SAN ANGELO, Texas — San Angelo has been known for having an influx of stray cats and dogs roaming the streets. It is important to know how to handle a stray when you encounter one.
Petpedia.com reports more than six million stray pets enter animal shelters across the United States annually. The City of San Angelo's Facebook page reports found pets every day.
When someone sees a stray animal on the street, San Angelo Animal Services supervisor Carlos Carrillo suggests some things to avoid.
“We do not suggest anyone to try and pick up the dog or cat because they might bite you out of fear. Also don’t feed the animal because it might expect you to continue to feed it and stay around your property,” Carrillo said.
Worse case scenario could be a dog is chasing someone, in this case, if the situation is severe, call 9-1-1.
Western Veterinary Hospital owner Dr. Gary Hodges said he gets about 30 calls at his animal hospital about stray dogs walking through the streets. He says it has been worse than ever over the last few years.
“We have a lot of stray cats and dogs people bring in from the highway or even in their front yard. Some dogs are even hit by cars or sick because of being outside and that’s when we step in to take care of them,” Hodges said.
Texas and California have the lowest save rates. According to the animal euthanasia statistics in both states, less than 75% of shelter animals are rehomed.
San Angelo Animal Services has a plethora of dogs and cats ready for adoption. Contrary to some belief, they do not put down any animals. In April 2016, the City adopted a no-kill initiative with the goal of decreasing the number of animals euthanized. A community is defined as no-kill if 90% or greater of animals leave the municipal shelter alive.
Here are a few options to take when you might find a stray animal in the streets.
If you have lost a pet:
Register your pet's picture at findingrover.com.
Call your microchip company to verify your contact information is current. If you microchip through the City, contact 24PetWatch at 866-597-2424.
If you have found a pet:
Post a picture/description on the local lost and found website helpmegethome.com.
Scan for microchip at a veterinarian or animal services.
Lastly, call San Angelo Animal Services at 325-657-4224 to handle the stray animal in the way they’re trained.