CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Lack of staffing and limited holding space can be a common problem for animal shelters but for Refugio County Animal Control, they are having to work with very minimal resources.
The county only employs two animal control workers who cover the whole county and in 2022, they collected over 400 stray animals.
This year alone, the Refugio County Sheriff’s Department has received 144 animal related calls.
However, Refugio County Judge Poynter believes the county could do more if surrounding cities partner with the county to help mitigate the problem.
When KRIS 6 News asked Judge Poynter what the county is doing to protect residents from stray animals, she said that they are working on enforcing city ordinances and leash laws.
"I think the cities need to be tasked with a lot of the responsibility in making sure that the Animals Control Officers have the resources we need to accomplish those goals,” she said.
Poynter said that the issue is that they do not have enough space to house the stray animals that are found in the county.
Due to the lack of space that the Animal Control has, they are housing the strays at the Woodsboro landfill and the kennels are only able to house a small number of strays before running out of space.
“(The county) has two available dog kennels and when I say kennels, I am not referring to kennel like the building. I’m talking about two kennel spaces enough to accommodate two dogs,” she said.
Poynter said that Animal Control officers are working around the clock to be able to maintain the demand for the counties animal’s needs.
“They technically work an eight-hour day like anyone else, but on top of that when there is emergency situations, they are out at two and three o’clock in the morning to various corners of this county,” she said.
Judge Poynter said the county has limited space due to the lack of funding the county is receiving.
“I would say given the current budget and the way the budget has looked for the past several years, I think that the two officers is what we can accommodate,” she said.
Judge Poynter plans on creating a community task force to come up with solutions to this problem.