(Photo by Kyle Muscarello)
WACO (November 16, 2012)--Police were investigating Friday morning after someone broke into the Humane Society of Central Texas overnight and vandalized the facility.
At first officers thought some animals had been turned loose, but by mid-morning a spokesman for the facility said all the animals had been accounted for.
Shelter director Don Bland said burglars evidently climbed one of the fences and cut a window screen to gain access to the building and left the inside a ""big mess."
Bland said employees and volunteers worked to repair the damage and clean the facility Friday morning.
Bland said, the burglars attempted to steal some items from the building, but as they left a Waco police Animal Control Officer was dropping off an animal and likely scared the intruders off.
The facility keeps between 135 and 200 animals on site every day, Bland said, which amounts to about 80 percent of capacity.
Several other animals are in foster care off site, he said.
The City of Waco will take over operation of the shelter on Dec. 1 after a City Council vote last week that authorized City Manager Larry Groth to negotiate an agreement under which the city would run the kennels and the Humane Society would be responsible for adoption and redemption of animals.
The city was initially poised to take over the shelter at the end of September and to operate it as a holding facility where animals unclaimed after three days would either be transferred to other shelters or euthanized.
Animal advocates pushed back, however, arguing the so-called 72-hour rule could lead to mass euthanasia.
The city postponed the takeover to come up with the plan that goes into effect next month.