Animal Welfare
9:01 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Animal Care Services To Evaluate Free Spay/Neuter Zip Codes

San Antonio Animal Care Services will soon be reevaluating the areas where the highest animal problems are being reported.

Using a geographic information system, Animal Care Services collects all kinds of information about the city's stray animal population, where the highest number of bite cases are coming from, and where deceased animals are being found.

Public Information Officer Lisa Norwood said that information helps focus the department's efforts.

"It's all about strategy. You want to make sure that you're bringing resources to the areas most in need," she said.

"Through our comprehensive neighborhood sweeps initiative, as well as our spay/neuter initiatives, we have tried to ensure that we offer services to the places that need them the most," she said.

ACS previously offered free spay and neuter services to people in 12 zip codes, but Norwood said that expanded this year to 20. ACS is preparing to evaluate the areas for the next fiscal year, which begins in Oct.

The data will look at expanding the areas, adjusted to fit the need of different zip codes, or if the current areas are the most in need again.

"At the end of the day, it's about encouraging people to do the right thing by their pet, and at ACS, we believe that's getting your pet sterilized," Norwood said.

Any readjustment could mean some areas will no longer qualify for free spay and neuter services, but Norwood said ACS works with several partner agencies.

If free services are not offered, low-cost services likely would be.

Residents can help their areas are accurately represented in the data by reporting strays, bites and deceased animals.

According to Animal Care Services, San Antonio’s low vaccination rate has also resulted in an increase in pet disease rates.