SAN ANTONIO – As temperatures drop, the number of calls regarding animal neglect or abuse cases has increased.
On Tuesday, Animal Care Services responded to an animal rescue case involving 11 dogs found outside chained without access to shelter from the freezing temperatures.
ACS Special Operations manager Lt. Bethany Snowden said cruelty investigators are constantly busy and are handed new cases daily. She said they’ve had 317 cases of neglect just this week alone.
During normal weather conditions, they respond to almost 100 calls daily.
“Everybody is out in the field today to try to get as many of those calls knocked down, but on days like this, we do get overwhelmed with those numbers,” said Snowden.
Another rescue organization southwest of San Antonio in Von Ormy is also experiencing a high volume of calls this week.
God’s Dogs Rescue CEO Julianne Marchbanks said it’s more than just neglect cases adding to the problem.
“We’re always overwhelmed, and it’s been worse the last year and a half. A lot of people wanting to turn in their dogs or sending the dogs back that they’ve adopted from us — it’s been really hard,” Marchbanks said.
At the God’s Dogs primary location, there are about 180 dogs who have either been abused, abandoned, or neglected. They have over 600 dogs in their care as a rescue.
Marchbanks says the number of dogs needing help is a problem here in Texas.
“Texas is number two in the number of strays and euthanized animals in the United States. So, yes, it is fairly unique to Texas,” said Marchbanks.
She said several factors contribute to this widespread problem, mainly the lack of empathy.
“We do have an epidemic. It’s a lack of spay and neuter and a lack of being responsible for the animals that belong to you,” Marchbanks said.
Both organizations urge the community to help by either fostering or adopting.
God’s Dogs Rescue is currently in major need of winter items to help keep the dogs warm. If you would like to help by fostering, adopting, or donating items visit www.godsdogsrescue.org.
To report a suspected animal abuse or neglect case, call the City of San Antonio’s customer service hotline at 311.
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