The Katy Animal Shelter took action on several of the recommendations made by the animal control advisory group at the Aug. 9 Katy City Council meeting. The advisory group was created in response to allegations of animal abuse made against the shelter earlier this year.
Katy Police Chief Noe Diaz presented the recommendations and actions taken at the August meeting. The shelter reinstated the 72-hour hold for animals, reduced from the seven-day minimum implemented in February, Diaz said. The reduced hold allows unclaimed animals to be released to rescue shelters more quickly, according to Diaz. Diaz said injured animals will be released to rescue shelters immediately, but owners can still reclaim their pets.
According to Diaz, the animal shelter implemented other recommendations made by the advisory group, including establishing a euthanasia policy, which follows Harris County guidelines and has already been uploaded to the animal control officer manual; equipping animal shelter staff with body cameras during calls for service; purchasing two cat cages; and vaccinating all intakes based on Houston Humane Society recommendations. The shelter has also begun public outreach efforts, including visiting homeowners association meetings and hosting outdoor events, according to Diaz.
Additionally, Diaz said the shelter plans to host two events per year to register animals, provide vet services and chip animals. There is also now an option to donate $30 to the Katy Animal Shelter when registering pets, Diaz said.
In addition to these changes, Diaz said the shelter has plans to establish a Katy Pet Wellness pilot program and to find a rescue coordinator. According to Diaz, the shelter has enough staff to accommodate the number of animals in the shelter, and the shelter meets the same standards as the rescue organizations where the animals are eventually sent. Diaz said the shelter is also in the process of modernizing the shelter according to standards set by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.
Katy City Council member Dan Smith said he was confident in the state of Katy Animal Control and how it acted on the recommendations made by the Animal Control Advisory Group.
“As it stands today, I’m very comfortable if my pet escaped the yard and was picked up by Katy Animal Control that he would be treated humanely, scanned for a chip ... and make it safely home to my family,” Smith said.