Shelter discourages pet owners from abandoning their animals

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) -- It's hard to track whether a dog or cat has been abandoned when picked up as a stray, but the Pflugerville Animal Shelter says it likely happens.

"It's tough in the beginning to watch, but their ending story is great," said Pflugerville Animal Shelter Director Rhonda McClendon.

McClendon said it can be a long process learning about a dog or cat when they come in. The shelter has to determine the animal's health, behaviors, temperament and personality.

Ann Reinicke has volunteered at the shelter for two years. She said she's trained with almost 100 dogs in her time there. While she considers it a pleasure, learning who these animals are, what they're afraid of, and teaching them to love, there's still a little part of Ann that can't help but hurt for these animals.

"It's a really sad thing to think what these dogs have been through," she said.

All the struggles can be avoided, McLendon said. She encourages anyone who is considering abandoning their pet to instead try finding the animal a new home first. If that doesn't work, she says people should consider taking their pets to the Humane Society.

McClendon said the animal shelter should be the last resort.

"Instead of abandoning it, if you work with us, we don't charge for owner surrenders," She said. "We do schedule them - then we try to gather as much information as we can." Information about the animal, not so much the person bringing them in. That way people aren't discouraged from bringing their pets in.

The bottom line is giving the animal the best chance possible to live a good life, McClendon said.

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