera. "Call Animal Care, give them to somebody who's going to take care of them. Don't just abandon them. Don't neglect them because they don't deserve that. They can't speak for themselves, we're their voice."
Investigators with ACS put a notice on the front door where the dogs were last seen and plan to follow up on the situation.
"There were no animals on property that we could see, but potentially those animals were moved inside or moved to another location," said Norwood. "We want to talk to them about those animals to ensure that they are being taken care of."
ACS has a new Pet Food Pantry to help area residents having a hard time buying food for their animals. It's in need of ongoing donations, including old newspapers. Call (210) 207-6644 if you can help fill the pantry or need help.
For more information on ACS go to www.saacs.net. Dial 311 to report all animal related concerns.