Early in 2012, the city of Weslaco decided to open up its own animal shelter inside the public works building as a cost saving measure. The city had previously contracted with another shelter and estimated it would save a large sum of money by going solo. What they appear to have opened is not actually an animal shelter so much as it is a small mammal killing facility:
Since May, 684 animals have come through the facility. That includes 139 dead animals, 123 opossums, 225 dogs and 197 cats. A total of 490 animals were euthanized. Forty three were claimed by their owners.
That’s a 10% RTO for dogs and cats who came into the facility alive and a 0% adoption rate. A pet’s only chance of getting out of the Weslaco facility alive is if an owner reclaims him. And that’s no easy task.
Pet owner Ed Rodriguez recently lost his cat. He wanted to go into the Weslaco facility to search for his pet but the door is kept locked. He finally got a worker on the phone who asked him what color his cat was and then told him the cat wasn’t there. Mr. Rodriguez never got inside:
Weslaco city officials said the shelter is not fully staffed. Anyone who loses a pet should call 956-973-3123. After that they will need to make an appointment to see if the pet is at the facility.
Animal control officers said it usually takes two to three days to arrange a visit.
Three days to set up an appointment to look for your lost pet. Who hopefully hasn’t been hit by a car, mangled by another animal, is in need of insulin shots or anything at all. Oh and guess how long Weslaco holds pets before they start killing them? Did you guess three days? Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
But wait – because austerity!
Weslaco officials said they’ve saved more than $46,000 since they set up their own shelter.
Oh well yay for saving money, but this is not a “shelter”. You know what helps offset the costs associated with operating an actual animal shelter? Adoption and redemption fees. If anyone in Weslaco cares.
(Thank you Clarice for sending me this link.)