Stray animals in Wichita County are costing residents tax dollars, but Newschannel 6 was surprised to learn donkey's are becoming a real problem. Friday morning the Wichita County Sheriff's Office officials responded to a call about a stray donkey in Burkburnett. Community Service Deputy Melvin Joyner says recently, this has been an all too common call.
"We're trying to inform the public of a problem that's increasing in our county and that is stray animals." Joyner says stray donkeys are a growing problem for Wichita and surrounding counties.
"It's not just one, we have one in Iowa Park. I know Clay County has similar problems with stray animals as well as other counties. Archer County has a lot of them as well," he says.
Sheriff and police authorities have to find the strays in many counties that lack animal control services. Officials say owners might be turning their animals loose because it cost too much to take care of them. This puts the burden on the county.
Joyner says, "The tax payers must feed these animals must care for these animals until we can find someone that can take this animal off our hands. After 18 days we have to try to do something with this animal if no one has come to claim it."
County officials have to find a new home or shelter for the donkeys after a few weeks. First they try to auction them off, but if they can't be sold then they try to send them to rescues.
Some counties report that the cost for holding some of these animals is upwards of $400 per animal.