FOX 26 Investigates Prompts Life-Saving Policy Change - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

FOX 26 Investigates Prompts Life-Saving Policy Change


State law requires all shelters to wait three days before placing an animal up for adoption. That gives owners a chance to reclaim their pets before they are euthanized or put up for adoption.

In an exclusive FOX 26 investigation, we told you how several area shelters like Montgomery County and BARC would waive the three day hold for animal rescue groups.

"This is the reason we work with rescues," said BARC director David Atencio. He called an animal rescue group to take this puppy who ended up at BARC after being hit by a car. If BARC wouldn't have waived the three day hold this puppy would be dead. Instead she's alive and well and it didn't cost taxpayers one penny.

"It's the humane decision for us to provide that kind of care for our dogs and cats," Atencio said.
BARC and other area shelters quickly realized waiving the three day hold was saving tax money and more importantly saving lives.

But those in charge at Harris County Animal Control wanted no part of it, wouldn't even consider it.

Well guess what now Harris County Animal Control has to waive the three day hold for animal rescue groups thanks to a policy change by Harris County Commissioners Court.

So when's it going to happen?

"I would guess almost immediately, just as soon as possible," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

The change is a victory for animal rescue group member Teri Drennan, she initiated our investigation.

"My daughter told me one person could make a difference and she was right I mean we're on the way," said Drennan.

"I feel very encouraged by the fact that they're even passing this ordinance, that we're allowed to take them out," animal rescue group member Ann Ritchie said.

But more changes still need to be made as far as some animal rescue group members are concerned.

Other area shelters who waive the three day hold for these groups do it for all dogs and cats.

But the new Harris County policy only applies to animals needing acute urgent veterinary care.

"The wording is very vague and who makes the decision as to who gets released and who makes the decision as far as this animal needs urgent care," said animal rescue group member Marcy Sabol.

So what about stray dogs and cats that don't need immediate medical help? What they need is an animal rescue group to get them out of Harris County Animal Control before the three-day hold is up and they are euthanized.

The County Judge tells us they will look into including those animals into the new policy change as well.



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