HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Harris County Animal Control Services is just a stone's throw away from Melrose Park and some believe that's why the park has become such a dumping ground for unwanted dogs and cats. The shelter will only accept animals from the unincorporated parts of Harris County.
Some city residents who get turned away just leave their unwanted pet in the parking lot.
"I think a lot of people do believe that Harris County will just pick them up and they won't," said rescue group volunteer Tonya Mathews.
Why? Because Melrose Park is in the city limits.
Since 201,1 a rescue group called Melrose Park Neglected Dogs has been feeding all the starving and neglected dogs and cats that roam the park.
"We drive this whole park and if we see a dog, we'll pull over and give it food and water," said Mathews.
She and another volunteer recently found this one who had been shot at close range in the head. It's the third dog found shot in the park in the last three months.
"There was blood everywhere, tissue matter, and we could tell the dog was still breathing," said Mathews. She also said Harris County Animal Control Services turned her and another volunteer away when they asked them to euthanize the dog to end her suffering.
The pair named the dog Hope and rushed her to a veterinarian.
Mathews added that she talked to Hope during her final moments.
"I just prayed she would be at peace now since she didn't have a happy life here, but now she will," explained Mathews.
The rescue group recently picked up 11 dogs at the park, but they are quickly replaced by other abandoned animals.
The group wants the City of Houston to install cameras at the park in hopes of catching whoever is dumping and shooting the dogs.
"It would be great to have cameras installed because it's illegal to dump a dead dog or a dog that's not dead," said Mathews. "It's obviously illegal to shoot a dog at this park."