San Antonio woman advocates for abandoned dogs

Animal Care Services cruelty officers stay busy with reported cases

A woman has found so many abandoned dogs on the East side that she now carries a bag of dog food with her wherever she goes.

Her job often puts her at rental properties soon after the tenants have moved out and, all too often, she said, the family leaves without the family pet.

"It's really heartbreaking, because they have no way to survive or take care of themselves unless their humans take care of them," she said.

The most recent dog she found was left behind on Lincolnshire. The pit mix was chained in the backyard with no food or water.

Animal Care Services has just four cruelty specialists to investigate all the cases that are reported.

Audra Houghton responded to the call for the dog on Lincolnshire.

"We're busy all the time and every month we do receive a fair number of abandonment calls," Houghton said.

So far this year, ACS has filed charges in almost 40 criminal cases for animal cruelty. They've investigated many more.

In fact, Houghton said the majority of abandonment cases don't fit the legal description. If a dog is left behind but still being cared for, it's not considered abandoned.

ACS does consider the dog recently found on Lincolnshire to be abandoned. They took him to the shelter to gain wait and get medical treatment, and his owner could face jail time and a fine of up to $2,000.

The woman who found him wishes more owners could be held responsible for abandoning their pets.

"It saddens me to go home every day and think about them being out here alone," she said.


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