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Roach infestation causes San Angelo Animal Shelter to close temporarily

San Angelo Animal Shelter announces plan for temporary closure because of roach infestation and how it plans to fix the problem.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Residents looking to adopt a pet might normally take a trip to the San Angelo Animal Shelter. But there, they’ll find a sign that reads "Closed for pest treatment, no entry."

The City of San Angelo recently announced its animal shelter will be closing temporarily because of cockroaches at the facility. 

“German roaches are just the most prolific breeders, they are the toughest to eradicate if that ever does become an issue in your household or your facility,” Assistant Director of Neighborhood and Family Services, Morgan Chegwidden, said. 

Pest infestation is a new issue the shelter is facing. 

“It’s something we’ve never battled in the past, this specific pest,” Chegwidden said. 

But, what caused the roach infestation in the first place? Chegwidden asked one of the shelter’s vendors who provides pest control services what might have been the cause.

“It is likely coming in on your shipments so when we get a big delivery of food from a vendor in the mail or from picking up from a vendor they're like, you need to open it outside. They unfortunately just live in warehouses. They eat the glue in cardboard boxes,” Chegwidden said. 

Chegwidden said the roaches started appearing several weeks ago and staff at the shelter made efforts to treat the pests using pet-friendly products. But, those efforts were unsuccessful, which led to the decision to move out of the shelter and schedule a treatment. 

During the treatment process, animals and staff will need to be out of the shelter. Even after the animals move back in, continuous treatment will continue to make sure the roaches are completely gone. 

“One-hundred-twenty dogs were able to stay here on the premises, we do not have this problem in our general kennels,” Chegwidden said. 

Chegwidden said more than 60 animals have gone to short-term foster. More than 30 animals have gone to rescue transports to receiving agencies and about 20 animals have been adopted. 

“I’m housing about 30 or 40 dogs at a temporary staging location where they are getting the normal care they would get here at the shelter,” Chegwidden said. 

Since the shelter believe it knows where the roaches came from, the plan is to treat them and prevent an infestation from happening again. 

“Not bring any kind of cardboard or anything that these kind of germ and roaches really like and we’ll just keep that outside and send it straight out in our trash and it will never come into the building,” Chegwidden said.

The San Angelo Animal Shelter will be closed temporarily from Friday, Sept.1 to Tuesday, Sept. 5. for the pest control treatment. 

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