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The worst way to get dumped 

Last weekend, a couple visiting from Houston got a puro San Anto experience that had nothing to do with Mexican food, accordions or the River Walk. Instead, on Friday, July 2, as they visited an old railroad site, they witnessed a man pull up in a pick-up truck, remove a dog from his truck bed and drive away, leaving the young canine all by its lonesome. Being dog lovers, they retrieved the pup and the dog dumper's license plate number.

According to Rebecca Wheeler, an aquaintence of the couple's who is active in the Houston animal rescue community, the couple contacted the San Antonio Police Department to try to file a report against the dumper. The SAPD response, Wheeler said, proved less-than-enthusiastic. “They told her â??It happens all the time, there's nothing we can do' and that was the end of that,” wrote Wheeler. The police recommended taking the dog to a shelter, which they did. Not surprisingly, the shelter was full. At that point the couple called Wheeler, who put out an APB of sorts to her contacts in the SA rescue community. They overwhelmingly suggested calling 311, which the couple did at around 7:30 that evening. The response they received was even less encouraging. Because the couple could not keep the dog, “`311` wanted her to take the dog back to where they found it, drop it off and then call in a stray dog,” said Wheeler. We spoke with Tony Bosmans at 311, who confirmed that is one of two options, the other option they normally suggest is taking the pup to the Animal Care Services Shelter, which closes at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Thanks to Wheeler's email and several local animal rescuers efforts, the couple did not re-abandon the dog and instead found him a temporary home with a San Antonio rescue group. However, Wheeler and many in the San Antonio animal rescue community were shocked that the couple were discouraged from filing a report of animal abandonment, a class A misdemeanor in Texas, and a particular concern in the San Antonio area. Animal Care Services spokesperson Lisa Norwood said animal care officers typically respond to this type of call, assuming 311 forwards it to them. For particularly heinous acts, like the two puppies thrown from a moving vehicle someone recently brought to the ACS shelter, Norwood suggests calling 911 to report the crime. Whether SAPD will actually investigate it is a different story. Apparently, they're too busy trying to corral ponies loose in graveyards.

**SAPD declined to comment.

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July 14, 2021

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