Racheal Gomez

Del Rioan Racheal Gomez lifts a kitten she adopted during an adoption event at the city of Del Rio’s animal control facility. A total of 16 animals were adopted during the event, which was co-hosted by the Animal Advocacy Rescue Coalition.

Efforts by the city’s animal control department to promote pet adoption are paying off, members of the city’s animal advisory board say.

Tom Stanley, chair of the animal control and protection advisory board, made the observation during the board’s Oct. 7 meeting, after listening to the September activity report, presented by Emmett Salinas, who heads the city’s animal control department.

Salinas said in September, city animal control officers responded to a total of 270 calls, and 203 of those calls were animal control-related.

Salinas said officers responded to a total of 16 after-hours calls, noting those calls are emergency-only.

“These are human exposures (bites and scratches), animal exposures, snakes, bats, raccoons, skunks or if the police department or any other department needs assistance,” he said.

There were seven human exposures in September and one animal exposure, he said.

“Seven citations were given out, and those were for running at large, no proof of vaccination, failure to spay or neuter under the contract for adoptions, abandonment, animal cruelty and so forth,” Salinas said.

The department’s personnel responded to 92 calls about animals running at large in September.

“Out of the 92, 43 of those animals were captured and taken to our facility and either redeemed, adopted or pulled out by AARC (the Animal Advocacy Rescue Coalition of Del Rio),” Salinas said. He noted 17 of those animals were redeemed by their owners.

During the month, Salinas said 26 animals were surrendered to the animal control facility.

Salinas said there was a high number of adoptions in September, a fact he attributed to working with AARC.

“I was really encouraged when I saw that. That’s just an example of what can be done, working with other rescues,” Stanley said.

Salinas said the facility also euthanized 50 animals in September, 24 dogs and 26 cats.

“And the majority of those cats were feral,” Stanley said.

He added the “kill rate” at the shelter is “way down from when (the board) started.”

Salinas also spoke about two recent adoption events in which the animal control facility staff took part, one with Petsense and one with AARC.

Salinas said his goal is to reduce the number of animals being euthanized at the facility.

Stanley said he is “hearing more positive comments about animal control now than ever.”

He said as the staff “does more and more” the public perception of the animal control facility will grow ever more favorable, noting the adoption events help with the favorable perceptions.

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