By Camaron Abundes
PECOS- A pack of dogs greet Ruth Luster at the gate, she's been taking in dogs for years but says the need in Pecos is so great she now has 19 dogs and 23 cats in her makeshift shelter.
People donate food and fellow members of the Pecos Animal Control Committee help pay for vaccinations and other expenses.
"These black one's were found out by Wal-Mart. They were thrown away. That's what people do here if they don't want them, they just throw them away in the trash or where ever is convenient," Luster, a member of the Animal Control Committee, said as she petted a four month old black lab.
"What they do is call Ruth or bring cats or dogs to Ruth, because they know what will happen to the dog or cat if it's taken to the shelter," Lori Hughes, also a member of the Animal Control Committee, said.
Hughes says she is fed up with the way animals are treated at the city's Animal Shelter. Hughes says the animals are euthanized because the city can no longer quarantine animals, because they do no meet state standards.
According to Mayor Richard Alligood, the city pays a veterinarian to hold the animals until they can be cleared for rabies.
"These dogs are not fed, they're not watered, they're not dipped for ticks," Hughes, said.
Hughes says the Pecos City Council is taking too long to build the new shelter.
"If it's my understanding they have 125,000 thousand dollars. Build it," she said.
Christin Spivey went to look for her lost dog last weekend and decided to tell the City Council about the deplorable conditions.
"I can't imagine any animal should have to live like that," Spivey said, who added the animals seemed to feed on their own feces and urine.
Mayor Richard Alligood says the Council acknowledges the need for a new shelter. He says they budgeted 125,000 dollars between 2008 and 2009. Alligood told NewsWest 9 they are currently taking bids for the construction of the shelter and it is a top priority.
"We can't go any longer, we have got to get an animal shelter," he said, but adds the City Council must take certain legal steps that take time.
Animal Control Committee members Lori Hughes, Teenie Crider, and Ruth Luster say the shelter is not going up fast enough. Thursday they delivered their resignation letter to the Council. The woman then decided to start the Humane Society of Pecos.
"This is one reason we're resigning, we think we can do better as a humane society," Teenie Crider said, "We just got organized, but we hope to have adoption days. We hope people get on board with us."
Hughes told NewsWest 9, a donated building will house the newly formed society. They plan to remove the dogs from Ruth's house as soon as possible.
To find out more about the Pecos Humane Society visit their website at www.humanesocietyofpecos.org.