May 16, 2013 6:05 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Tony Hartwell of Flour Bluff needs some help taking 37 cats and 24 dogs off his hands. Animal Control told him this week he has way more animals than a city ordinance allows. The limit is 6 animals per household.
Rather than seizing all of the animals at once officials are allowing him to try to find them homes on his own.
All of the animals are packed inside a three bedroom home on Polaris Place. There are dogs living in the hallways and two bedrooms.
The cats are in another room where the radio stays on all day long as they relax or play with toys.
In the next room you'll find quite a few noisy dogs. There are more in the garage and backyard.
Hartwell says he buys 6-12 gallons of bleach on a regular basis so he can keep the home clean. He's also spending at least $100 a month on litter and cat food.
Funds for dog food come from donations to the Coastal Bend Small Breed Rescue Operation where he works.
"I cannot give you their names, but I got judges, lawyers, and doctors that have donated hundreds of dollars to help to get their shots every year or to get their city tags," Hartwell tells us.
He's dedicated 5 years of his life to the animals. Hartwell has some health issues of his own, but says the animals given him strength to keep going.
"The only thing they care about is that you love them. And if you give them the love, which is the greatest gift you can give these animals, in return you will get that gift back.. that's what they give me... the love.. back."
Commander Todd Green, who oversees Animal Control, tells us the city simply does not have the space to take in the animals. Officials are concerned that not all the animals have their shots or licenses, despite what Hartwell says.
If you're interested in adopting any of these animals, give Hartwell a call at 904-3792. The cost is $50 per dog and $25 per cat or kitten.