Dallas advocates push for designated Animal Cruelty Unit

DALLAS -- Dallas animal lovers are pushing for big time change in the city.

Lauren Babis helped to create this group, Just Save the Dog.

“I feel very good about it,” she said.

In a nutshell, they believe people in the area are getting away with abusing and neglecting animals.

“We don’t really have anyone overseeing the problem, and managing it, and prosecuting it,” says Babis.

They want a city to designate an animal cruelty unit in the Dallas Police Department, a unit that most major cities across the U.S. have.

A call to action is posted on their Twitter account, "We are asking all Dallas residents to contact their Dallas City Council members before September 5 and ask them to designate funding for an Animal Cruelty Investigation Unit within the FY19 city budget."

“Right now each of the districts has their own police officer that is assigned to property crimes, which includes animal cruelty but nobody is overhead and overseeing what’s going on with animal cruelty in the city,” Babis says.

Last year alone, Dallas Police Officers responded to over 4,000 animal cruelty complaints.

“There were zero prosecutions even though there were hundreds of seizures.”

For Babis, the last straw came when she was scrolling Facebook, “I see dying, abused, needy, homeless dogs all the time in my feed, that’s all I see.”

But it was one specific dog that really got to her.

“This one had been adopted to the shelter and was wearing the shelter lead,” she said.

Babis spoke to city council about that dog. She says someone adopted him from a shelter, and the next day that dog was found dead.

“I’ve never been very political, in fact with all the dog networking I’ve ever done that was the first time I picked up the phone and called a representative and said, it’s enough, this has to stop.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the City of Dallas tells NewsFix in a statement, "Currently, the Dallas Police Department and Dallas Animal Services refer all cases of animal cruelty to the SPCA and Dallas County District Attorney for investigation. City staff continues to have meaningful dialog with Dallas animal advocates to discuss additional ways to better address animal cruelty concerns in Dallas."

For Babis, she believes other will agree with the cause, and speak up to city leaders about the change she’s hoping to see.

“I think it will get support and i think it will go through,” she says.