Posted: Nov 1, 2012 7:20 PM
Updated: Nov 1, 2012 7:40 PM
WESLACO - A Weslaco pet owner said he is concerned about the way the city handles stray animals. He said he had problems getting into the animal shelter to look for his cat.
The odds are not good for dogs or cats that end up at the animal shelter. 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.
"I got the run around the whole day," Ed Rodriguez said. He lost his cat recently. He has yet to find his pet.
He never got inside the shelter to see if his cat was in one of the cages. Workers answered his questions by telephone.
"They ... asked me what the color of my pet was. ... Once they determined that they just basically told me, ‘not it's not here,'" he said.
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.
Most unclaimed animals are euthanized in three to seven days.
"If they find a pet within a general area they'll go in there. They'll leave door tags where they think it's from ... give the owners ample time to come in an claim the pet if they can at that time," Joe Pedraza said. He is with the Weslaco Health Department.
Weslaco officials said they've saved more than $46,000 since they set up their own shelter. They are making plans to expand the facility so people can adopt some of the animals.