East Texas sheriff's office says animal call eating up tax payer dollars

East Texas sheriff's office says animal call eating up tax payer dollars

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - From animal cruelty to loose livestock, animal control calls can pose a real threat.

"We get animal complaints on a daily basis. So much so that we have one officer that does nothing but handle animal claims," said Alton Lenderman, captain with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office.

From year to date, the Angelina County Sheriff's Office has received roughly 9,000 calls, of that number 800 of them are animal related. It might not seem like much but it all adds up and these calls are costing tax payer's. Lenderman said they have to investigate every call that comes in.

"We have a legal obligation to enforce state law and state laws regulate animal control," Lenderman said.

He further explained that some times when people can't afford to care for their animals they let them loose. In the end this leaves the county footing the bill.

"It cost manpower and equipment," Lenderman said. "If the animals are picked up we have to pay to have them boarded, we have to pay for feed and tests."

As of now ASCO animal control's budget is $10,000. Currently they are not over budget but when they do, the department said they have to take funds away from other areas.

"There's a big liability and responsibility on our part, if there's an animal that is out especially a large one like a donkey or horse we have to take care of it because it could become a traffic problem if someone hits it," Lenderman said.

He said it's very common for the sheriff's department to receive high volume of animal control calls. This is because the livestock population is higher in the county and there are fewer laws.

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