Fort Worth’s 109 is chock full of animals of varying sizes, breeds and species. The real concern, however, surrounds the animal's treatment and well being.
The City of Fort Worth uses code compliance officers to routinely patrol local neighborhoods and enforce codes to make certain that Fort Worth maintains a clean, livable environment where both humans and animals are kept safe and secure.
Carol Cass, head veterinarian of Westcliff Animal Hospital, said that animal conditions are on the rise. She said the most important issue pet owners need to know about is preventative care that people should take to protect their animals from harm and even death. This includes getting all necessary vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and especially providing the animal with good, quality food. Cass said animals, like humans, need the right amount of nourishments to keep strong and healthy.
Cass also said that animal caretaking has improved due to an increase in community education. More and more people are becoming animal conscious and aware of animal abuse within their neighborhoods.
Cass said animal abusers are near to none, at least in the 109 area, because neighbors are increasingly reporting any suspicions to local authorities. And Fort Worth courts and police have also been cracking down hard on the issue.
“Everyone is doing their part to not allow that kind of horrible behavior,” she said.
Cass said one little known type of abuse that she has seen a lot of recently is called animal hoarding, which is when an individual collects multiple pets to keep in their homes. This is considered abuse because many of those animals are not receiving the attention that the animal needs, which leads to neglect, she said. Many animal hoarders believe they are doing a good deed by taking in stray animals, but they are in fact putting the animal in greater position of harm.
“I believe that it is unfair to the animals because they are not getting the quality of care they need,” Bianca Mariotinni, a 109 resident and avid animal lover, said. “It is also not healthy for the human because they are not getting the quality of life they want.”
Cass said many people do not realize that more and more people are looking to adopt pets, especially cats, because of their independent lifestyles.
“If you are not able to care for a pet any longer, please take it to a humane society or one of these rescue groups,” she said.
Cat adopter Tara Blahm said she adopts all her cats from Fort Worth Humane Society.
"Every time I go to get a new furry friend, I see a few who have been mistreated and abused,” she said. “It upsets me every time. I just wish I could adopt them all.”