Animal advocates concerned about sweeps for stray dogs prior to Super Bowl

- “Hey baby you ok?” Anna Barbosa says in almost a whisper as she scoops up a shivering sickly little dog.

We met Barbosa with Houston K-9 11 Rescue on a desolate street not far from Hobby Airport. Within just a few minutes we spot three homeless dogs. One was going to have puppies another malnourished one had just had pups.

Barbosa is one of many dog rescuers who see heartbreak in canine eyes every day.

“It’s a terrible, terrible problem that we have,” Barbosa said. “And I don’t know how we open everybody’s eyes.”

In 2014 the World Animal Awareness Society designated Houston “Stray Dog City.”  That group has spent the past two years gathering data about the city’s stray dog epidemic.

“They had several rescue groups do surveys,” said Barbosa. “We would square off certain areas of the city and count dogs.”

The World Animal Awareness Society says some dog rescue groups are fearful of sweeps prior to next month’s  Super Bowl, which would be a death sentence for many strays. But BARC tells us management has no plans to conduct sweeps just continue to keep streets clean and safe. Harris County Animal Control says it has no plans for sweeps telling us they don’t have the manpower or space for it. 

The Animal Awareness Society says it won’t release the data it has compiled on Houston’s stray dog problem until after the Super Bowl.

“And it’s a serious problem for that one animal who is suffering,” Barbosa said.

Barbosa knows she can’t save them all but she’ll save the ones she can.

“There you go baby,” she whispers as she places a sick but relieved little dog into her car.

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