The commissioners discuss limiting community feline intake

By Megan Wearing

Hayes County – Hayes County is considering limiting the number of community cats taken in at the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter (SMRAS).

On November 15, the Hays County Commissioners Court discussed the potential adoption of a temporary community cat management policy based on the recommendations of a feasibility study conducted by Team Shelter USA.

The recommendation from Team Shelter USA in June suggested that the county revise its animal control law to require municipalities using SMRAS to stop accepting free-roaming, non-owned cats unless they are part of an enforcement case or are accepted for a Shelter Neuter Return/Trap Neuter Return (TNR) and returned to the home site the next day.

“A room full of cats is chained up [and]”They are being kept in cages because of this policy,” Judge Rubén Becerra said. “The shelter needs our work. They desperately need help and these little adjustments on paper…are so urgent when you stand in front of them. These are, for the most part, frankly, cats that just won’t get adopted.”

On October 23, 2018, the Court of Commissioners approved a decision to support SMRAS’ efforts to reach no-kill status within two years. Proposed by Commissioners Lon Shell and Debbie Ingalsbe, the resolution suggested the county’s intent to invest time and resources into the shelter to help it reach a no-kill status, which is known to have at least a 90% live outcome rate.

The 2018 resolution also required the creation of an Inter Animal Services Committee made up of SMRAS partners.

“We know that [SMRAS] “These people who work there are having a hard time dealing with these untamed cats. Therefore, by removing this problem and leaving the cats [put in]TNR, we will then allow them to be more efficient and have less stress as a factor. We will also allow them to have time to implement programmes, do outreach and take better care of [nearly]They have 160 dogs now and some cats that are both tame and adoptable.”

Poyet said the current situation is not what a “no killing” is supposed to be.

“We don’t want euthanasia; what we’re saying is that it’s best practice across all sciences, all veterinary experts… This is what government should be doing to support its constituents.”

Becerra Poyet asked what the court should do to help the city’s SMRAS facility’s desperate bottleneck.

“The city is required to sterilize animals that come into the shelter before they are returned or adopted,” Boyette said. “This piece is covered. Maybe they’ll go back to animal protection or in our county, we call animal control officers. They’d bring them back after spaying—those cats that are otherwise healthy or of good body weight, appear to have a food source. This could be a matter of permitting that the officers would keep a record of each Cat… What’s in the way is politics.”

Shell said the county needs to work with the Hays County Sheriff’s Office and animal control officers.

“We’re not the head of Animal Control,” Shell said. “We can pass things through all day, but if we don’t work with the sheriff’s office to make it happen, they probably won’t do anything. What we need is an ordinance to allow our animal control officers to implement this program, which will be part of the ordinance. If not, we may They are or not, I don’t know.”

Judge Becerra said he would reinstate the agenda item at the November 22 meeting after the San Marcos City Council conducted its second reading of the law.

Later in the evening of November 15, the San Marcos City Council voted to adjourn second reading and adopt an animal ordinance after first reading was passed on November 1.

Amendments to the ordinance will include reducing reasons for seizing cats, eliminating stray detention requirements in some cases, including stricter requirements for spay/neuter and micro-shipping, creating an offense for not retrieving or delivering pets on notification and adding requirements for pet shops/animal stores. pets.

The San Marcos City Council is scheduled to review the law again in January.

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