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2014-07-03

Dumped dog found dead at pound

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

On Monday, June 30, a dead dog was found in a kennel at the City of Bandera Animal Control Facility. That discovery alone would have been upsetting; however, the story became even more alarming as additional facts were uncovered.
According to volunteer Sandra Schott, the dog had, in fact, not been impounded by an animal control officer, but rather had been dumped at the pound. She discovered the dead dog while stopping by the facility, located off Highway 16 South, on her way to San Antonio. A reward is now been offered for information regarding the incident.
"Someone dumped a young, white German Shepherd dog, estimated to be about eight months old, in one of the kennels. When I arrived, he was already dead," Schott said in an interview. "I am so angry about this." Because it was not immediately apparent what caused the dog's death, Schott expressed concern about the other impounded dogs.
"All of our dogs are now at great risk for whatever this puppy died from, and I am sure the puppy had a rough few last hours," she said. "If the person who dumped this poor animal had just called someone, the dog would have been placed in a quiet quarantined section and taken to a vet. As it was, I'm sure that the other dogs in the surrounding kennels made him last hours very tough."
Although details are understandably sketchy, Schott and city administrators surmise that an unknown person drove into the area, which houses water treatment plant, between 10 am and 3:30 pm; opened up an unlocked dog run; and put the dog inside. "The area is clearly marked 'Authorized Personnel Only'," Schott said. She added that the gate at the back of the pound area, which leads to the water treatment yard, is kept locked, but the empty dog pens in the front are normally unlocked.
"I am still very upset about how this poor puppy had to die," Schott said. "The person who dumped him was most likely someone who lives within the city limits. No one else knows where the pound is located."
She is also convinced that the white shepherd originally had an owner because a blanket was left with the dying dog. "One of the other dogs managed to pull the blanket out of the run and play with it. Now I am worried for the health of that dog."
Although the pup was left with a blanket, there was no water available in the kennel. "It was probably too sick to drink anyway," Schott said. "I assume the dog was nearly dead when they left him in the kennel."
After Schott's discovery, Brian Cummings, who serves as the animal control officer for the city, transported the dog's body to a veterinarian for a necropsy to determine the cause of death - which could be parvo, distemper or even Chagas, all highly contagious diseases, or starvation.
Increasing numbers of Chagas disease in dogs in South and Central Texas certainly raise health concerns. If the dog is found to have the disease, anyone who handled the animal is at risk.
Schott indicated that the tests will also determine how to disinfect the facility and treat dogs that may have been exposed to an infectious disease.
"To dump a dog like this is plain cruelty - whether he was sick or not," Schott said.
According to City Administrator Lamar Schulz, all kennels will now be kept locked to forestall any future incidents of this type. It also might be advisable to install video cameras on the premises.
A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who left the white shepherd to die at the city pound. Anyone with information is asked to call Schott at 858-361-4686, the city marshal's office at 830-796-3765 or the Bandera County Courier at 830-796-9086.