Hays County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to support a resolution to move forward with a plan to support the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter’s efforts to reach no-kill status within two years.
The resolution, proposed by Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell and Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe, states the county’s desire to invest time and resources in the shelter to help it reach no-kill status, defined as at least a 90 percent live-outcome rate. It requests the creation of an Interlocal Animal Services Commission made up of all partners of the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.
County commissioners said they would request that the Interlocal Animal Services Commission create an operational plan and budget to reach its goal and implement solutions to reduce the need for the shelter by improving the animal foster and adoption processes, engaging volunteers and using spay-and-neuter programs.
San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter is the only shelter serving all of Hays County, and as the county continues to grow, advocates say the shelter has become strapped for resources. The Hays County resolution, which states a desire to contribute resources to the shelter, is a sign of growing regional support.
Wimberley City Council passed a similar resolution in September. And although Kyle City Council has not yet passed a resolution of this type, Kyle City Council Member Daphne Tenorio told county commissioners Tuesday that as an animal lover who has fostered approximately 100 dogs in her home over the past decade, she supports their resolution to help the shelter reach no-kill status.
“I want to say, San Marcos has done an amazing job with the facilities that they have,” Tenorio said. “I know that they’re overwhelmed with our growing communities and they’re just getting more and more animals because we’re growing so quickly. I look forward to working as a group to find a solution to help them, and making a no-kill shelter a possibility and making it a reality.”
Shell echoed Tenorio’s concerns about the effect of a growing population on the shelter, and said he looks forward to the county increasing funding in its budget for the shelter to help it achieve no-kill status by 2020.
According to previous reporting by Community Impact Newspaper, the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter received 19,875 visitors in 2017—a 34-percent increase from 2016. Forty-four percent of the 4,534 dogs and cats brought to the shelter in 2017 were euthanized. Of the euthanized animals, 1,353 were cats and 696 were dogs.
Sharri Boyett, Hays County Animals Advocates volunteer, voiced her support of the county’s resolution and called on the community to volunteer at and foster animals from the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.
“If you’ve ever had the warmth of a friendly assurance of a four-footed friend, this resolution is cause to rejoice,” Boyett said. “We should be reminded that life-saving shelter programs are the right thing to do. So many of our Texas neighbors in over 1,600 other communities are already successful at achieving 90 percent live outcomes. It’s time for Hays County to join them. It’s a promise for modern best practices and interlocal cooperation, of forward thinking, as our county’s forecast is exponential growth.”