KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
January 18, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
The City of Katy Dog Park, the largest in the area, is getting a security camera later this month to help deter and catch people who dump dogs at the location.
The Franklin family often take their two Great Danes, Cash and Presley to play at the park. Photo credit: Jenifer Franklin.
Abandoning a Dog is a Crime
Abandoning a dog is a crime and misdemeanor. Sadly, the practice of dumping dogs continues to be a problem at the City of Katy Dog Park at 5414 Franz Road. City Administrator Byron Hebert told the Katy City Council earlier this month that a security camera for the park has been ordered.
Former Katy resident, Amy Kaplan recalls, “People drop animals there, because they know people that bring their dogs to that park care about animals and will do something.”
Will a camera work?
“It depends on how they do it,” says Karen Maresh, a pet behaviorist and animal rescuer. “My recommendation is that they put a license plate reader there too. Cameras in themselves are not going to work.”
According to Maresh, the City of Fulshear uses cameras and license plate readers. “Fulshear hasn’t had a problem in a while,” says Maresh. “We stopped it.”
Importance of Education
Maresh believes that educating the public by putting up informational signs on the dog park fences could help the situation. She says giving people information on shelters and what their options are if they simply cannot keep their pet would help.
“Animal activists have gotten people to believe that most shelters kill dogs,” says Maresh. “People need to understand the process and look at the release rates. The public reception of shelters is so tainted.”
Dumping pets has increased during the pandemic as the rate of pet abandonment often follows the unemployment rate.
“I get calls of people who have lost their jobs, are being evicted, are moving in with their parents and can’t keep their dogs,” says Maresh.
“We cannot allow for animals to get dumped at any of our city parks, and this number was not small,” says Katy Police Chief Diaz. “We must stop this practice.”
Camera Will Be Installed Tomorrow
Chief Diaz spoke this month to the Katy City Council and says that the camera will be installed on January 19, weather permitting. He said he expects it to have an immediate effect on people abandoning their pets. The Katy Police Station is next door to the park so they can quickly respond.
“The City needs to talk over this problem rather than being reactive,” says Maresh. “Education is key.” Maresh worries that the camera will only send those wishing to abandon their dog into the area neighborhoods.