State orders Port Isabel Animal Shelter to reduce numbers

Jahir Coronado is young but understands the urgency to find loving homes for the animals housed at the Port Isabel Animal Shelter.

"These dogs are needing more family, the 7-year-old San Benito boy said. If you don TMt have a family please, please come here. That way (you can adopt the animals and) they can have a family. If a dog doesn TMt have a family, it will not be a dog - it will just be an animal."

The shelter will waive adoption fees until July 31, to get dogs and cats out of the shelter.

Rodrigo Garcia, fire marshal and shelter department head, said state inspectors ordered them to reduce their pet overpopulation.

"When the city took over the shelter about four months ago, there were over 300 animals at the shelter, Garcia said. Some animals were here for over four to six years. We had a lot of animals that were sick and were still housed here.

Garcia said animals that were too sick and suffering, had to be put down. However, adoption rates went through the roof. The shelter went from housing more than 300 animals, to housing just under 100 animals.

The shelter has been known as a no-kill shelter, but Garcia said there is an ordinance on procedures to euthanize animals.

Garcia said the animal shelter will comply with city ordinances and state laws to avoid another overpopulation problem.

"We have seven days total, to try to get the animal adopted, Garcia said. We have an ordinance in place. It wasn TMt enforced back then, (but) the ordinance will be enforced to control the population."