Humane Society of Odessa sees rise in abandoned pets at shelter

Local News

WEST ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – A plea is being made to the public for pet owners to stop abandoning their animals at the Humane Society of Odessa.

“We stay full constantly,” said Heather Silvia, shelter director at Humane Society of Odessa. “We do adoptions everyday, but people dump animals on us, everyday.”

In Heather’s arms is Frankie, another dog that was also left behind at the shelter a long time ago.

Right now, there is a big problem with people dumping off their pets at the West Odessa shelter. Heather says it’s doing more harm than good.

“We had another one dropped off a few weeks ago in a little crate behind the fence,” Silvia said. “It’s sad when they come in because they’re not understanding why they’re here.”

It’s not just their pets that people are leaving behind at the Odessa Humane Society. Heather says some people are picking up dogs from the street and dropping them off, if they think the animals are sick or injured.

Heather says there are a number of issues when it comes to abandoning pets at the shelter without notice. The heat can be dangerous, if not deadly, for those animals who may not have water or cover from the sun. The second big problem is the shelter may not find out until much later that a pet had been dumped off. The shelter’s constant full-capacity does not make the current situation any easier.

Recently, Heather says several puppies were abandoned in the back alleyway. They were piled on top of each other.

“The ones dumped behind our fence… we didn’t know they were there until much later in the day,” Silvia recalls. “Luckily, we found them and they’re okay.”

Heather says she wishes the city of Odessa would pass a spay and neuter ordinance to help limit the over-population of dogs and cats. She says it may even slow down the dumping of pets.

In these cases, Heather says some puppies were found to be sick. Some even had Parvo. Now, those animals are being taken care of at an emergency clinic. But who’s paying those veterinarian bills? Heather says the Humane Society of Odessa is fronting the costs.

“Our vet bills are sky high because these people are dumping their animals on us and they’re sick, and they’re injured,” Silvia said. “That’s where we need the community to try and help us.”

The Humane Society of Odessa says there are rescue groups that can help pet owners who are looking to leave their pets behind. All people need to do is give those rescue groups notice and time.

As for the veterinarian bills, Heather is asking for donations from the public. We’re sharing a link to the organization’s PayPal here. Items such as pillows, pillow cases, kiddie pools, and cleaning supplies are also welcomed for donations.

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