GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — On warm, sunny days people tend to flock to Georgetown’s Blue Hole, a popular lagoon on the south fork of the San Gabriel River. Timothy Maestas was trying to enjoy the scenery last Thursday evening when something unexpected happened.
“I started hearing something behind me, I turn around and the dog is right on top of me,” explains Maestas. “He grabs a hold of [my arm], so I hit him a couple of times to get off, he drops off, and then he comes back up again.”
Maestas was left with two puncture wounds which are now healing. Even more frustrating, Maestas says the owner took off with the dog when he tried to get her information. He says she told him she was going to the parking lot to meet her boyfriend who had information, but when Maestas caught up with her, she was gone. His wife, however, snapped a photo before she left.
“At least be responsible to own up to it,” says Maestas.
Pets off leashes are prohibited at Blue Hole. In fact, you must have your dog on a leash throughout the city of Georgetown, otherwise you can face up to a $500 fine. Georgetown Animal Control says if they see a dog off its leash and it isn’t bothering anyone, they’re likely to give the owner a verbal warning. They do sometimes have to write written warnings or issue citations.
Georgetown Animal Control says it can be difficult to always enforce the leash law, especially when they’re short one officer. “With a city of almost 60,000 people and two animal control officers, we stay busy,” explains Kelly Thyssen, Georgetown Animal Control officer.
Once it gets warmer, Georgetown Police will help patrol Blue Hole. Maestas hopes owners take responsibility for their pets in public. “The person that it happens to again, might just be a newborn and I’d hate to see that happen.”
If the woman is caught, she could get up to ten citations for failure to quarantine her dog. State law says you must quarantine for ten days after a bite. She could also have to register her dog as an aggressive dog, which means she could be forced to purchase liability insurance, make sure her dog is microchipped, or even muzzle the dog in public places. If you know where this woman is, you can call Georgetown Police at 512-930-3510.
In 2016, Georgetown Animal Control handled 794 “dog at large” calls; 298 of those dogs were impounded.