For Immediate Release:
November 4, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
San Angelo, Texas – Following the release of leaked photos evidently revealing dogs caged in their own waste and a cockroach infestation in San Angelo’s animal shelter—and the city’s response of closing the shelter’s doors to lost and homeless animals—PETA sent a letter today to Mayor Brenda Gunter and the members of the San Angelo City Council, calling on them to pass a total ban on breeding and selling animals and require that the shelter accept all animals. PETA points out that while the shelter is turning animals away, anyone who pays a nominal fee can circumvent the city’s spay/neuter law and breed animals, inevitably adding to the flood of homeless ones.
PETA notes that many of the animals who are turned away by the shelter will end up abandoned on the streets, where they may be hit by cars, infected with diseases, or hurt by cruel people. Those who reproduce will also add to the city’s homeless-animal population, increasing the burden on the taxpayer-funded shelter. The city’s recommendation that laypeople with no animal control expertise take on the city’s responsibility of capturing and housing stray animals could also pose a safety risk if frightened stray dogs react aggressively toward the people trying to help them.
“Closing a shelter’s doors during a homeless-animal crisis is like shutting down a fire station during wildfire season, and churning out more litters of animals is throwing gasoline on the fire,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on San Angelo’s leaders to keep the shelter open and stop the breeders and pet store sales that are fueling this crisis.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Gunter and the city council follows.
November 4, 2022
The Honorable Brenda Gunter, Mayor of San Angelo
Members of the San Angelo City Council
Dear Mayor Gunter and City Council Members:
In September, we wrote to you about the reportedly deplorable conditions at the city’s animal shelter, which were documented in photographs shared by the media and which resulted from “no-kill” policies at the facility (attached). On November 2, it was reported that the city’s public animal shelter would no longer accept animals from residents who have found lost and homeless animals in need of refuge or have animals of their own they are unable or unwilling to care for. We’re writing today to urge you to pass an emergency citywide ban on breeding and selling animals in order to assist ones who are now in crisis and to require the city shelter to protect animals and the public by accepting every animal taken to it.
Astonishingly, residents are reportedly now being asked to house stray animals for the city, a plan that’s dangerous for animals and residents alike when untrained laypeople try to do the job of trained animal care and control professionals. Please take note: Recently in North Carolina, an 8-day-old baby was killed by a stray dog the family had taken in just days before; in Oklahoma, a 7-year-old boy was killed by a stray dog taken in by his family; in Nebraska, a young man had to be hospitalized after he was attacked by a stray dog he had taken into his home; and in Fort Worth, a woman was killed by a stray dog who had been taken into her home by a resident who was looking for the animal’s owner.
Shirking the city’s responsibility and obligation to protect animals and residents is not a solution to animal homelessness. The current crisis demands emergency action and legislation to ban the breeding and sale of all animals, and the city shelter must be required to accept every animal taken to it.
PETA, our San Angelo resident members and taxpayers, and all kind people urge you to act today. Our organization stands ready to provide draft legislation and professional animal shelter policies or other assistance. Please let me know what we can do to help.
Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter.
Very truly yours,
Teresa Lynn Chagrin
Animal Care & Control Issues Manager
Cruelty Investigations Department