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Section A: General News


Eagle Ford: Council asked to consider animal control




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Wilson County News
January 9, 2013 | 1,912 views | 1 comment

ST. HEDWIG -- A horrific Dec. 23 attack on two toy poodles by two Rottweilers on East Lupon Road has two citizens asking the St. Hedwig City Council to consider the subject of animal control. Andrea Fleeman and her grandmother, Patricia Culwell, made their plea to the city council at its Jan. 3 meeting.

Fleeman, a full-time student at the University of Texas at Arlington, brought her two toy poodles with her on a visit to Culwell’s in St. Hedwig. Fleeman attempted to choke back tears as she told the council that she and her dogs, Molly and Sophie, were walking on East Lupon Road when two Rottweilers ran out from a nearby property and attacked the smaller dogs. A boy living at the residence attempted to call off the dogs, to no avail.

Seven-pound Molly, who was 9 years old, died of her injuries. Sophie, who is 8 years old and weighs 10-1/2 pounds, was seriously injured and required surgery. Fleeman said that because she is on a full academic scholarship, she is not employed, forcing her to pay the more- than $3,000 in veterinary bills by borrowing from family and friends.

Fleeman said she is attempting to obtain reimbursement of these expenses from the Rottweilers’ owners, and that she does not want to take the matter to civil court.

“I want him to fix the fence and not destroy the dogs,” Fleeman said.

The fencing was not sufficient enough to hold anything smaller than a horse, Fleeman said. She and Culwell suggested that the council require property owners to have fencing sufficient enough to restrain their animals.

Culwell said it is time for the city to employ an animal-control officer, even if the person were a volunteer.

Kathy Palmer, the city’s code compliance and zoning officer, said after the meeting that St. Hedwig currently has no animal control within the city limits and that all issues related to estray animals or livestock must be resolved between the citizens involved. As for any recourse, Palmer said citizens “have the ability to protect their family, pets, livestock, property, and themselves, as necessary.”

The city, she said, lacks a police department, a municipal court, and a pound, which would make it difficult for the enforcement of an animal-control ordinance.

Mayor Pro Tem Dwayne Padalecki -- who presided over the meeting -- said it was up to the council to decide whether the matter would be placed on a future meeting agenda for discussion.

“I can’t comment any further, other than to say it has come up before,” he said.

In other business, the council:

•Received a “clean” 2011-12 financial audit from Nancy Vaughan of Universal City-based Armstrong, Vaughan & Associates.

•Heard a presentation from Andy Easley of Waste Management about household hazardous waste collection.

•Discussed increasing the monthly stipends for City Secretary Barbara Pawelek and for Palmer. Despite the matter being listed only as a “discussion” item on the agenda, the council voted unanimously to increase Pawelek’s monthly stipend from $1,518.33 to $2,000. Further discussion on Palmer’s stipend was tabled until the council’s Feb. 7 meeting.

In attendance: St. Hedwig city councilmen Dwayne Padalecki, Francisco Arevalo, Susann Baker, and Walter Wyrwich; City Secretary Barbara Pawelek, Compliance Officer Kathy Palmer, and resource officer Deputy Pat Plate of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

 

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