San Antonio shelter gets influx of exotic animals

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Associated Press

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 28 at 8:32 AM

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio's animal shelter has seen an unusual influx recently of exotic animals, including a llama, a potbellied pig, horses, chickens, rabbits and quail.

"This is a different population than we're used to of dogs and cats," Lisa Norwood, spokeswoman for Animal Care Services, told the San Antonio Express-News (http://bit.ly/1dEHTE0 ). "It's taxing on staff members and indicative of a larger problem."

The llama came Saturday after police got a call that it was holed up behind a business; the pig was found wandering on Sunday. On Tuesday, animal officers rounded up a group of nine horses in one area and found the 10th running in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

On Valentine's Day, a menagerie of bunnies, chickens and quail arrived after being seized from a home as part of an animal cruelty case that ACS officials said is pending.

According to city ordinance, up to three fowl and two animals from classes of livestock, including llamas, are allowed at one residence.

Norwood said the llama and pig, housed in side-by-side outdoor pens, have become friendly and interact with each other through the fence. And when staff members feed or work with one of the two, the other is very interested in what's going on.

Norwood said ACS uses social media to alert the public about lost and adoptable animals.

Norwood said that ACS is in the process of verifying a man's claim that the llama was his pet and had gotten loose from its pen.

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Information from: San Antonio Express-News, http://www.mysanantonio.com

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