Everyday is a bitter sweet moment for local animal control officers who have a fondness for all animals, but are sadden with the reality of their lives.
Raquel Rodriguez and Tim Farias work under the City of Alice while Andres Sevedo is the Jim Wells County Animal Control Officer. All three individuals have a love for animals that keeps them going day after day.
Rodriguez started her career as an animal control officer 18 years ago after the prior officer was hurt by an emu.
Farias and Sevedo haven't been in the business as long, but their passion and the unpredictability of the job is what they enjoy.
"I feel that this is part of me and its my home," Rodriguez said. "I like to work with animals and be out on the field."
While the job may seem tedious to some people, these three individuals know they must always be prepared, especially for their safety.
"We work with dangerous animals who may be carrying diseases," Farias said. "Not to mention traffic wise. Drivers need to remember that if they see us please move over or slow down, especially if we're in the middle of the street trying to retrieve a deceased dog. I'm not a little guy so they can't say they don't see me."
These officers are called out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to pick up animals wandering the streets. They are also called to pick up dead animals, to raids for protective mother dogs, to fatal accidents and even to round up livestock.
Yes, livestock also.
Recently Sevedo was called to West Highway 44 for a cow who had left the property. Sevedo was able to assist the ranch owner by getting the cow back onto the property before a vehicle hit her.
"Because the job has a law enforcement aspect, I'm learning more about animal laws," he stated. "I was raised with animals and with this job I get to help them but also educate people."
The one thing they concentrate the most on is getting the animals at the shelter into loving homes.