Kerr County's former ambassador dog Nelson has finally been adopted following a drawn-out saga over his $2,300 adoption fee.
BACKSTORY: Kerrville residents took to social media over the weekend in an effort to 'Free Nelson', who has a hefty adoption price tag of $2,306.54.
The chocolate bully breed mix is so expensive to adopt because of a pricey veterinarian bill he racked up after being hit by a car. The accident happened while the dog was serving as the Kerr County Animal Services ambassador, according to a letter released on December 8 also by Givens.
Mike Taylor with Edge Rock Radio detailed the alleged series of events leading up to Nelson's unfortunate predicament in a video posted to Facebook on Saturday.
A post on the 'Free Nelson' Facebook page said the dog should not be held hostage with a heavy price tag.
As an ambassador for the county's animal services, Nelson was used at events and to visit different elementary schools across the community and promote animal health initiatives.
With Kerr County Animal Services being a kill shelter, many residents expressed concerns about Nelson being euthanized.
The shelter took to social media Saturday to clear the air, saying Nelson is alive and well.
Kerr County Commissioner Bob Reeves told the Daily Times, "There was never any intention of euthanizing Nelson,".
Susan Hunter, community member and animal lover, started the 'Free Nelson' Facebook page to provide updates on Nelson's situation and organize with other residents who say they feel ignored by the county.
"I don't think the burden should fall on the taxpayer or a potential adopter," Hunter said.
The shelter said the $2,300 price tag is an effort to 'recuperate taxpayers money' since the county paid for his care while he was technically the property of Kerr County.
"If this is an effort to recoup taxpayer money, how should taxpayers expect their refund?" Hunter asked.
Kerr County Commissioner Bob Reeves said the county's Animal Care Services was open to reducing and even waiving the $2,306.54 veterinarian fee they wish to recoup attached to adopting their former ACS ambassador, Nelson.
“At this point since nobody was interested in what we initially talked about, anything is possible as far as being able to find a permanent caring home for Nelson,” Reeves told KENS 5 on Tuesday.
Reeves said he met with the Kerrville County attorney to explore the best options for Nelson.
“We are open to other means. If we cannot get the vet bills paid for, then the court can decide to reduce that to a smaller if any amount,” Reeves said.
Kerr County Commissioners Court is expected to come to a final decision on Nelson's adoption terms either on January 8 or January 22 at the discretion of the county attorney.
"We're waiting on the county attorney to finish her research," Reeves said.
Reagan Givens, Kerr. County ACS manager said information floating around on social media regarding Nelson is essentially 'fake news' and a 'scam' in a letter obtained by KENS 5 on Monday.
Reeves also wants to assure the public Nelson does not spend his days in a cage, but on a fluffy pillow in the office with plenty of human interaction.
“The only thing that’s locked up regarding Nelson is his treats because if they weren’t locked up he’d eat them all day,” Reeves said.