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Friday, May 2, 2008

GNWatch Meeting Report: Dogs and Taggers: Animals....

I’d like to thank the large group of people who made the short trip down to the Lodge of the Great Northwest for the GNWatch meeting last Wednesday evening. We covered, what I believe are two very important security related issues; dangerous stray and vicious dogs that have in some cases attacked residents and their pets, and the topic of graffiti in the Great Northwest.

First off we started with representatives from The City of San Antonio’s Animal Care Services, Ms. Elizabeth Brown from the community outreach section and Ms. Debbie Allen, manager of field operations. Thanks to some advance preparation spearheaded by one of our residents, Ms. Brown and Officer Allen came ready to respond to specific problems we face here.It is safe to say that the assembled audience was awed when Officer Allen cited a few statistics on the numbers of calls her officer receives on a daily basis, how those calls get prioritized, and unfortunately, the limited number of officers she has to deal with the calls. She answered head-on the main complaint that people seem to have when they call ACS to report stray dogs – they fact that by the time ACS can make it out to the location (often a day or so later) the dog is gone. But she used this complaint to educate us on how we can work within the system to document strays and better resolve the problems. Officer Allen outlined the descriptions and priorities of the calls they handle, and the types of things that are classified as violations.

Instead of repeating the content of her discussion, I like to offer a link to the ACS web page and encourage residents to utilize the city’s 3-1-1 number to report animal associated problems. It was refreshing to see first hand how Ms. Brown, Officer Allen and their team are working to better the process and to make great strides toward the stray and vicious animal situation faced by the city, caused primarily by irresponsible idiots who happen to be pet owners.

Following a very informative Q&A with the audience, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Lee Besing presented Ms. Brown and Officer Allen with a box of rawhide doggie bones to take to the shelter.

Up next, I was pleased to present a briefing to the group regarding efforts during the month of April to identify some of the thugs responsible for tagging and graffiti along many of the common thoroughfares in the association. The briefing included detailed maps, photographic evidence and results of the pressure put forth by local businesses and residents to have at least one suspect apprehended, and a group of people evicted from their residence.

I am happy to make this briefing available to anyone who would like a copy, though I warn you that, because of the detailed photographs, it is almost 8MB in size. That’s a big file if you have dial-up! Please feel free to e-mail me at Silvercreek78250@gmail.com if you’d like to receive the briefing.

This briefing has been provided to the staff of District 6 council member, Delicia Herrera and we are hoping to work with her staff to prepare for one of the city sanctioned Graffiti Wipe-Out days. More to follow on this. The bottom-line is, if you are the victim of graffiti, please photograph it, report it to GNW Security for their records, contact the police if it is significant property damage, and then clean it up/paint over it as soon as possible. If you need help with the painting, the security staff can help you with contacting volunteers who can help you. Our goal is to get it covered soon enough that the taggers can’t enjoy showing their work to their friends.

If you would like to be one of the volunteers who can help with painting, please contact me, or get with the GNW Lodge office folks to be put in touch with the A-Team. You’d be surprised at how as little as 15 minutes of your time can help make a big difference in combating this problem.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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