Animal rights activist denounces suspected neglect at shelter



LAREDO, Texas (KGNS) – Heartbreaking images of animals who died or appear neglected at the town of Laredo’s animal care services surfaced on Tuesday and it sparked a firestorm of animal lovers who are upset by the conditions of refuge.

City says it will no longer be welcoming animals and a new supervisor has been appointed, but is that enough?

An activist group says Laredo and the state of Texas need to see the big picture.

Studies show that every 60 seconds an animal in the United States is abused or neglected.

Gov. Greg Abbott has just vetoed a bill known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act that would have made it illegal to chain dogs and leave them without clean water, adequate shade and shelter .

Here at home, the town’s facilities have been criticized for the current animal housing conditions, but some groups say the Lareadoans should do more to help in this difficult battle.

“As you can see here, we have an animal cruelty case,” said Angie Ancira. “They were full of fleas and ticks.”

For the past 8 years, Angie Ancira has worked diligently to save as many cats and dogs as possible around Laredo, but it’s a complicated process.

“I don’t work for the shelter, I don’t get paid. I only do what I can, I am always in transport, you can see I have a van full of animals that must have come from Laredo.

Ancira and the other members of the Pattes rescue team on board are looking for foster families and transporting up to sixty animals at a time, all on a volunteer basis.

She took a group of animals to the state capital and to the Austin Pets Alive Rescue and Advocacy group.

The town of Laredo’s animal care services have come under scrutiny after photos were posted online suggesting neglect, but advocates say the community should share the blame as well.

“I don’t see any volunteers, we are all the same. We are doing what we can. We save as much as we can. The community must secure the gates and help these poor animals – your own animals run the streets in danger.

Ancira and others want the Laredoans to know that animals should never be thrown away or taken for granted.

“Any pet in general is definitely a commitment,” said Selina Costabella, of Best Friends For Life. “They have feelings, they have needs that must be met. You need to make sure that you are following the health records for them. They need their annual shots and yes that is definitely a huge responsibility. You also need to make sure they are getting proper nutrition. “

“It’s not easy, folks, it’s not easy, but that’s what we do. It’s very hard, but people don’t recognize what the rescuers are doing for the shelter. If we didn’t have rescue organizations, what do you think will happen to the animals? They are going to be euthanized and we are against that. If you’re against it, do something about it. Look for the solution, not the problem.

KGNS met a family who wanted to volunteer at the facility, but they were turned down.

Anyone wishing to volunteer or become employed by the shelter should go to the town hall in the city center and go to the human resources department to make a request.

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 people have signed an online petition calling on the town of Laredo to fire Karina Elizondo.

Elizondo was acting director of animal care services, but was removed from his post earlier this week.

KGNS has contacted Elizondo for comment, but we have not heard back from her.

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