CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — After receiving an increased amount of calls related to stray animals within Corpus Christi’s West Side, and a KRIS 6 News reporter capturing video of what appears to be a stray mother and her two puppies roaming around in traffic, the city’s Animal Care Services Department said this apparent increase in stray animals isn’t specific to that area.
“It’s kind of like the same place everywhere,” said Animal Care Services Program Manager Joel Skidmore. “There’s not one certain area that has a higher volume for calls and the other.”
However, a problem that the area does present is just how many owned dogs are able to freely walk around the area — many of them without a collar.
“Most of the roaming dogs are owned,” he said. “That’s not to say that there aren’t actual strays, but most of the roaming dogs are indeed owned. And the officers go through steps to try to identify ownership.”
Although he personally keeps his dogs within a gate, Andres Luis, who lives near the 3400 block of Bluebonnet Drive, agrees that most of the animals within the area are owned.
“They’re not really strays, the majority of them,” Luis said, adding that many dogs are out right now because of some females being in heat. “They don’t bother nobody — they really don’t.”
Other residents in the area were apprehensive to talk due to fear that the animals could be picked up and euthanized. Skidmore assures that’s a measure that doesn’t happen often.
“The animals that are euthanized are too sick, too injured or have a behavior issue which makes them a danger to the public, and we, as ACS, will not put them back out into the public,” he said.
A local rescue, too, assures the community that Animal Care Services is only trying to help.
“I think they should give them a little more trust," said Easy’s Rescue of Corpus Christi Director of Operations Michelle Bono-Wostal. “Animal Care Services is not — they’re not the devil out here — they really aren’t. I have dealt with him personally and they do, they focus on the care of the animal at that time.”
Still, Bono-Wostal believes that the West Side has been subject to an increased amount of strays since she began rescuing animals in Nueces county in August.
“It’s increased a lot,” she said. “I’ve run across probably at least 10 different strays in different areas a day in different spots in the West Side here. A lot of them over by the Comanche-Port area.
“There’s strays. People are dumping dogs off. People get them this time of year as puppies and this time next year, you’re going to see them dogs out in the streets. Because people: they grow up, they’re not puppies no more.”
People such as Luis and Bono-Wostal agree that these animals themselves are not much of a threat. In some instances, the community works to feed them. Luis said, that something that’s close to his heart.
Skidmore said owners who want to get licenses for their pets can do so by visiting the ACS website.