ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene residents near the Sayles area have been raising concerns about an increase in stray and aggressive dogs in their neighborhood, leaving some fearful to even go outside.

On Peach Street in South Abilene, longtime residents are becoming leerier of their neighbors’ hounds. KTAB/KRBC spoke with two residents, who live in the area, about their concerns and fears in their own yards.

One resident of 14 years, who wished to remain anonymous, told KTAB/KRBC after a stray Pitbull jumped her fence and killed her dog two years ago, she’s been fearful ever since. Fearful for the safety of her own dogs, herself and especially her neighbors who have young kids – many of whom, she said, have been chased, cornered or had dogs express other aggressive behavior towards them walking the neighborhood streets. She said some will grab onto anything and everything in reach to defend themselves.

“People walking by have thrown things at them [dogs] and that makes them worse, because when they come up to them, they’ll pick up a bottle or a stick, or something, and try to keep them away,” the anonymous resident said.

Jasmine Coleman has lived on Peach Street for nearly three years, and said she has seen as many as eight dogs loose at a time.

Coleman told KTAB/KRBC she remembered one evening when she was working in the kitchen, overhearing a cry for help from outside her front window.

“I heard, ‘help me, help me, help me,'” Coleman described. “I go outside and that was an 18-year-old girl who was standing in the bed of my pickup. She had been out there [for] I don’t know how long, who was screaming and crying for help.”

The amount of ‘aggressive dogs’ in the neighborhood, Coleman said, has left she and her neighbors fearful and even helpless in their own yards.

“I have to have my taser on me or I don’t feel comfortable taking my trash out anymore,” shared Coleman.

While Coleman said she’s never had to put her taser to use, she said she uses it to scare dogs away with the loud noise the initial zap makes.

KTAB/KRBC reached out to the Abilene Police Department (APD), recently taking over animal control from the animal shelter, about how they are handling the transition. Our scheduled interview with Animal Control Supervisor Lindsey Houts was interrupted because she was called out to an aggressive dog and bite.

Sergeant John Ramirez filled in and said that has been the norm over the last week. Sergeant Ramirez said every day, all of the animal control vehicles and officers are gone the entirety of their 8-5 schedule, and then some after hours.

“I don’t think anyone expected the volume of calls that animal control receives on any given day,” Sergeant Ramirez said.

While that is an adjustment, APD said its officers are working through. Sergeant Ramirez said they will continuously look to improve the efficiency of animal control response and dispatch.

If you see an animal exhibiting aggressive behavior, or have other animal complaints, APD advises you to call the department’s non-emergency number, (325) 673-8331.