City of Orange Grove considers dog pound

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

County officials met with Orange Grove City officials for initial discussions on how to solve the growing dog problem, which plagues several parts of JWC.

Both immediate needs and long-term goals were discussed, with Sheriff Oscar Lopez agreeing that something has to be done.

Still in the initial discussion phase, Orange Grove Mayor Seale Brand, City Administrator Rick Lopez and Sheriff Lopez met this week to discuss the possibility of having a new dog pound constructed in either the City of Orange Grove or on county property.

Lopez proposed for the long-term, a joint venture with communities in the area, to pull together for the formation of a pound on the JWC fairground property, at the farthest end away from the fairground structures.

Both sides were open to that idea or the placement of the pound within the City of Orange Grove, on property located near the city's sewer plant.

The meeting this week was a preliminary discussion, and so far neither side has come up with a definite plan.

To help address the immediate problem, Brand looked to Lopez for his support in initiating a deal with the county to have the dog catcher travel to Orange Grove once or twice a week to round up stray dogs.

Orange Grove currently doesn't have a pound or a dogcatcher for the city.

Orange Grove City Administrator Lopez said the city sets up traps on a periodic basis to catch stray dogs, but if the pounds in Alice and San Diego, the most common destinations in the area, are busy or full, city officials have to release the animals from the traps.

"It makes it very difficult. Once you catch the dogs and then release them, they become a little wiser and harder to catch again," Lopez said.

City officials are scheduling additional meetings with the sheriff. So far, the discussions are preliminary, and any formal plans would need the approval of the Orange Grove City Council, JWC Commissioner's Court and any other participating entity.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to put something together fairly quickly," Lopez said.