BRYAN- What happens when a dog or cat is picked up and taken to the Bryan Animal Center?
We followed a dog from intake all the way through the process, to show you the plight that some of these animals encounter, the happiness of reunions and adoptions, and the sadness when there isn't a home for some of these animals.
It's an emotional roller coaster that begins with no home for Frank.
"He's a friendly dog. He hasn't given us any problems."
The streets have taken their toll on Frank, the name the Bryan Animal Center has given this mixed-breed German Shepherd stray who has been here for awhile.
Bryan Animal Center Supervisor Julianne Burkhalter says, "Frank has several issues going on. He's got what seems to be a condition around his eyes, maybe his skin, and he's got some problems with his tail as well. Also being the age that he is, 7 plus years old, that's a factor, a large breed, mixed breed, male dog, those are all strikes against him unfortunately."
When space becomes a concern, Frank is at the top of THE list. And incoming dogs mean space IS a concern.
On average the animal center has anywhere between 135 and 180 animals at any given time.
"But we always have animals in need of a home, so even during our slow time most of our kennels are still full."
"It's OK..It's OK. (kisses dog)"
"A good Samaritan grabbed him. I came and picked him up. He's a little Corgi mix, probably about 6 months old, real sweet."
Animal Control Officer Benjamin Molina names him Wallace and gives him a nasal spray to prevent "Kennel Cough", and then it's off to a holding cage until his owners claim him, or he's put up for adoption.
"Have a nice little bed and I'll get him some water."
Wallace is a little unsure in this strange new place with unfamiliar barks, but he may be in a little better shape to find a forever home.
After all, that is the primary purpose of the animal center, including finding homes for lots of playful kittens and friendly cats.
Burkhalter says, "We even on occasion have some special needs. Hobbs over here is actually a "tripod". He only has 3 legs."
...but 4 times the affection for someone who wants him.
It's hard not to get attached to some of these homeless and sometimes abused pets.
Shelbye Harbour is an animal care technician.
"And like when I come down like, come here, Pam, she does like, completely rolls over. She just wants to be loved."
She's one of Shelbye's favorites.
"ummm, my other is Skulley. He was one of my favorites, the one that just got adopted, he was walking out."
Brittany Griffin adopted Skulley.
"This is Skulley. I saw him on the Facebook page awhile ago and uh, couldn't stop thinking about him. So I had to come see him. And once I saw him, there's no turning back."
Meanwhile the waiting game continues for Wallace, but a week later someone expresses interest in adopting him.
"Hi, this is Liz at the Bryan Animal Center. I'm giving you a call because one of your clients wants to adopt from us."
Bryan Animal Center Programs Coordinator Alma Garcia talks about the potential matchup for Wallace.
"She was approved, she's excited, was ready to go and adopt Wallace. So we sent him off to be neutered today."
Amazingly, on the same day, Wallace's owners show up after a week of searching for him.
"There you go. Hey Papi.)
That's right, Papi is his real name, and he's reunited with his owners.
Jose and Rosa Ramirez say their 2-year-old daughter is anxious to get Papi home.
"Cause my daughter loves him, we love him. He's real playful. He's smart. He plays fetch."
"Thank you. Thank you, guys, Ya'll have a good one."
But with joy at the animal center, there can also be sadness.
Burkhalter says, "Frank's time is limited."
"We certainly want to save every animal that we have that comes to our facility. You know we wouldn't be here if we weren't animal lovers and this wasn't our passion. But unfortunately we can't save every animal that comes in."
(tech trainee walks Frank through door into euthanasia room)
According to the ASPCA, each year, about 2.7 million animals are euthanized in the U.S.
Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year.
About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners.