An east Texas animal rescue organization says it's a growing problem that can no longer be ignored.
On friday, APET, or Animal Preservation of East Texas, presented the Wood county commissioners court with a petition, requesting an animal control officer and shelter.
As KLTV 7's Molly Reuter explains, APET says the time is now to get both abandoned animals and Wood county residents some help.
These two healthy dalmatian mix dogs are proof good things can happen.
"The dog right here weighed 21 pounds, and after his recovery his regular weight is about 40 pounds."
Five months ago, APET's Sandy Hocking rescued the dogs from a Wood County home where she says the animals were living with about 20 other dogs in horrible conditions.
But without a county shelter, or animal control officer, Hocking says APET could only do so much.
"It's just heartbreaking...There was no way I could take 18-20 dogs to my personal home and take care of them."
This afternoon, APET's board met to discuss ways to gain the county's support and the time is now.
APET says Wood county's population is growing, but the economy is only getting worse.
"The typical phone call of course is I have a dog, and I can't take care of it anymore, can you take it."
"APET is doing a tremendous job in our spay and neuter program to lower the population, but just one, or two instances of people having multiple dogs who are breading over and over again undoes everything we are trying to do, so therefore an animal control officer is necessary to get there and enforce some of the laws that are on the books."
Not only is APET asking for the county's help, but Wood county residents as well.
"Awareness and support. We want people to know what's going on in the county..."
And the proof, APET says, is in the pictures.
Wood County Judge Bryan Jeanes today says the commissioner's county is behind APET, but has already made the budget for the year. The cout can, however, make an amendment to the budget to add an animal control officer if it decides to do so.