Home > Animals, NO Kill, Pets, Philanthropy > Talk About It! Animal No Kill

Talk About It! Animal No Kill

The San Antonio Area Foundation welcomes Laura McKieran, DrPH as a guest blogger. Dr. McKieran serves as Community Chair for the Animal No Kill Initiative’s Consortium of Partners. A dedicated advocate, she volunteers her time and talents to improving the humane treatment of companion pets in our community.

San Antonio is marking a halfway point with its Animal No Kill 2012 initiative, with a goal to dramatically decrease number of euthanized cats and dogs due to lack of space at the city’s Animal Care Services (ACS) facilities. We are pleased to note, according to recent ACS figures, there has been great progress!

Since 2004, ACS’ euthanasia numbers dropped almost 70%. Through adoption, transfer to rescuers, or return to owner, ACS saved 6,500 animals in 2009, nearly 30% of intake – up from 8% in 2004. Similarly, San Antonio’s low-cost spay/neuter agencies report about 40,000 surgeries have been performed, up from a low of 7,500 in 2005.

As a community we’re also trying to find the balance between animal care and animal control. Every San Antonian wants to walk their dog, ride a bike, or enjoy their front yard without fear of being chased or mauled by aggressive animals.

To help fulfill this need, ACS set intake priorities so facilities have enough space to house free-roaming and aggressive dogs. However, this step also comes with the understanding that intake rates will rise since many, if not most, of these dogs are not adoptable.

Thanks in part to the San Antonio Area Foundation, many nonprofit organizations dedicated to animal welfare and responsible pet ownership receive funding for important educational and programming needs including spay/neuter surgeries, adoptions, and organizational capacity building. This kind of generous support is vital to immediate and long term sustainability of our goal….but it is not enough.

Responsible pet ownership is the other key to success. Unfortunately, a great number of euthanized animals at ACS are abandoned or lost pets. Permanent, loving homes as well as humane confinement with an appropriate fence, not a chain or tie-out, are important to reaching the Animal No Kill goal. Temporary foster home care is also a priority as well as community wide awareness to spay/neuter pets. If every pet owner committed to these important responsibilities, San Antonio could see a dramatic decrease in controlling unwanted dog and feral cat populations.

There’s no insurmountable obstacle in the way of San Antonio’s Animal No Kill goal. San Antonians with a passion for animals need to talk about it! Share information with your neighbors and encourage them to commit to responsible pet ownership or contribute their time, talent or resources to help make a difference.

Whether through dedicated responsible pet ownership or donations of time, talent, or resources, everyone can contribute to this important initiative. Simply call 211 and ask for “Community Services”. You’ll find a wealth of information on low-cost spay/neuter programs as well as volunteer opportunities in local shelters.

Let’s talk about saving adoptable pets San Antonio! Let’s talk about responsible pet ownership! Let’s talk about how this goal will help make our neighborhoods safer! It’s time to take action. Join us in supporting the Animal No Kill 2012 goal.

For more information, listen to Dr. McKieran’s podcast.

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