AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

When dangerous dogs rove your Atlanta neighborhood

The Westside Atlanta neighborhoods near where 6-year-old Logan Braatz was fatally mauled Tuesday are no stranger to roving dogs.

Local leaders told me that since the real estate collapse, they've been more common in the working-class community of Mozely Park where the attack took place. And residents in more blighted neighborhoods next door have had to deal with them for a long time. One rough estimate an official gave me for the number of roving dogs is astonishing.

But when a neighborhood is reeling from the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl walking to school, vacant and blighted homes, and economic struggles, roving dogs-- even dangerous ones -- tend to take a back seat. Residents told me they fend for themselves with walking sticks, their own dogs, and bear spray. Even the grandmother of Syari Sanders, 5, who was critically injured, said she was grateful neighbors had rallied around the little girl when so many other problems need attention.

You can read what she said here.

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