MARSHALL, Tx- Animal Control in Marshall, Texas is stepping things up when it comes to catching dogs roaming the streets.
Starting next week, they will increase their enforcement by issuing ''Animal At Large" citations to pet owners whose dogs are found in the streets.
Their main goal is to keep kids safe as they walk to and from school and bus stops.
Police say they're has been an increase in dog bites lately. Six were reported over the summer.
The latest one happened within the last two weeks when a little boy was bitten by a dog.
Police chief Cliff Carruth says animal services officers will be citing dog owners who are not following Marshall’s leash law.
Stray dogs and dogs with unidentifiable owners will be taken to the animal shelter and a $50 fee will be charged to those owners to come claim their dogs.
"So they can't be at large,” said Carruth. “We tried to just give warnings and tell people, but that's not working so we're going to step it up and start issuing citations."
This could cause an even more overflow at the animal shelter.
Animal control is picking the dogs up, bringing them to their owners or to the shelter.
Owners will also have to show proof of their dog’s rabies shots to get their dog back.
Marshall's animal shelter supervisor, Shelly Godwin, says the shelter is already overflowing everyday. So, she hopes this will encourage pet owners to keep their animals on a leash.
“Unfortunately, it will bring more animals into the shelter and of course, increase euthanize rates,” Godwin said. “We’re hoping people will reclaim their animals and while doing that, get the word out that more animals are here. Hopefully, something good and more adoptions will come out of it.”
Officers will be trapping dogs early in the mornings and late in the day.
Police say it's a good idea to make sure your dog has a microchip or has collar with information. So, if your dog is found, your baby will be returned home.