The Public Steps In to Help Neglected Shelter Pets in Comal Co

A Jack Russell Terrier stands in a filthy kennel at CLASS in Comal Co, TX. (Image via Facebook)
A Jack Russell Terrier stands in a filthy kennel at CLASS in Comal Co, TX. (Image via Facebook)

In Texas, volunteers documented conditions at the Canyon Lake Animal Shelter Society (CLASS) and posted the allegations and photos on Facebook.  They also shared the information with CLASS board members who promptly resigned.  The employees were fired and issued criminal trespass warnings by the county sheriff’s office which is conducting an investigation to determine if the alleged neglect warrants criminal charges.

The allegations include pets being left in filth, without food or water in some cases, missing pet food, and the killing of animals. Gina Archer, the former executive director who worked at CLASS for 14 years, says animals were only killed due to illness.  She and her husband were 2 of the 3 employees fired on Monday this week:

The Archers deny any of the allegations and say none of the animals were covered in their own filth.

“There might have been that on Monday morning,” said Gina Archer. “That was not the case when we walked out of there at five in the afternoon on Saturday.”

This sounds to me like an admission that animals were neglected at CLASS from Saturday afternoon until Monday morning.  Did Ms. Archer routinely leave shelter pets without care for more than an entire day?  Several photos posted on the Facebook page maintained by volunteers depict buckets of undrinkable water.  This one appears to be a trash bin with trash inside when it was filled with water and placed inside a dog kennel:

trash water

In addition to allegations of neglect, the volunteers who have taken over the shelter say there is no air conditioning, no computer and thousands of dollars in unpaid bills.

“Yesterday, we had no food, no cat litter and a half a gallon of bleach,” said new board member, Angie Gilstrap.

More than 100 cats and dogs were left in deplorable conditions.

But once word got out about the desperate need for help at the shelter, the public stepped up – big time.  Donated food and supplies filled the office on Tuesday, dozens of people showed up to volunteer for cleaning duty and adopters arrived to take pets home.  Assistance is still needed:

There is no way to currently donate online or via credit card, but Gilstrap expects that to be available by the end of the week.

Anyone who would like to donate money, time or items can do so at the shelter at 2170 Old Sattler Road in Canyon Lake, or call CLASS at 830-899-2527.

Thank you once again to the so-called irresponsible public for helping shelter pets get the care they need.  I’d hate to think of a world without all you damn irresponsible people in it.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

21 thoughts on “The Public Steps In to Help Neglected Shelter Pets in Comal Co

  1. I looked up the mailing address for this shelter, in case anyone wants to mail a donation:

    2170 Old Sattler Rd.
    Canyon Lake, TX 78133

  2. Cruelty and money issues – sounds like criminal charges are not only appropriate, they’re LONG overdue.

    I hope they get put away for a long, long time. Thank goodness for the irresponsible public, once again.

  3. Thank you for your comment, YesBiscuit, but allow me to clarify: the volunteers are begging people to NOT donate directly to C.L.A.S.S. The volunteers say that they have no access to that money. They’re setting up a P O Box to receive your donation. If you can help, please ask the volunteers at their Facebook page where you can send your donation. Thank you!

    Of course, I believe the volunteers. If C.L.A.S.S. would spend your donations wisely, they would never have allowed this shelter to be THIS out of control. You don’t want to give money to people who couldn’t even give animals fresh water. =(

    1. The article states the CLASS board and all employees have been terminated. Is that inaccurate? I am not stupid and obviously wouldn’t encourage anyone to donate to people under investigation for theft. The article indicates none of the people under investigation have access to the shelter anymore, on order of the sheriff. Is that inaccurate?

      1. Hopefully someone in power will grant them access to the CLASS funds soon, but right now they can’t access them.

      2. I was going to send some pet food via Amazon but if they are claiming they will call the people under investigation in to pick it up instead of feeding it to the shelter pets, obviously I won’t be doing that. Absurd.

  4. I love these examples of the irresponsible public stepping in when they know there is a problem. I realize our jails are overcrowded, but jail time might be a deterrent to others who are paid to care for helpless animals.

  5. I’d love to see more of the “fiefdoms” that so many animal shelters seem to have become so publicly and completely overthrown by such as these “irresponsible public” figures — way to go, citizens of Comal County!!!

  6. I am so heartened by this blog post! YAY for the citizens indeed. THIS is what it takes for change to come. Citizen involvement and responsibility and follow through. Waiting to hear more as this story unfolds!

  7. Good on the ‘irresponsible public” ! So good to see people step up and also that there were actual consequences for this neglect and malfeasance.

  8. Both revolting and hopeful. Thank you for the story and thank you to the citizens who cared enough to make a difference in the miserable lives of these helpless victims.

  9. The good thing is, the animals are all being well taken care of now, they have clean kennels everyday, fed clean food, and have clean water. The sick are being attended to, thanks to some very kind volunteer vets, the entire place is having a make over, thanks to the generousity of Home Depot, it will soon be a Class A shelter. It has already transformed. It is that they are all so overwhelmed with all they are finding as they dig into the paper work or lack of.
    God Bless them all

  10. Please visit our web site to see the animals our rescue group placed at the shelter between Sept and April when fosters could not be found. We paid large intake fees and were promised many things and now the animals and their records are missing. All animals were healthy and loving and had received vet care prior to being taken to the shelter. Please print our flyer and post everywhere you can. Thank you. Rhonda Heffernan –Animal Safety League of Northeast Harris County.

  11. At least 20 Home Depot employees with their trademark orange T-shirts were doing whatever needed to be done Thursday at the troubled Canyon Lake Animal Shelter, just off Old Sattler Road.

    Louie Tuttle, who manages the Home Depot at Highway 281 and Evans Road said he put out the call for volunteers when his wife told him about the situation.

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