Foster or Adopt from the City of Port Isabel Animal Shelter, Therapy For Both Owner And Pet

Socialization during the Covid-19 pandemic is just as important for four legged friends as it is for people. The Isabel Y. Garcia Animal Shelter in Port Isabel is offering a foster program that can help both.

According to Lexus Martinez, Administrative Assistant at the Shelter, fostering a dog during these difficult times will bring “joy and happiness to your life” and will give you something positive to focus on. Applications for the Foster Program can be found on the Shelter’s Facebook page as well as information about the program and photos of the almost 30 dogs that are available through the program. The animals are also available for adoption if the matches between people and dogs are successful.

Martinez says that all animals will have up-to-date vaccinations and those older than six months will be spayed or neutered at no cost. Younger puppies or those who have not had the procedures yet will be scheduled with the Shelter’s veterinarian as soon as the facility reopens. Flea and tick medication, heartworm medication, and microchipping are also included.

“Socialization for animals is just as important as it is for humans”, says Martinez.  Recent staff reductions and loss of funding have necessarily limited the amount of time employees can spend with each animal. “I love these dogs just as much as I love my own dogs,” she said and expressed her hope that the foster program will uplift not just the dogs, but their foster parents as well. The animals can give unconditional love and the same level of emotional support you might hope for from your best friend.

To view the photos and stories of the animals available, please visit the shelter at An online application to foster an animal can be found by clicking the “Learn More” button at the top of the page. Once your application has been received, you may contact Martinez by messenger, email to, or by phone at (956) 346-4330 to schedule a personal appointment. Reach out today to help a friend in need and together, we will get through this.

Fred- Fred is a 6-month-old terrier mix. He was abandoned outside the shelter gates along with 5 of his siblings. They were left packed into a small crate where they barely had room to move around. All of Fred’s brothers and sisters have found their forever homes and little Fred is hoping to do the same. He is great with other dogs and is a total goof ball. He would be a great addition to any family. He is up to date on his vaccines and pending his neuter surgery.

Buddy- Buddy was brought into the shelter as an owner surrender. His previous family was relocating and could not take him with them. Buddy is a 1-year old Australian Cattle Dog mix who is full of energy and would love to have a nice yard to run around in. Buddy would do best in a home without cats and would do well with other dogs once he is introduced. He is up to date on his vaccines and pending his neuter surgery.

Jesse- Jesse is a 2-3-year-old Doberman mix who has been at the shelter for almost a year. Jesse is a very sweet girl and loves to spend her time at the shelter hanging out with her dog friends in our dog park. Jessie was brought into the shelter with her companion as an owner surrender in June of last year. Her partner was adopted not too long after he arrived, and Jessie has been waiting patiently for her chance to find her forever home. Jessie is up to date on vaccinations and is spayed.

Chippie- Chippie is a 5-6-month-old husky Labrador mix. He was turned into the shelter with 7 of his littermates earlier this year. Chippie is a fun puppy who loves attention. He gets along with other dogs and children. He is up to date on his vaccines and pending his neuter surgery.

A Helping Hand: Local Restaurant Offers Free Meal to Furloughed Service Industry Workers

Manager Joe Rivas from a post of Facebook with an invitation to furloughed service industry workers.

City of Port Isabel

As we all struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting everyone around the globe, it’s heartwarming to witness acts of kindness in our community to help those affected by this devastating situation.

On Thursday, April 16th, from 2 to 4 p.m., Pelican Station Restaurant in Port Isabel held an Appreciation Day for those in the restaurant and hotel service industry. The restaurant gave away free meals to workers in the Port Isabel area and South Padre Island who are unemployed due to the forced closures of restaurants and hotels.

Manager Joe Rivas posted a short video on the restaurant’s Facebook page, inviting those affected to come in and get a meal to go during the designated time. Rivas said the idea came from restaurant owner Al Salazar and his son Cameron, saying “Cameron and his dad Al wanted to do this for our friends here in the Port Isabel area.”

General Manager Joe Vasquez, who is in his 11th year with the Salazar family restaurant group, spoke via telephone about the success of the venture.

“We gave away a total of at least 400 meals,” Vasquez reported, adding that also included meals to some city workers and emergency responders. Vasquez noted that the Salazar’s have had to close six of their nine restaurants in the area.”

Despite their personal setbacks, they’ve continued to offer takeout and curbside service, including $5.99 daily lunch specials. “We’ve been trying to help any way we can, selling everything from beer, wine, and spirits to produce, eggs, and milk, bleach, gloves and toilet paper,” said Vasquez.

Pelican Station has even been offering free delivery, covering a wide area ranging from Laguna Vista to the North end of South Padre Island.

“We have a lot of longtime regular guests who are elderly and can’t get out,” Vasquez commented. He said family members from as far away as San Antonio are placing orders for their elderly parents who live in Port Isabel. Pelican Station delivers the meals to their doorstep, then contacts their customers to notify them their food has been delivered and is waiting for them right outside their door.

Speaking of the difficult times we’re all facing, Vasquez said, “Every day we get through this is one day less we have to endure. Here at Pelican Station, we’re trying to keep spirits up with positive energy and just keep going forward. Hopefully if we work together, we’ll all get through this.”

Pamela Cody –

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Historic Port Isabel Lighthouse Gets Needed Repairs: (Updated) Scheduled reopening late Summer

The historic Port Isabel Lighthouse, which has been closed since October 2016 in preparation, begins the re-stuccoing process today (March 1, 2017). A reopening date of late May / early June has been tentatively set.

March 1, 2017. Port Isabel lighthouse begins re-stuccoing.



The Port Isabel Lighthouse has long been a dominant feature at the southern tip of the Texas Gulf Coast. Its heavy brick walls have stood against the elements for more than a century, and for most of that time, its light has been a familiar aid to seafarers.

This area, long known to coastal Barrado Indians, was discovered by the Spanish explorer Pineda in 1519 while on a mapping expedition of the Gulf shores. Spanish control was established here in the late 1700s, as ranchers began moving into the vicinity from Mexico. By the 1830s a small settlement El Fronton de Santa Isabella, served as headquarters for a large Mexican ranch owned by Don Rafael Garcia.

1930s photo of the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse.The Point Isabel region passed almost uneventfully through the period of the Texas Republic to statehood, but it gained widespread attention in 1846. In late April, General Zachary Taylor moved his troops into this area north of the Rio Grande when hostilities between the United States and Mexico seemed imminent. Within two weeks war had begun. The opening battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma were fought north of present-day Brownsville. Point Isabel received the wounded form these initial struggles and served as an American supply depot for the duration of the war.

The point continued in use after the war to supply two military stations on the Rio Grande–Fort Brown and Ringgold Barracks. Pre- 1905 photo of the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse.Because of the heavy shipping traffic through Brazos Santiago Pass to Point Isabel, a navigational light became a necessity. Land at the point was made available by the War Department, money was authorized by Congress, and construction of a lighthouse was underway by 1851. Two years later, the brick tower had been completed and was topped by a stationary white light that could be seen for almost 16 miles. The Civil War brought armed conflict once again to Point Isabel. Confederate forces held this area in the early stages of the war but gave way in 1863 to Federal troops who were sent to strengthen the blockade on Southern shipping. Both sides used the lighthouse as an observation post. At nearby Palmetto Ranch, Union and Rebel soldiers clashed on May 13, 1865, more than a month after General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, in what has since been acknowledged as the last battle of the war.

1940s picture postcard of the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse.In 1866 the lighthouse was repaired and relit. For the next two decades its beacon guided large numbers of commercial vessels to southernmost Texas. The light was extinguished between 1888 and 1894 during negotiations over ownership of the site; when finally reactivated, its years of service were numbered. The lighthouse was abandoned permanently in 1905 after shipping traffic declined. And although the coast was later active with defense measures during the two world wars, the tower at Point Isabel stood a dark watch.
The lighthouse and its associated buildings were donated to the state in 1950 as a historic site by Mr. & Mrs. Lon C. Hill, Jr. and the Port Isabel Realty Company. The State Parks Board remodeled the tower by replacing the iron platform with concrete and by raising the glass dome to provide easier access for visitors. Additional repair work by the Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD Point Isabel Lighthouse Flyer) was completed in 1970. At present, the tower with its mercury-vapor light is marked on sea charts as an aid to navigation. Of sixteen lighthouses constructed along the Texas coast, Port Isabel Lighthouse is the only one now open to the public.
Port Isabel Lighthouse.Hours of Operation: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily (weather permitting). Tickets may be purchased in the Lighthouse, the Keepers Cottage (Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center), the Treasures of the Gulf Museum and the Port Isabel Historical Museum.
Admission: Adults ($4.00); Seniors ($3.00); Students with id ($2.00). Last ticket sold 1/2 hour before closing. Children 5 & Under (must be at least 38″ and 4 years old tall to climb the lighthouse): Free.

Queen Isabella Causeway Collapse ~ Remembering 9/15/2001

Port Isabel Mayor Joe E. Vega and Commissioners invite the public to join together at the base of the Queen Isabella Causeway, on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 9:00 a.m., for a moment of silence on the 14th anniversary of the Queen Isabella Causeway collapse.

The Public is Invited to Attend.

We will never forget the lives that were lost, the heroes that saved lives and brought comfort and neighbors that became friends.

In memory of~Robert “Bob” Harris, Hector Martinez Jr., Harpoon Barry Welch and Chelsea Welch, all of Port Isabel; Julio Mireles of Los Fresnos; Robin Leavell of Mercedes; Stvan Francisco Rivas of Humble, Texas; and Gaspar S. Hinojosa of Kingsville. And the survivors~Rene Mata, Gustavo Morales and Bridgett Goza.

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March 13, 1928, Port Isabel Incorporates! PI Day at the Capitol! Welcome to Spring Breakers!


Point Isabel became Port Isabel as the town incorporated on March 13, 1928. Charles Champion was the bustling town’s first mayor. One newspaper article started off, “Point Isabel, historic little city of oleanders, 2015-03-10_1356fishing nets and aguadores has undergone a metamorphosis…” In 1928, Port Isabel was poised for a challenging future that would include hurricanes and a Great Depression. Today we celebrate Port Isabel’s 87th Birthday and a bright future!

Port Isabel Day at the State Capitol! 

March 3, 2015, was Port Isabel Day at the State Capitol and a delegation led by Mayor Joe E. Vega and City Commissioner Memo Torres were recognized in both the House and the Senate for the occasion for House Resolution 646, authored by Representative Oliveira and Senate Resolution 242 authored by Senator Lucio dSenate Resolution 242. Port Isabel Day at the State Capitol.eclaring March 3, 2015, Port Isabel Day at the State Capitol. Following, the group met with the General Land Office, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affiars, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Texas Historical Commission, Texas Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Office: Tourism and Economic Development. The event served to create and strengthen partnerships with Port Isabel’s representation in Austin.

Welcome Spring Breakers!

2015-03-10_1442Port Isabel has a long history with the spring break tradition of the Spring Breaker! We hope you will enjoy your stay in the Laguna Madre area as the weather will allow. Port Isabel offers great dining, shopping, museums, activities, attractions and accommodations! Our home is your home away from home!

Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center to host NOCHES de BAILE

Sunday, March 15 from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call (956)543-6595 for more information. $15 per person.