Health Clinic Created For Stray Dog Problem - WSMV Channel 4

Health Clinic Created For Stray Dog Problem

Updated: Jan. 5, 2011
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Stray dogs have become a serious concern for many in parts of East Nashville. Now there's a new solution to this growing problem.

Video: Animal Control Takes On Stray Dog Problem


"We have a disproportionate amount of strays," said Sgt. Dan Ogren of the Metro Police Department.


In the past year, Ogren said, the department has received more than 500 complaints. About 50 of them turned into vicious attacks.


"Two pit bulls entered the room, and the dogs bit another customer," Ogren said of one case.


Chris Heric has called East Nashville home for almost 20 years. He said he never worried too much about the vicious strays in his neighborhood until his daughter was born.


"It's more of a concern if she was playing in the yard and a large pit bull or German Shepherd came by and, you know, saw her as more than just a passerby," Heric said.


To ease everyone's concerns, Metro Animal Control has set up cages and added an additional patrol officer to cut down the number of strays.


Now, for the first time, the Nashville Humane Association and Metro Animal Control are opening an animal health clinic with the help of Councilwoman Karen Bennett.


"I do believe it will cut down on strays," said Bennett.


Officials said they aren't sure where to put the clinic, but they want it to be a busy part of town -- in hopes, they said, that it helps.


"Part of it is education, I believe. Some pet owners have never had a pet or they don't know about the basic care of animals or they can't afford it," said Bennett.


The low-cost health care will also include spaying and neutering pets. Many hope this will be the new solution to an old problem.


"I think it's part of the role of the Animal Control in the city to take care of that problem," Heric said.


Humane Association officials hope the animal health care clinic will open within the next four months. It's having a focus group meeting next month to finalize all the details with community members.

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