A Sweetwater man pleaded guilty to charges of a violent dog and dog-at-large following a court hearing at the Sweetwater Municipal Court on Wednesday.
This is after a pit bull-mix was accused of killing at least 20 cats in a Sweetwater neighborhood. Ten formal complaints have been filed to the city since early July, prompting the owner to be summoned to court.
"It is not about the breed or even the fact that it roams around," Carolyn Mullican, a neighbor said. "I am concerned it may turn to children or the elderly."
Mullican and a friend started a petition asking for the dog to be removed and euthanized. Tony Roden, another concerned resident, says he watched the dog attack his cat. Roden says he lost two of his cats of more than a decade to the dog and is upset the owner was not taking any responsibility.
"Nothing was getting done to fix the problem," says Roden.
David Pat Lewis, the owner of the property in the 1600 block of San Carlos was fined $1,800 after accepting guilt for the situation. The judge did not order the dog, Joshua, to be euthanized.
Lewis said that he plans to take the dog to a relative's farm in Roby, however, neighbors says he made that same promise before.
"I never meant for anyone to get hurt," says Lewis. "He is a good dog to me."
Lewis claims it was not his dog, but that a random person dumped it on his property and so he kept it. Some neighbors are upset the judge did not decide to euthanize the dog.
According to the city attorney, the Sweetwater Chief of Police and Animal Control Services have sent out a notice to Lewis stating if he wants to keep the dog, he must take out a liability insurance of $100,000.
Lewis says he has yet to see the notice.