City shelter temporarily suspends intake of animals

Suspending intake is a common practice when shelters are at capacity
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 5:51 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 10:11 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - John Orfila Jr., the public works director, will take over the position of Karina Elizondo, who was serving as the interim director at the Laredo Animal Care Services Facility.

The switch in command is a result of some disturbing images that surfaced online and created shock waves in the community.

Some of the pictures in the video above might be upsetting.

“During the council meeting we heard what had happened- we immediately took off to the shelter, assessed the situation, grabbed hold of things because people who worked there, they worked all night and they will continue to work into the night,” said Orfila.

It’s work that’s too late for some animals who have lost their lives at the city facility.

Troubling photos appeared online during a city council meeting that prompted immediate reaction.

The dates of the images, however, have not been confirmed.

“I’m asking the city manager to initiate an investigation to images that were sent to us and posted on social media,” said Councilman Alberto Torres, Jr. “I’m asking that a thorough investigation be conducted.”

The city has already partnered with the sheriff’s office to develop a program that will have inmates helping to clean the facilities in the future.

Sadly, the outcome for any pets taken to the shelter now remains bleak.

“So, when people are dropping off their animals currently, they’re making a decision the doctor must look at the animals and they must be put down,” said City Manager Robert Eads.

“Rescuing isn’t just about taking the animal in, it’s about vaccinating them, taking care of them, spay and neuter them, everybody can afford to spay and neuter one,” said Carol Leyendecker.

The city manager points out the halt to intakes has been practiced in other cities like San Antonio and can avoid mass euthanasia.

“What we have to realize is that when we are receiving 800 animals in a shelter that normally receives 500, that has shelter for 184-185 animals, the math doesn’t work.”

“The problem will be assessed and will not happen again. I can guarantee that what we need are people to get to applying. Nobody has applied for these positions for months now- we have no applications.”

The city is extending an invitation for people to apply to be kennel workers, someone who can help keep conditions sanitary at the shelter.

They’re looking for more than ten employees, you just need to be 18 years of age- no experience or high school diploma is necessary.

The position pays $13.50 an hour.

The city animal shelter is operating at above capacity with limited staff after shutting down due to the pandemic.

Laredo Animal Care Services is hopeful that this issue will motivate the community to support the shelter by adopting more pets.