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Exclusive pictures: Why the animals of Aransas Pass, Texas need your help

New photos, exclusively obtained by this author, and published for the first time today, reveal the dogs and cats in the Aransas Pass, Texas animal control facility who need your help. The city announced it put a “temporary stay on adoptions” so until now, no member of the public has seen these dogs and cats who ended up in the municipal shelter.

Dog in need of home
City of Aransas Pass, Texas, Brooke Ostrom
Puppies in Aransas Pass, Texas municipal shelter
City of Aransas Pass

Here's the deal: Aransas Pass City Manager, Sylvia Carrillo, says in late June she received information that a city employee was adopting out animals to local “hog hunters” for the purposes of dog fighting. While investigating this tip—she learned that was just the tip of the ice burg of problems in the shelter. Carrillo released a City statement saying, “We learned that city staff had been adopting out animals for hunting and fighting purposes. Further, we learned that euthanasia of animals seemed to be occurring only on non-adopted animals or obviously unhealthy animals. Nuisance animals such as opossums, skunks and others were being captured and released back into the city.”

After these shocking revelations Carrillo shut down the shelter and closed adoptions to the public, the statement says, it's so the city can regroup. “It was apparent, our priorities in animal control were backwards and in need of restructuring. In keeping with transparency practices, we felt the need to inform our community of our findings and express our desire to work with animal care organizations in revamping our policies and procedures as they pertain to animal control practices. Further we found that our adoption practices were unsafe and contrary to modern standards; in effect, we were putting other animals and people at risk through the way we adopted out animals. On one occasion, we adopted out a sick animal which later required the new owner put the animal down. Our only option was to revert back to euthanasia as a means of control.”

After community members and animal activists expressed outrage by this announcement, Carrillo announced the city is working to fix the situation. She says it needs more funding to properly run the shelter or needs to find a third party which can administer the operation in a professional manner. So far Aransas Pass received six-thousand dollars in donations, but more money is needed to help with human resources costs and for operations in animal care services such as vet care and vaccinations.

How you can help

Since the animal control facility is closed to the public, and the City is not publicizing animals in its custody for adoption, this author asked Carrillo for pictures of the dogs and cats inside the shelter.

Carrillo agreed, and Aransas Pass social media intern, Brooke Ostrum came to the rescue. Ostrum went to the animal control facility and snapped pictures of the animals inside. All the dogs and cats you see on this slideshow need new homes. If you’re interested you can contact one of the following local rescue groups who can help:

Last Chance Rescue, Ingleside, Texas

Animal Friends of Port Aransas, Texas

In the meantime the City's statement says the municipal shelter is a work in progress. “Animal control is one of those very issues and we remain committed to working on the issue to ensure that we are not forced into euthanizing non-nuisance animals that are otherwise healthy and fit for adoption. If there was one positive that came from this event, that is to-date we’ve received over 13 volunteers whom have stepped up to assist us. Their eagerness to participate and their insight and experience on the topic truly makes progress a foreseeable success for the future of the Aransas Pass Animal Control Department. We are blessed to have these folks step-up to assist us on this endeavor. We look forward to the time we no longer have to be like the majority of cities our size who resort to euthanasia as the only means to animal control.”

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