County animal control facility construction to begin

Atascosa County will begin construction in April on a much-needed animal control facility, northwest of Jourdanton on FM 162.

Atascosa County Judge Bob Hurley stated that the need for this shelter has been on his heart since his days on the Pleasanton City Council. He said that when he became county judge, he made this shelter a top priority. “I found great support from Commissioner Torans and all of the commissioners,” said Hurley. “Sheriff Soward has been very supportive of this process, too. And I must say, the citizens of Atascosa County are fabulous in their support. We have found a great project manager in Lt. Henry Dominguez. I thank them all and could not be more pleased to see this very good thing happen for the citizens of Atascosa County.”

Lt. Henry Dominguez, project manager of the shelter said, “Atascosa County has strived hard to establish a much needed and highly anticipated animal control facility. Our county leaders’ dedication to providing quality public service and addressing our citizens needs were heard and answered. I have done extensive research in developing a state of the art facility that not only looks good but is very efficient. We have dedicated countless hours in the design phase of our facility and we feel confident that we have achieved our goals.”

Dominguez shared that for years dogs and cats were dumped on county roads or in driveways only to meet agonizing deaths. He said that for too long good hearted citizens have fed those abandoned animals in an attempt to help but ended up being responsible for an animal they could not keep.

“Our animal control facility shall serve as a central hub of humanitarian quality animal care and control for Atascosa County. Our primary duties will be to control the overpopulation of stray and abandoned dogs and cats within our unincorporated areas of Atascosa County.”

Dominguez said that the facility will strive to save as many animals as possible. It will also serve as an education and adoption center for Atascosa County. Special services will include mobile spay and neuter programs, low cost rabies events and responsible pet owner educational programs. To save tax payers money, volunteers will be utilized as will community service personnel to help supplement staffing needs.

The shelter will have adoptable dogs and cats for the public to rescue. It will also partner with non-profit animal rescue organizations to establish a ‘shelter-to-shelter’ transfer once an adoptable animal has reached its maximum time limited. The goal is to save as many animals as possible either through adoptions or rescue groups. The shelter will also be responsible for animal cruelty investigations. The objective is to investigate and criminally prosecute anybody that abuses horses, dogs or cats.

Animal control vehicles will be clearly marked so that citizens can see the vehicles in the community. The animal control officers will be fully certified along with being Certified Texas Peace Officers. New county wide animal control ordinances will set the standards for responsible pet ownership. “We plan on establishing laws to help regulate nuisance dogs, excessive barking and foul smells, running-at-large dogs, animal hoarding and dangerous dogs. This should help with the quality of life for not only our citizens but also for our pets,” said Dominguez.

“I am excited to embark on this endeavor and invite our citizens to visit our facility (once it opens) and witness first-hand the result of our county leaders hard work and dedication to the citizens of Atascosa County.”

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