Photos sent to The Karnes Countywide show what appear to be two dead dogs in a pen adjacent to another pen in which a live dog was being kept. According to the person who sent the photos, the dogs had no food or water, there were puppies that looked too weak or sick to stand and the smell at the facility is unbearable.
Comments posted online in response to the photos expressed outrage and was reported on by online media source examiner.com.
“This is horrible!” one person posted in response to the photos. “These dogs need immediate help!”
According to City Manager Ford Patton, it is not unusual for dogs to die while in the animal control facility and often this is because they are in such poor condition when they are picked up by city employees.
“It is very seldom, do we ever pick up healthy animals,” Patton said. “Virtually all of the animals that we have received have been abandoned by owners or have been left to wander the streets searching for food.”
Resources are limited, Patton explained, with a total annual budget for animal control set at $71,000, which is typical for a city the size of Kenedy.
Currently, the facility is not set up for adoption of pets, but instead is focused on animal control, Patton explained.
“The photos are disturbing if you don’t know some of the background behind it,” Patton said.
Patton said that the large dog in the photo had been abandoned by its owner and was tied to a gate at the animal control facility. That dog had been cared for until May 21 when the dog was released to the owner after fees were paid.
The two smaller dogs in the pen adjacent to the larger dog’s pen were picked up on May 13 and were not in good condition when they were picked up. The dogs were given food and water on a daily basis, Patton said.
On May 21, the dogs appeared to be in a weak condition, but still alive, he said.
“The following morning, Tuesday, May 22, the animals were found to have died overnight,” Patton said. “The animals were immediately disposed of.”
Patton said it was only a matter of hours that the dogs had been dead before being properly disposed of.
Information attached to the photos, however, suggests a slightly different timeline, indicating that the dogs were already dead when the photos were taken on May 20.
“I have pets myself,” Patton said. “It is always disturbing to me that people have animals, be they dogs or cats, and they just aren’t cared for.”
“We would always like to do better, and no doubt there is some room for improvement, but there is only so much that we can do.”