A new temporary policy adopted by Arkansas Pass (Texas) City Manager Sylvia Carrillo is drawing a lot of attention, including death threats. KRIS News reported the story on July 8.
The policy, which involves Aransas Pass Animal Control, was implemented on June 20. The story is just now making headlines, and a lot of people are enraged. Under the new policy, APAC will euthanize stray animals picked up by animal control if no one claims the dog or cat within three days. The city says it’s their job to control the stray pet population, not to run an adoption center. Carrillo stated to Action10 News:
“We have, in the last five years…steered away from our mission. Our mission is animal control, and that is controlling the animal population. Which means our primary goal should be euthanization. We have not planned accordingly or budgeted accordingly. Without the assistance of our local (veterinarians), which nobody has really stepped up, we have to go back to euthanization.”
Carrillo goes on to say an “efficient” animal control euthanizes at least every other day, if not every day, to curb the stray pet population. At this time they don’t even have an officer to do euthanizations. Carol Crockett, former AC officer, was suspended without pay and later resigned. Dr. Neal Floerke, a veterinarian from the neighboring City of Taft, is performing Aransas Pass’ animal euthanasia until a new AC officer can be hired.. Floerke is a board member for the San Patricio County SPCA, which practices TNR.The problem comes down to money. Animal Control has too many animals to care for and not enough funds to do the job. The city has discussed upping monthly fees to residents, but residents don’t want to fork out the money until the current policy is changed. Residents refuse to be a part of killing thousands of animals each year. The fee could run as low as $5 per year for each resident.
Carrillo hopes once the SPCA builds a facility more animals can be saved. She also admits euthanizing healthy animals on a daily basis would be difficult, but it’s part of the job. The new facility is reported to be a no-kill shelter, and will help with the adoption of dogs and cats. No information available at this time on when the new shelter is scheduled to become a reality.
Carrillo admits AC has problems with lack of funds, insufficient veterinary care, improper paperwork, and loose adoption polices. Recently a dog adopted out died of parvo. She states this could happen again and again with proper procedures and vet care. In Carillo’s opinion, it would be better to kill healthy pets rather than risk a heartbroken child after the pet the family adopted dies from illness.
News flash, Carrillo! Shelters operate every day accepting that death from illness isn’t 100% preventable. There are too many problems with the three day kill rule. What if a family is on vacation and their pet escapes? This policy sets Aransas Pass up for a lawsuit. As it turns out, the new policy itself may be illegal. City Ordinance states as many animals as possible should be adopted out.
On July 7, City Council had a standing room only crowd when animal advocates from all over South Texas voiced their opinion. The city plans to charge and prosecute anyone making death threats against Carrillo.
Personally, I thought animal control was put in place to keep the public they represented safe from rabies. It appears Aransas Pass needs a lesson in humanity. Euthanizing healthy dogs and cats is called murder. Other communities come up with solutions to raise money to help the dogs and cats in their care. You’re blowing it on this one, Carrillo and City Council.
Readers, what do you think? Shouldn’t the number one job of animal control be to pick up strays and reunite them with their owners, or adopt them out if necessary? Please leave a comment.