Animal Shelter’s fate in jury’s hands


The decision regarding who will run the animal shel­ter in Port Isabel will be in the hands of a jury.

This comes after a late fil­ing by the Laguna Madre Humane Society requesting the hearing in lieu of an out­right ruling by Judge Benny Ochoa.

“They had a window in which to file,” said Port Isabel City Manager Ed Meza, “and they hired another attorney, I am told, and this is where they want to go.”

A statement released by Maggie Denney, speaking for the Laguna Madre Humane Society (LMHS) indicated that the LMHS has, “requested a jury so the citizens can hear all of the facts of the case.”

Originally, Judge Ochoa was to rule on the city’s at­tempt to evict LMHS from the shelter. The new hearing will still take place in his pres­ence and is set for April 16, at 10:30 a.m.

“It is unfortunate that they are taking this approach,” Meza said. “We had asked some specific questions, and they responded with questions rather than answers.”

Also in the statement re­leased by the LMHS was a reference to an attempt to an­swer all questions that the city had put forward. In a copy of that response letter, there is no listing of the employees and their certifications. There is, however, a list of action items in which both parties were to share duties.

“They are referring to a pe­riod in which we were cooper­ating with each other and a list of action items,” said Meza. “We had submitted a list, and they did respond to that with some concerns of their own. Then there was the arrest of the (allegedly) illegal vet and negotiations fell off. To this date, we still do not have an­swers to specific questions we asked of them.”

According to the city, those questions included: “Who hired the non-certified vet­erinarian? Where is a list of animals and their medical records that were at the shel­ter at that time? What are the qualifications of the Shelter Director and the Assistant Director? Has any of the staff euthanized any animals, and were those documented if any occurred?”

For more on this story, pick up a copy of the Apr. 7 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press or check out our E-edition by clicking here.

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