City to look into Lockhart Animal Shelter following premature adoption
By Kristen Meriwether, Editor LPR
The family who had their dog prematurely adopted from the Lockhart Animal Shelter in late January testified at the Lockhart City Council on Tuesday night, hoping their story will help bring change to the shelter.
As reported last week by LPR, Squeaky Baby wiggled out of her collar on Jan. 28 and was picked up and taken to the Lockhart Animal Shelter. Owners Marissa Morones and her husband Tristan Flores called the shelter and gave a description of the dog for several days, hoping to get her back.
According to Morones, an employee told both her and her husband that no dog matching that description was there. When Morones called Petlink, the microchip company, to report the dog missing on Feb. 8, the company told her the dog had been adopted by someone else on Jan. 31.
According to the City of Lockhart Municipal Code, Section 10-5, “Any licensed impounded cat or dog shall be kept for not fewer than seven days unless sooner reclaimed by their owner, except under quarantine.”
Flores testified on Tuesday that he does not believe the rules were followed.
“I have run into citizens of Lockhart with similar issues, so I’m really here to just bring a light to the shelter in hopes that it doesn’t happen again to anybody else,” Flores said.
Morones confirmed to LPR that their family has pressed charges against the Animal Shelter, and two employees for theft of property on Feb. 19. An investigator with the Lockhart Police Department has taken up the case. She said the investigator told her if the shelter violated city code, the case could end up in court with a judge deciding who is the rightful owner.
Following Flores’ testimony Council Member Kara McGregor asked City Manager Steven Lewis to look into the shelter to see how it could be prevented in the future.
“I’ll also say, if a house is sold fraudulently to a buyer who was purchasing with good faith, if it was sold fraudulently, the buyer doesn’t get to keep the house,” McGregor said.
Mayor Lew White issued an apology to Flores following his testimony.
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we are sorry for the pain this has caused,” Mayor White said. “We hope for a satisfactory solution.”
Mayor White added that the City Council would be taking up the issues at the shelter at a later council meeting.
“While I greatly appreciate the mayor, the citizens of Lockhart, and the Lockhart Post-Register reaching out to us, trying to find a solution…in my opinion anything less than having our family member returned, is less than satisfactory,” Flores said.