Wild dogs running free on the streets

ABC7 Eyewitness News: What's Bugging You?
LOS ANGELES Just after dawn animal control officials are out making their rounds.

They find dogs on the loose, many of them are not strays, but dogs that have owners who allow them to roam free.

"People tend to let their dogs just get out of the gate and kind of do their business around the neighborhood completely unsupervised," said Lt. Troy Boswell, L.A. City Animal Services.

Size doesn't matter. One small dog found outside one woman's home was cited for being without a leash and without a license.

Another dog stillhad part of its leash on its neck. It ran straight to a woman's home, who denied it belonged to her.

"Leave it in the street and let somebody else care for your animals," said neighborhood resident Jim Henderson. "It's just not a responsible action in my opinion."

Officers found an unsupervised pit bull running through the street. He was quickly wrangled up but as they're about to take him away the owner comes running down the street.

This dog isn't licensed or vaccinated. The owner, Alex Guevara, says it's because his dog doesn't cause any problems. When asked if his dog was dangerous he said, "No, not my dog. I mean, pit bulls are, but not mine."

"He has a leash," said Guevara. "He has everything, he just doesn't like wearing it. He takes it off."

"You love your dog, but I'll be honest with you: Nobody else really does," said Lt. Boswell. "I don't want to pick up the fecal matter off of my property. I don't want to have to think about your dog approaching me and my child. I don't want to have to guess, 'Is this dog friendly, not friendly, stray, owned?' There's a lot of things that go through people's minds when you start talking about loose dogs."

Getting these tickets are not cheap. Violating the leash law is about a $120 fine, plus court costs and if your dog isn't vaccinated or licensed it could end up being about $700 to $800.

On top of all those costs, if your loose pet injures someone you're liable. And that could cost you a small fortune.

The best advice is to keep your pets on a leash when they're out, and in your yard when they're at home.

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