Posted on Oct 30, 2021

Whether you have two legs or four, Mineral Wells Police Sgt. Neal Davis serves and protects.

The Mineral Wells Animal Shelter falls under the operational control of the MWPD, and Sgt. Davis directly oversees the shelter for the department and the citizens of Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County. Thanks to a participatory funding agreement with the county, the shelter is available to all county residents.

The shelter is located at 101 F Road 2256 at U.S. Highway 281 South. The shelter offers a variety of free and low-cost services throughout the year such as vaccinations, microchipping and adoption fairs. The shelter often operates at capacity but works hard with various animal foster and adoption organizations to place animals and give them a chance at finding a permanent and loving home.

Program chair Crystal Cameron brought Sgt. Davis to Wednesday's meeting as this past week's guest speaker.

“Animal control is not just about picking up stray cats and dogs,” Sgt. Davis said. “We also pick up dead animals, mostly cats and dogs, as well as wildlife. The shelter takes in abandoned, surrendered, and injured animals, seized animals from hoarding cases, and we temporarily hold animals during emergencies. Here is a sampling of the animal variety we see at the shelter: deer, pigs, livestock, songbirds, parrots, birds of prey, poultry, mice, snakes, guinea pigs, foxes, raccoons, possums, and exotic animals such as monkeys, etc. We also have a cannon for bird control.”

He said animal control is not just about picking up stray animals, but through city ordinances, looks to create an atmosphere of healthy animal populations, reducing the number of strays and feral animals and promoting responsible pet ownership.

“Education is an important part of our public safety duties. In fact, our first contact with many usually entails informing them about the city ordinances regarding stray animals or rabies requirements. I consider this one of our most important tasks since our goal is to encourage compliance whenever possible,” Sgt. Davis said.

He said two years ago the department began tracking the number of animal calls received by the police dispatch, He said animal calls are responsible for about 10% of all calls made to police dispatch. Last year the department received about 3,700 animal-related calls for service.

Sgt. Davis said those approximately 3,700 led to animal control officers taking in about 2,100 animals – both live and dead. He said of those, 1,071 were dogs, 907 were cats, and the rest were assorted other animals. He said the average holding time is about 11 days for dogs, and 17 days for cats. He said the shelter in the 2020-21 fiscal year recorded 163 adoptions, 325 reclaims and 1,244 rescues.

“Everyone is having trouble placing animals,” Sgt. Davis said. “We are not a no-kill shelter and significant effort is placed into moving animals out of the shelter so as to avoid euthanizing animals.”

To learn more about the shelter, its operating hours and what pets are available, or will be available, for adoption, go to or visit their Facebook page.

Rotary Club of Mineral Wells meets every Wednesday at noon at Southside Church of Christ. Lunches are catered by Sadie's Eats. Meetings are for club members, prospective members and invited guests.