Charles Wade found the little dog covered in fleas and hungry earlier this month.
Wade told Eyewitness News he first called animal control about the puppy on May 9.
An officer never came to pick the dog up. Wade said despite repeated calls he had no choice but to feed the animal. He didn't want the puppy to die or get hit in busy traffic.
RELATED: BARC drops adoption fees to $1 all summer
Wade said an operator at 311 suggested he not care for the animal.
"I've been told to not feed him, not restrain him but that wouldn't work in 17 days if they want a live dog," said Wade. "So I finally gave up and called Channel 13."
ABC13 did make some calls. We've learned getting animal control to pick up a stray in Houston can be an exhaustive task.
Animal control prioritizes calls for service. They receive 55,000 each and every year. Dog bites and aggressive animals go to the top of the list.
Ashtyn Rivet is the Deputy Assistant Director at the BARC Animal Shelter. She stressed people can drop off strays for free at the shelter. She said city ordinance says if you care for an animal for 3 days the cat or dog becomes your property. Rivet said they simply don't have enough resources to answer everyone. They do their best.
"We have to prioritize the calls that we receive based on the severity of the situation," said Rivet. "We want to get to every single call. We're just simply unable to given the volume of service requests we get each day and each year."
On Wade's request, reporter Steve Campion took the puppy to BARC. The lab was found to be healthy and adopted out Friday afternoon.
His new family decided to name him Johnny.
Report a typo to the ABC13 staff