ROCKPORT, Texas — As frigid winter weather was forecast for South Texas, employees at a residential trash service in Aransas County were looking for ways to help their community.
Melissa Esquivel, operations manager for Coastal Bend Waste, saw several Facebook posts with people concerned about the feral cat populations throughout the county.
Then the Aransas County Animal Control posted a link with instructions on how to make a feral cat shelter.
With only a day before the freeze was set to arrive, Esquivel and co-workers set to making as many shelters as they could.
They were able to create ten shelters before the freeze arrived, she said.
"We had a lot of people responding," Esquivel said. "It was a really great program and we’re hoping we’re going to be able to expand on it next year."
She said the cat shelters are just one example of using what is available to help out where there is a need, and it's something that Aransas County residents do often.
"Times are really tough and we were really thrown off guard with things that have happened recently here in Aransas County," Esquivel said. "No water at this point. Sewer facilities are not operating. A lot of people without power. There are some of us who have those things.
"And, if we look at it, we each have something we can provide. And, even if it’s very little to us, then it’s a big thing to someone else. We did it through Harvey, we’re doing it through COVID, and we’re going to do it again. It’s just a matter of looking at what we have available to us and what we’re capable of sharing. We’re Rockport strong. We’re Texas strong."
She said the biggest reward in creating the cat shelters was getting to meet Cattacino, a feral cat that is popular with the customers of the Quick & Save on Market Street in Rockport.
The company wants to help businesses and residents. They can call 361-941-3044 or reach out to the company on Facebook. The company is currently looking into initiatives to help businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
"The message we have to folks is, we want to help," Esquivel said.