PECOS, TX (KWES) - The city of Pecos is making some changes to their animal control ordinance. That's after an elderly man was mauled to death by a pack of pit bulls last week.
A week ago today Noberto Legardo, 83, was feeding his daughters dog next door. Three pit bulls came up to him and attacked him to death. The tragedy led city officials to revise the animal ordinance to prevent this from happening again.
Eric Honeyfield, City Manager of Pecos, said, "For a dog to be declared dangerous, it must be affirmed that it was an unprovoked attack. Once that takes place under state law and our local ordinance, then the choice is ours to have the dog put down, or for the owner to furnish an annual $100,000 liability policy."
NewsWest 9 spoke with local pet owners who had mixed feelings about taking out a $100,000 policy for their dogs. Eric Honeyfield says in most cases aggressive dogs involved in violent behavior are put down anyway.
Charles Hamilton, who works in Pecos, said, "It depends on how much you love your dog. I mean I'd take it out for mine,you've gotta have homeowners insurance anyway, and $100,000 worth of insurance isn't going to cost you but an extra couple hundred dollars a month."
Suzie Montemayor, a resident of Pecos said she'd only take out the policy under certain circumstances. "If they were violent, yes, but I don't think I would have any dogs that would harm people. I wouldn't because I have my kids and I wouldn't like them to be harmed as well," said Montemayor.
City officials say that dangerous dog attacks happen 1-2 times each year in Pecos. As a part of the new ordinance, the city says the first item on their agenda is to create a more aggressive spay and neuter program.
"Our ordinance is kind of weak where we address spay and neutering. In past cities that I've managed, the way to lessen the number of dogs and pets at large is to have a more aggressive spay and neuter program, and we don't have that," said Honeyfield.
Aside from controlling the dog population, city officials say that spaying and neutering your pets can also make them less aggressive.
"I'm a male, you take my testosterone away I'm not going to be as aggressive, you know. Spaying and neutering is good either way, because the cities are overrun with strays and they're tearing up peoples garbage and everything else so if that's the ordinance, I'm good with that," said Hamilton.