Ramon Najera, 81, was killed in a dog attack on the West Side. Three people were injured, including Najera’s wife Juanita.
SAN ANTONIO – Feb. 24, Ramon Najera, 81, was killed in a dog attack on the West Side.
Since then, his son, Raymond, has been fighting for change so that no other family will experience such a tragedy.
“This stand is really, really cool,” said Najera, sitting on a bench outside Joe’s Ice House.
Najera’s Edison classmates, fellow veterans and childhood friends gathered for a fundraiser on Saturday.
For $10 people could buy a barbecue dish, which benefited Najera’s stepmother Juanita.
The dog attack off Depla Street injured three people, including Juanita.
The dogs have been put down; Their owners, Abilene Schnieder and Christian Moreno, are accused in connection with the fatal attack.
“Her wounds as far as physical wounds are healed. Now she’s just dealing with her emotional stresses,” Najera said of her stepmother. “She’s part of PTSD, she’s still dealing with that. The loss of her her husband, my father, losing him.”
Last month, Najera and his family testified at a committee hearing at the Capitol in support of House Bill 4759.
The bill increases the criminal penalty for owners of dangerous dogs and removes the victim affidavit required for faster action by authorities. HB 4759 would deem a dog dangerous if it injures someone, if a police report is made, or if the owner is arrested. It would also protect the identity of anyone reporting the animal.
“For the previous resident who had these dogs, the neighborhood called and called and called about different kinds of issues, not just about the dog,” Najera explained. “Different types of issues that were closed, but weren’t rethought like, ‘Hey, this is a cumulative number of calls to one person.’ There must be red flags raised when they see this.”
Animal Care Services joined Najera on Saturday, helping educate others about city ordinances relating to animals and how to report dangerous animals.
“We have worked closely with the Najera family since the tragic incident on Depla Street,” said Shannon Sims, Director of Animal Care Services (ACS).
The department’s Good Neighbor program kicks off next month, in which all 911 and 311 data will be analyzed to identify problem pet owners.
“If a location has gotten multiple calls for a variety of reasons, we can now come together and say, ‘Okay, this might be a problem house that we need to be involved in right now,'” said Sims.
State law defines a dangerous dog as a dog that:
- Makes an unprovoked attack, E
- The attack occurred outside the dog pen/owner’s property, E
- The attack caused personal injury
- A dog that someone reasonably believes will attack and cause bodily harm if able to leave his or her yard or property
An aggressive dog is one that attacks another animal, both on and off the owner’s property.
Sims says that if all landlords kept their pets on their property at all times and spayed or neutered their pets, it would prevent 60% to 70% of the problems officials see in our neighborhoods.
The home on the west side of Depla Street received 114 911 calls and 42 311 calls in nearly three years.
Saturday’s plate sale sold out, raising more than $5,000. If you missed the fundraiser but would still like to donate to the Najera family, visit their GoFundMe page.