Abandoned Dogs on the Rise in Brazos County

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

When school lets out for summer and the students return home, some animal advocates say some of those students are forgetting one thing: their pets.

According to the Brazos Animal Shelter, it has seen an increased number of abandoned cats and dogs being brought in since May.

And they're not alone. One local couple says their front yard has become a dog drop off.

"We never have to go get a dog because we always have some sort of dog here," Regina Opersteny said.

For the past several years, Opersteny says she's noticed a growing trend, dog after dog getting dumped just a few feet from her house.

"After the semester is over, we usually notice more, and usually they look like they are well cared for dogs sometimes, but some of them are not." Opersteny said.

Regina and her husband, Charles have taken in quite a few of the strays over the years, but even they need some help.

Help they say the county isn't offering.

"How does the county expect these dogs to survive? You know they won't come pick them up unless they're sick," Charles Opersteny said.

"I asked them what am I supposed to do with the dogs, they said, you can take it or maybe somebody will find the dog," Regina adds.

But in such a remote location on Leonard Road, with only a few houses even on the street, it's not likely that many others will stumble across the dogs. The animals are often abandoned on the side of the road in ditches, near the bridge, or down close to the water.

All things which Regina says make it an ideal dumping location.

"Nobody sees them, when they're dumped because we're the last house on the road," Regina said. "No one sees them, so they just open the door and throw them out."

Regina has taken in as many as five dogs at one time, and says she's turned in at least 15 to the animal shelter.

But deep down she believes there has to be a better solution.

The Animal Control Division of the Sheriff's Office says under its policy, officials pick up abandoned pets under the following conditions.
-if it's a nuisance
-if the animal is injured
-if someone saw the animal abandoned

Animal Control officers say it's difficult to pick up dogs not fitting those conditions because there's no leash law in the county, so dogs are free to come and go and they don't want to accidentally pick up someone's pet.

Animal Control in Brazos County also reports a slight increase in the number of animals reported to them by residents from April to May.

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