UPDATE: Good news! The Von Ormy animal control officer, Michael Suarez, said all the shelter dogs have now been placed in homes. Suarez, whose last day on the job is Friday, says he will continue to take in stray dogs on his own. Expect more fallout over this issue.
Von Ormy has suspended their volunteer animal control program. Strays now have more of a chance of being euthanized today than they did yesterday.
The town of Von Ormy has a $4,000 budget for animal control, and for the past two years they have had volunteers work as officers for no pay.
As of Friday there will be no animal control in Von Ormy.
Michael Suarez, Von Ormy animal control officer said, “Last night the Von Ormy City Council voted 3 to 2 to eliminate animal control. With that being said, these dogs have really no place to go and the end result would be euthanasia.”
The mayor, Art Martinez De Vara, says they will now have to find other volunteers or call Bexar County. He says Von Ormy is plagued with strays and that the town is a dumping ground for people that don’t want their pets. According to De Vara, people go to the edge of the city - to the first place that looks like the country - and abandon their unwanted pets. Von Ormy's location just off I-35 has become that dumping ground, he said.
Suarez said councilwoman Trina Reyes thought he was selling inoculations paid for by the city to pet owners, then pocketing the profit for his nonprofit shelter.
“One council member just didn’t understand how that I've always had a supply of shots than what the city bought, and I didn’t use shots for my own benefit for my nonprofit,” said Suarez.
According to the mayor there was an issue about Suarez holding vaccination events for pets through his nonprofit, and that it wasn’t clear if the events were city-sponsored.
“There were some questions about paperwork and finances. We did an internal audit. We didn’t find anything misplaced,” said De Vara.
He said audits showed that there were more shots used than the city actually paid for and that Suarez’s receipts showed that he was buying 3 to 4 times more inoculations than the city. paying for them out of his own pocket.