Cameron Co Animal Control in Texas picks up strays and does quarantine holds at its facility. I had to dig around to find this document but apparently in 2010, the facility had a 1% adoption rate. That is, of the 2611 animals the county took in, 27 were adopted/rescued. The county killed 2158 animals, 17 were “released to wild” (I’m hoping those were actual wild animals) and 134 were returned to owner. The 2010 kill rate was 83%.
The facility has 10 kennels, with 3 designated for quarantine. There is no room for expansion. There is no kill room and nowhere to cut off animals’ heads for rabies testing. The killing and beheading of pets is done in the kennel area. Most impounds are killed within 72 hours.
If you want to look for your lost pet or adopt a new one, you must either schedule an appointment or come during the regular open hours: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM and 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM. There is no Petfinder page for this facility nor is there any way to see pets online. Many people in the area don’t even know the pound exists or where it is.
An area resident named Dial Dunkin was recently helping a friend look for a lost dog. He visited the pound and told the local paper he “was shocked to see dozens of dogs awaiting euthanization”. How the place is housing dozens of dogs in 7 general population kennels is a mystery to me. But Mr. Dunkin’s reaction may shed some light on the situation:
When he saw the high number of dogs confined in small cages at the county shelter, he felt sick, Dunkin said.
“The cages are full of really nice dogs,” Dunkin said. “I’m really upset, I’ve been up all night.”
Mr. Dunkin offered to buy the pound a camera so photos of each pet could be posted online. He even offered to keep the place supplied with pet food so they could keep the animals longer in order to increase their chances of adoption. But the county says they have plenty of donated food. They just need a bigger space. And it will cost half a million dollars.
Information in the newspaper piece appears to contradict some of the county info available online. In the article, county officials indicate the public is not allowed inside the pound and even the newspaper was refused entry. Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos was asked if he’d be open to discussing shelter reform ideas with Mr. Dunkin:
“We’ll listen,” Cascos said. “But there are leash laws and we have to pick them up and, unfortunately, if they aren’t adopted, we have to euthanize them.”
If they aren’t adopted. But you can’t go in. Well maybe you can for an hour in the morning. Probably not though. But we have to kill them.
Precinct 3 Commissioner David Garza shoots for a 3 pointer:
“There are too many irresponsible pet owners.”
SCORE! [crowd goes wild]
“If Mr. Dunkin wants to discuss it with us, it would be great to have a philanthropist to help us raise $500,000 for a new shelter,” Cascos said. “The county’s open to suggestions.”
So thanks for the offer of a camera and pet food but the only thing we want is 500 grand. If you don’t have that well, we just have to keep killing all these pets right on the kennel floor in front of the living ones. And cutting off heads, natch.
Because irresponsible public!
Gee, I wonder why they wouldn’t let the paper in to take photos.