What do you do with a stray dog in Bexar County? | Barky Supplies Expert Tips

What do you do with a stray dog in Bexar County?

SAN ANTONIO β€” When Aaron Shamberger found a dog running around in a friend’s yard, he tried to do what’s best for it.

He took the dog in, fed it, and tried to integrate it with the dogs he already had. When that didn’t work, he started calling animal shelters and rescues to find a place for it and drove to two of them, going as far as Bulverde.

“I don’t want to take it to a kill shelter. I spent some time with the dog and the dog… he is a nice dog,” Shamberger said.

He hasn’t found a place yet.

Penny Laflam with the Bulverde Area Humane Society said they’ve had no room for dogs for a while and it’s likely the same story everywhere else.

In three days we’ve had a total of 61 dog requests into our shelter. Five years ago that would have been the total number of requests for a whole year,” Laflam said.

So what should a person do when they come across a stray dog? While there are no good answers, there are a few tougher options available.

Take the dog in and look for no-kill shelters or foster options

Laflam said it is unrealistic to think you could pick up a dog and find a place for it in the same day. She said it might take a week of calling people to find a no-kill shelter or foster option. Before a person picks up a dog, they should consider whether they can keep it for that long.

If they are going to be taking this dog they need to really put forth effort into finding it a home,” Laflam said. People need to have in their mind they will have the dog for at least a week.”

Make an attempt to look for the dog’s owner, or give it a chance to get home

While San Antonio Animal Care Services will take animals, because they are required to do so, residents need to understand that animals can be euthanized in their system in less than a week. ACS Chief Operations Officer Bethany Colonnese told KENS 5 they are required to make room in the shelter, even though they don’t want to.

“As much as we do not want to euthanize another animal who is waiting for placement, we have to keep going unfortunately. The conundrum is, ‘how do we make space for public safety calls without euthanasia?'” Colonnese said.

Colonnese said ACS would currently advise people to try and find the owner if they come across a dog that they suspect would belong to someone.

“Can you hold onto it until you can find their home. If not, leave the animal in the area where you found it because it is likely going to go home,” Colonnese said.

Still call ACS in some situations

ACS is required to take animals. While euthanasia is possible, some animal advocates say you should still call them. Laflam said dogs may be sick or injured and leaving them out on the road could lead to a life of suffering.

“They can starve, they can be hit by a car, crawl off and die a slow death or get some sort of disease. Or they can become pack animals,” Laflam said. It keeps getting worse because most of the dogs being dumped are not spayed or neutered”

Laflam said some stray dogs are reproducing and simply compounding the problem to the point that it is unmanageable.

She said more spay and neuter options could help the problem, but a state rule pausing dog breeding or a requirement that people get adopt dogs instead of buying from breeders would also be extremely helpful.

“I think the state of Texas can do better,” Laflam said.


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