SAN ANTONIO -

The drought has taken a toll on landscapes and in turn the wildlife.

Steve Monistere came home one day to find a starving deer in his yard.

"I'm trying to put the lettuce in its mouth and all of the sudden it stops breathing right there in my arms," Monistere said.

That was just the start of his problems.

His house is for sale so he dragged it into a drainage culvert and kept calling the city to come pick it up.

"Every day, morning and afternoon, I get a promise, 'Sir, they'll be out to get it,'" Monistere said. "There's kids around it, there's other animals, buzzards, my dogs, my cats."

Seven days later, the deer was still there, so he called the KSAT-12 Defenders investigative team.

The Defenders got in touch with the city's solid waste department and the deer was picked up within hours.

The city said it averages 2,700 calls for dead animals each month and tries to get to them as quickly as possible.

Solid Waste Department Assistant Director Josephine Valencia said she does not know what happened in this case.

"If it was on public property we should have gotten it right away," Valencia said. "Not sure what happened there."

Valencia said if crews do not find an animal they do not follow up with residents. That could change in the future.

"I do appreciate this opportunity because it's given us a chance to kind of review our policies and our follow up procedures," Valencia said.

The city also wants to remind residents that its crews cannot go onto private property to retrieve dead animals.

They must all be taken to the curb.