Angelina Co. residents capitalize on free cage usage to capture unwanted animals

Angelina Co. residents capitalize on free cage usage to capture unwanted animals

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Angelina County residents take advantage of free cage usage to capture unwanted animals

Spring fever may be dawning in East Texas, which means more than trees, grasses and plants will become active. 

Animal control officers say stray animals and critters in the wild will also increase their activity. To deal with unwanted intruders, the Angelina County Sheriff's Office has an interesting program to help folks in the county deal with pesky animals.

It's a cage check out program. Residents can come to the sheriff's office and “borrow” carriers, cages, or traps to use to catch problem animals. The department keeps the cages outside at the entrance to the sheriff's office. A member of the public can register to check out a cage or carrier to trap the animal.
“If they have any kind of animals in their neighborhood that's bothersome or bothering their cattle or shouldn't be on their property, we use those so they can trap ‘em,” said Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches.
However, don't bring the captured animals to the sheriff's office.   The county has an agreement with the City of Lufkin's Animal Control Department, located at 1901 Hill Street.

Aaron Ramsey has been the director of the shelter for two years.

"We take in any animal that's brought in by the county," Ramsey said, "Whether it's by the sheriff's department from their traps that they check out to citizens of the county or if people from the county just bring us animals."

According to the latest statistics available at the animal shelter, there are a lot of stray animals in the county.  In 2014, the shelter processed 6,396 animals. That's the lowest level since 2005. In 2013 it received 7,263 animals. The year 2012 was worse with 7,889 animals turned in. These numbers were for the entire county - including incorporated cities.
Last year, residents living in unincorporated part of the county brought in 2,062 of the 6,396 animals previously mentioned. The sheriff's office brought in 29.
The caught critters include stray dogs, feral cats, raccoons, skunks, and even foxes on occasion.
Ramsey says more aggressive animals, especially those involved in bitings, are handled by deputies. This shelter is the rabies control authority for the county.
“It's state law that we quarantine those animals for 10 days during that period we're looking for signs of rabies,” Ramsey explained. “If there is a bite, we take as much information about the bite. And of course, we want to get the animal into our custody and observe it and make sure it's not sick.” 

Ramsey says most of the dog bites are due to the animal being afraid or perhaps protecting its litter.

Those cages are free to check out for county residents. You can go to the Sheriff's Office and speak with animal control division. However, if you think the animal may have rabies, animal control warns against trying to engage it.  Call them to handle it.
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