CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Multiple Corpus Christi citizens expressed their concern to KRIS 6 News about dogs left out in the cold this week.
Abigail Rosenberg was walking her dogs on Tuesday, when a neighbor approached her about help with a dog tied to a fence a few yards down. Rosenberg went to a neighbor’s backyard and observed the dog.
“I can’t imagine leaving my dogs out in these freezing temperatures,” she said.
Rosenberg said she went to Corpus Christi Animal Care Services and called in a report on the dog, but was concerned that the dog was still outside.
Joel Skidmore, the program manager for CCACS, said his officers were dispatched to check on the dog on Thursday. When they arrived at the home, the owners weren’t home, and officers are unable to go on private property to check for animals, and cannot act if they do not have a sight line on the dog.
“If we can’t see the dog, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there, it doesn’t mean the violations the citizens are calling in doesn’t exist. At the time, we can only enforce what we can see,” he said.
Across town, Keri Morales and Casey Boyd have had similar concerns about a dog for several days.
“We’re just average people in the community trying to make a difference for these animals,” Morales said.
They were both alerted about the dog on social media. Thursday into Friday, the two each placed several calls to the city, and said they were bounced between CCPD and CCACS. They’re frustrated with the city’s response to their concerns.
“This little ad came out on social media that said (the City was) ready for the freeze. That they were going to be fining people, that dogs were going to be seized if dogs were not in good conditions. That’s what we expected, that’s what the city said they were going to supply,” Boyd said.
The two continued calls into the night, and said they were willing to come out and "cause a ruckus" to get the dog taken care of. They were told by operators if they did the police would be dispatched.
“That’s what we wanted, we wanted law enforcement out here,” Morales said. “Do your job so we don’t have to make a scene,” Boyd added.
Skidmore said his officers were busy responding to calls Thursday night into Friday morning, and the calls were added to the response queue.
He said officers arrived at the home and were unable to contact the dog’s owners and could not see the dog. Through Morales’ and Boyd’s persistence, officers were dispatched back to the house later in the evening, and the owners were issued citations, and officers made sure the dog was brought inside.
“As soon as we did respond and see the violation, we made contact with the owner, we issued a citation, we gave them education about what could happen if it reoccurs,” Skidmore said.
Skidmore said people often express their concerns about officers arriving to a call and not being able to do anything. He said documenting issues can help officers do their job.
“If they are able to provide pictures, that just solidifies what the claim was that there was a violation, not that we don’t believe them. Just having visual proof, visual evidence, helps support the call that came in,” he said.
Although CCACS was able to address neighbors’ concerns, Morales and Boyd say they are still worried about the dog's well being.
“We would just like to know, tonight, the temperatures are going to be cold again. What is going to happen with this particular dog?” Morales asked.