Abandoned animals with severe medical issues leave Humane Society of Odessa with skyrocketing vet bills

Local News

WEST ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Hercules was abandoned at the Humane Society of Odessa this month.

The dog was immediately rushed to a veterinarian.

“Hercules was not responsive. He was not conscious,” said Heather Silvia, director of Humane Society of Odessa.

Hercules was abandoned at the Humane Society of Odessa

Heather says the dog was covered in tar, had burns and cuts, and was likely hit by a car. She believes Hercules was in shock when he went unconscious.

“Unfortunately, he never regained consciousness,” Silvia said.

The same day Hercules was left at the Humane Society, so was Milo, a kitten. Milo was dehydrated, starved, and fighting an upper respiratory infection.

Milo was abandoned at the Humane Society of Odessa

After a visit to the veterinarian’s office and around-the-clock care at the shelter, the kitten is doing a lot better.

Staff say Milo is doing better today

But both animals are considered major medical cases that required immediate attention.

That means taking them to a veterinarian to save their lives, something that doesn’t come cheap, especially for the Humane Society of Odessa.

“It’s worse than it has ever been. I have been here for six-and-a-half years. By far, the last six months have taken a major toll on us,” Silvia said.

While there is no excuse for the cruelty some of these animals have gone through, Heather says the reason for the uptick of abandoned animals is largely due to their human owners.

“A lot of them have lost their jobs,” Silvia said. “A lot of them of are moving back home. They were working in the oilfields. They’re leaving their pets behind. A lot of them can’t afford it because they have their own medical bills.”

Just last month, the shelter’s vet bill was around $20,000. In July, Heather says it was $10,000.

“Help from the community is what we’re needing more than anything, so we can save more,” Silvia said.

Heather says donations are desperately needed to help cover the medical costs and to continue the shelter’s mission. Those interested in donating to the Humane Society of Odessa can do so, here. The shelter says it also accepts donations in-person and through the mail. People are also asked to consider donating to their local veterinarian’s office.

The Society’s work is not going unnoticed. Heather showed a trio of kittens who were once described as ‘skin and bone.’ Now, they are livelier than ever. They were found after falling from the ceiling of a nearby house not too long ago.

The same goes for Butch, a dog. He was hit by a car and broke his back. He’s doing a lot better, thanks to some much needed love and care.

Butch is recovering after a broken back

As for Milo the kitten, who’s back on his feet, Heather hopes the road ahead is a sweet one.

“[I hope] he can find a family with a little kid or two. He’s super sweet and super cuddly.”

The shelter also says it wants to help owners who are looking to surrender their pets. The Humane Society of Odessa said it can accommodate pet owners who give them advance notice. But people are encouraged to consider local rescue groups, as well, since the Humane Society of Odessa is often at full-capacity.

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