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Over a Week Since Flooding, Dead Animals Litter Onion Creek

Mose Buchele, KUT News

A dead horse, dog, goat, and deer were among the putrefying animals that clean-up volunteers found today along a small strip of Onion Creek in the Bluffs Springs neighborhood of Travis County. 

"Somebody should be helping, at least coming and getting these animals out of here. I mean, they're decaying where [people] live," said Lina Meaux, a volunteer helping in the cleanup efforts.

When told by KUT about a dead horse rotting in the waters of the creek, a member of the Austin Disaster Relief Network, a church-based aid group, said he would notify animal control. The man said the dead animals posed an immediate health concern and that his group was having trouble keeping children away from the creek.

He would not give his name because he was not authorized to speak with the media.

At the staging headquarters for the volunteer effort, Daniel Geraci, the executive director of the Austin Relief Network, said volunteers were finding many animals.

"Bluff Springs is an area where there were farm animals, so there's quite a few that need to be removed," said Geraci. "That is a health risk and I'm calling animal control now to see if I can get those guys out there."

The discovery of so many rotting animals underscored what residents in the area called a lack of attention paid to the Bluff Springs neighborhood.

Debbie Lozano, who has been sleeping in a tent with her boyfriend in front of their flood-ravaged home, said Saturday was the first day anyone has come to help remove debris or help with clean up.

"They just all showed up today and it's like a miracle," she told KUT. "It felt like were were out here all by ourselves, nobody was trying to help. It felt like we're literally on a desert island!"

Editor's note: This story originally contained a photo of a dead horse laying in Onion Creek. As reflected in the comments below, several people found the image offensive. After some consideration, KUT has decided to remove the photo. 

Mose Buchele focuses on energy and environmental reporting at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mosebuchele.
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