Solutions sought to help save Marble Falls dogs
October 22, 2013, 10:45 am by Emily Zendt
Despite the challenges of a daily inflow of stray or unwanted animals, Marble Falls Animal Control officer Jacey Ferguson is working to find a home for every dog and cat that arrives at the city’s small and dilapidated shelter.
Surprisingly, she’s succeeding, achieving an 80-90 percent save rate in the past year — comparable to that of municipal animal shelters inAustin (93 percent) and San Antonio (80 percent), where resources and budgets are limitless by comparison.
"We do everything we can to get a positive outcome. Our goal is two weeks, anything more than that is considered a long-term stay,” said Marble Falls Police Sgt. Steve Eckstein, who oversees the animal control operation. With a goal of euthanizing only wild, aggressive or seriously ill or injured animals, Eckstein says the animal control operation he oversees operates much like rescue shelters – with one difference. "We don’t turn any animals away.”
With only 15 kennels for dogs and one for rabies-quarantined animals, that means Fergusonmust constantly push adoptions through rescue organizations and the media, including The Highlander and itswebsite, and the city of Marble Falls and its website. She’s even contacted zoos to place snakes taken from the home of a hoarder.
Adding a new shelter to the proposed Marble Fallspolice headquarters or building one elsewhere is not yet being planned.
So with animal control operations for BurnetCounty and the City of Burnet facing related problems, Marble Fallsofficials began exploring the possibility of a regional approach recently, including possible construction of a shelter to be shared by the entire area.
"Everybody is having an issue with the animals. So there was some discussion with how could we all join together to deal with that,” said Marble Falls Mayor George Russell.
Russell said Marble Falls and Burnet operate very similarly and at a similar cost.
He believes building the facility might be the easiest part.
"The problem that comes in is with the recurring costs of who maintains it,” he said. "If we could all work together I think we might be able to come up with something.”
"We’re going to start
collecting information, and we’ll probably meet again before Thanksgiving,”
said Burnet County Judge Donna Klaeger.
For the full story see the Tuesday edition of The Highlander.
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