Dozens of dogs are being dumped in West Texas and rescue groups are struggling to keep up
Along a lonely stretch of West Texas roads, dozens of dogs have been dumped during the past three months. These dogs range in size, age and breed, but they share a few traits.
All 49 of these dogs were found on roads just off Interstate 10 between Sonora and Junction. Most seemed well cared for and happy when rescuers picked them off the side of the road. Some were dead from being hit by cars.
None were microchipped, but rescuers believe these dogs belonged to someone.
"You can tell they've been cared for. ... Wherever they're coming from, they were being tended to," said Wheless Baker, one of several rescuers, in a previous interview. "You can see where collars were removed."
Cow Dog Rescue, a rescue organization from San Angelo, has stepped up to organize fosters, veterinary visits and care for these dogs. But after three rounds of over 10 dogs, they aren't sure how long they can keep up.
"We are drowning in unwanted dogs and aren’t sure how long we can keep this up," according to a post from the rescue. "We will do everything in our power not only to save these dogs, but bring whoever is dumping them to justice."
Law enforcement will put out no dumping signs in the areas, according to Cow Dog Rescue.
The first dumping had 17 dogs found on July 7 near I-10 on Baker Road and Harrell Road, part of a 55-mile stretch of land that separates Sonora and Junction. Three days later, four more dogs were found, bringing the total to 21. A month later, another 14 were left in the same area.
The latest had 14 dumped Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 in the same areas in Sutton County, plus several in Kimble County at the exit to Fort McKavett.
Other ways to help:
- Make a check to Cow Dog Rescue and mail to Cow Dog Rescue, Jamie Schenkel, PO BOX 1174, Sonora, Texas 76950
- Help fulfill their Amazon wish list.
People can also drop off donations at Dry Dock Self Storage, 3538 Paint Rock Road in San Angelo; Jet Specialty, 1100 Orient in Eldorado; and Crittendon Water Well Service, 501 N. Crockett in Sonora.
Stories from rescuers and residents show an older trend of dumping
Several residents and rescuers in the areas have grown almost accustomed to groups of dogs being dumped near their homes.
Baker mentioned residents had seen at least 50 dogs in the drop off areas from April-July. One of those residents is Rhesa Lang, who found three near her ranch in May.
Lang got her husband and the pickup and returned to the spot. One dog was dead, one had fled and only one male remained.
"The one still there was scared, but we got him into the pickup," Lang said in a previous interview. "I've had him for two months. He's super sweet. He was somebody's dog that lived in the house with them."
Baker picked up a part of the first 17 on July 7. She was on her way to a family gathering, driving on I-10, when she saw a dog dart out of a bush.
She decided to return with a trailer and food and water, and was surprised when 10 burst out toward her.
"When I started talking to the black dog, the others burst out," Baker said. "The black and white one was crying and wagging. All of them were wagging."
As she rounded them up, she noticed how well-behaved and healthy they were.
Kelly Morrow, another rescuer, found six dogs on Harrell Road. All of the females were spayed.
Lang, Baker and Cow Dog Rescue agreed the dumping must stop.
"We are so low on funds, but cannot turn our backs on these dogs," Cow Dog Rescue posted on its Facebook page.
Alana Edgin is a journalist covering Breaking News, Entertainment, Education and Real Estate in West Texas. Send her a news tip at email@example.com. Consider supporting West Texas journalism with a subscription to GoSanAngelo.com.