Rise in stray dogs overwhelming Valley shelters

1 year 5 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, October 26 2022 Oct 26, 2022 October 26, 2022 5:22 PM October 26, 2022 in News - Local

The stray dog population here in the Valley has grown out of control, and most shelters have been at capacity for months. 

"Dogs on the street, I just can't drive by and not do something," Valley resident Ashli Garza said.

Garza advocates for Valley's furry friends, she has 13 dogs that she has rescued from the streets, but hundreds of other stray dogs walk the streets every day, hungry and looking for love.

Animal control rounds the dogs up, to drop them off at shelters where they will be euthanized if no one claims or adopts them, typically within three days. 

"Everybody is having to euthanize for space right now across the board," Palm Valley Animal Society Director of Operations Faith Wright said. "So it's a bad time to be a dog in the RGV right now." 

Wright thinks the reason there is an increase in stray dogs is because of the pandemic. 

"During covid, there was no spay and neuters, so there were a lot of unwanted litters born and then there were additional animals from that, but also can you get altered and got rehomed," Wright said. "And now they’re grown up as well, so we kind of have two or three years with the animals not being able to be altered due to covid and then just quite honestly just a lack of resources down here."

Some people are dumping their dogs as well, maybe not realizing that it's illegal. 

“We’re seeing a lot of animals that look like they’re very well cared for, afraid that people are calling them strays and just dumping them out on the roads, and that’s really sad right now for us." Wright said.

"We need people to be held accountable," Garza said. "We need laws."

One of the things the community can do to help with this problem is spay and neuter their dogs, so that the dog population won't keep getting out of hand in the Valley. 

“I’ll pay for anyone dogs to get fixed," Garza said. "It makes my life easier, I’m not gonna have to go out there later and rescue the puppies.”

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