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Commissioners agree to several changes in animal control policy

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Bandera County Commissioners agreed to an amendment of the county's Rabies and Animal Control Order, and accept funds from the Bandera Dog Fund to help with expenses related to fostering dogs in the county's animal control facility. The actions were taken at the court's regular bi-monthly session held Oct. 23.
County Attorney Janna Lindig explained that the amendment would expand on the county's current foster agreement.
"There are animals that shouldn't stay [in the county facility] overnight," Lindig said, adding that health or behavior could be issues that need to be dealt with.
"We have people who are willing to take the dog home, care for it, vet it, and bring it back to be adopted," she said. "They pay all the expenses or get approval prior [to taking any action that might cost the county]."
Lindig explained that the way the animal control rules are currently written, rescue groups cannot bring a dog back once they remove them from the facility. However, "This is separate and apart from the rescue groups' work," she added. "This is not meant to be a trial period prior to adoption. It's just when we really need help with a dog."
Lindig said the process would be highly discretionary on a case by case basis. She described one instance when a vet kept a dog with serious injuries overnight.
County Judge Richard Evans said it might be time to re-visit the county's animal control and community liaison orders since it has been some time since they have been updated.
Evans voted in opposition to the amendment.
On another animal related item on the agenda, Lindig asked the court to approve accepting funds from the Bandera Dog Fund. The fund was created by a non-profit organization to be used for veterinary services needed by the animal control facility.
The fund has already helped with the vet bills for 13 dogs.
Lindig said she "simply lets them know about dogs that need services and the non-profit takes over."
Even though Patricia Godkin, who created the fund, said her organization carries liability insurance regarding transport of the dogs, Evans said that as things stand now, the county remains liable.
Lindig said she would work up a legal agreement that would work for these special circumstances.