Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Thank you for responding to concerns
By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Dec. 16, 2013 at 6:16 a.m.
Recently, the Crossroads experienced a cold snap that put temperatures down in the 30s and 40s. While most residents have comfortable homes with heating and plenty of blankets, a few individuals had to face the cold without that comfort for a short while.
Last week, protesters called attention to the dogs in the Port Lavaca Animal Control facility. The animals were not given blankets during the night, even though state law says "Auxiliary heat or clean, dry bedding material shall be provided any time the ambient temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit when animals are present."
To protest the treatment of the dogs, three women stood outside the facility from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to demand that the animals receive blankets during the cold weather. The dogs were given blankets that evening.
We are glad to know that Calhoun County officials were willing to respond to the concerns of residents about the treatment of animals at the facility. In a previous article, Port Lavaca Police Chief James Martinez said: "We're not perfect. If we need to develop a policy that says during inclement level we need to do A, B and C, we will make those adjustments."
State law makes it clear that the animals should be provided with blankets or ambient heat during inclement weather. Thankfully, this is a problem that can easily be solved by either the animal control center or people in the community. Blankets are not expensive items, and nearly everyone has at least one spare lying around the house or folded up in a closet. Port Lavaca Animal Control and the Calhoun County Humane Society are accepting donations of blankets, tarps, kennels, time or money to help take care of these animals.
We encourage members of the community to donate either their time or one of these items to help make sure these facilities have plenty of supplies available to properly care for the animals.
Most importantly, we hope the animal control facility will take this as an opportunity to learn and reevaluate the facility's procedures in caring for animals. If private citizens had left animals out in such cold weather without kennels or blankets, they could have faced animal cruelty charges.
These animals should be cared for according to the same standards as a family pet. Just because they do not have owners at the moment does not mean they are undeserving.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.