Talks now centered on expanding Alice's pound

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

Orange Grove officials are one step closer to solving the increasing dog problem for area residents, after meeting with county and Alice city officials to come to a consensus on expansion of the dog pound in Alice.

Although no formal agreement has been created, County Judge L. Arnoldo Saenz, Sheriff Oscar Lopez and Mayor Seale Brand agreed it would likely be more cost effective to expand the existing facility in Alice, rather than build a second pound to handle the increasing dog population from the Orange Grove area.

Before that step can be taken, city leaders are looking for an agreement to have the Jim Wells County Animal Control Officer operate in Orange Grove.

Currently, the city does set traps for the animals, but if the pound in Alice or in San Diego is filled at the time, the animals have to be released by law.

The experience the animal receives from the process makes them that much harder to capture a second time. City officials said the presence of the animal control officer, once or twice a week within the city limits, will help alleviate the problem.

Brand said after a meeting with the county judge , he felt they were going to be able to move forward.

"The officer is going to speed up the process when this happens," Brand said.

Council members reminded visitors at the last city meeting that the animal control officer is available to those residents living outside the city, and the city would be happy to put the citizens in contact with animal control if they are having dog problems.

"We'd be more than happy to assist you to speed the process up," Brand said to visitors.

Lopez echoed the council's statements on Wednesday, saying that both he and the City of Orange Grove are working on an agreement concerning the animal control officer and the issue had been put on next week's JWC Commissioner's Court agenda.