Abandoned pets near airport runways causing problem

With Merced County's new animal shelter open at Castle Commerce Center, shelter employees are dealing with a problem they haven't seen before.

Abandoned dogs ending up on the runways of the former Air Force base are endangering airplanes, causing big problems for the shelter.

"If dogs get on the runway, we have to get them off one way or another," said Kristi Caseri, animal services supervisor for the shelter.

That means if shelter employees can't catch or trap the dogs, the animals end up having to be shot.

Dogs running on the runway a couple of weeks ago were caught by shelter employees, but it could have been a mess, Caseri said.

"The end result of dumping animals out here is not good," she said.

Rick Blackwell, animal services manager for the shelter, said people who have animals that need to be relinquished shouldn't wait until the last minute.

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