In 2015, Harris County spent $24 million on animal control resources, and now, six years later, it is failing in its mission to house animals in need of a temporary home.
As recently as October, 2020, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo held a press conference to showcase the 50,000 sq. ft. facility that can house up to 525 animals, double that of the previous shelter. The only problem is that the staff and resources needed to bring in strays and provide safe shelter are sorely lacking, leaving residents to deal with potentially dangerous dogs and wild animals.
Citizens are urged to call 311, the line to Animal Control, when they notice a stray animal. Here in Sugar Land, where I live, a call to Animal Control results in an immediate response – as in 15 minutes later, someone shows up to expertly and safely remove the animal. A real life example: my daughter noticed a baby possum dying on the side of the road. She called Animal Control, they arrived moments later, and they euthanized the animal on the spot. It was all over in the span of 15 minutes.
So why must citizens in Alief call repeatedly, over the course of years, about issues regarding stray animals that pose a danger, with their phone calls going unaddressed and leading to public safety issues, animal bites, and property damage?