SAN ANTONIO – As South Texas enters Stage 2 water restrictions, Animal Care Services predicts more livestock will be left to fend for themselves.
ACS took in as many large animals this year than the past three years combined.
All of them were abandoned by their owners.
From a family of goats and a pregnant pig to horses munching on hay – plus a donkey that’s more sweet than stubborn – ACS feels more like Noah’s Ark, and it’s running out of room.
“This is temporary housing. This is not where these animals should be,” shelter operations manager Elizabeth Kalmykob says. “We need to find a forever home.”
Kalmykob says the staff was forced to build this corral to create more room for abandoned animals.
“We don’t always know the story,” she says. “We find some on the streets running loose, people turn them in as strays.”
The problem is sky-high, and so is the reason for it: not enough rain.
“Texas actually has to import hay from other areas because of our water situation,” Kalmykob says.
The hay shortage has prices soaring, and high gas prices don’t help – farmers need to get the hay to customers somehow.
It’s a double whammy, forcing owners to decide whose mouth to feed: their animals, or their own.
“Severely emaciated, hooves that are overgrown, bones that have grown funny because their hooves haven't been trimmed,” Kalmykob describes the animals ACS has picked up.
They’re left for days, even weeks, at a time. Many of the animals are boney, starving, and desperate.
“Seeing them in the conditions that we've seen them in, even having to euthanize a few that just weren't going to make it, it's very, very difficult for the staff to deal with,” Kalmykob says.
But with proper care and lots of love, she says the animals will get a second chance at life.
All of them are up for adoption through a silent auction. Contact ACS at (210) 207-4738 to learn more about the problem and how to help.