Media coverage persuades citizens to save animal lives


Last week, 89 animals found themselves relocated to Georgetown after an animal cruelty complaint from the Texas Department of State Health Services triggered the investigation of their original home at the R.U.G Activity Center Animal Shelter in Florence. The animals in question, 88 cats and one dog, were seized by Animal Control on Wednesday morning.

“They’re all settling in now,” Cheryl Schneider, Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter director, said. “Some of them are in good condition. There are cases of upper respiratory infections and some have ringworm.”

This incident was covered all over Central Texas by dozens of media outlets. To combat overcrowding, the shelter held a free pet adoption special over the weekend. Due to the sheer amount of coverage this occurrence received, the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter announced that 55 animals were adopted this weekend, four were reunited with their families and 11 were fostered. While the animals involved in the cruelty investigation were not available for adoption, locals had plenty of others to choose from. This was especially important as heading into the weekend, the shelter was nearly 30 percent overcrowded.

This is one of the jobs of the media. We want to produce work that influences our audience to want to do something. We want to create a change in our communities, open our readers’ minds to what is going on in our cities and get people to take what they learn and put it into action. The purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to make informed decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies and their governments.

In this case, helping 55 animals find families to love them, reuniting four pets with the families who were searching for them and giving 11 animals a break from the chaos of the shelter seems like a good day’s work. 

Please consider adopting a pet or becoming a foster parent. The shelter is also looking for donations of cat food, cat toys, towels and cleaning supplies.