Animal Care Services is one of the agencies with increased funding in the budget approved by City Council last week. ACS will use those funds to expand some pilot programs it says are working to forward its mission.
“Which is increasing that live release rate, while enforcing the laws controlling the stray animal population and providing education and outreach,” says ACS Director Heber Lefgren.
The Animal Care Services budget for the coming fiscal year is $13.8 million. That’s $900,000 more than the agency got this year.
Lefgren says some of that funding will be used to hire two new ACS officers to patrol Council Districts 3 and 4 on the South Side. He says there are already officers for the near east and west sides of the city.
“These officers are going to be very similar to neighborhood police officers,” says Lefgren. “They are going to be assigned a specific district and be responsible for doing more proactive service requests. Going out there looking to talk to the residents and the pet owners to direct community members to those resources. “
Lefgren says the funding will also help expand another pilot program that diverts pets from shelters by working with owners to find other homes for them.
ACS and its partners performed about 30,000 free spay and neuter surgeries last year. Several times last year, the agency was finding homes for 90 percent of the animals in its shelters—which technically earned San Antonio the designation of a “no kill” city for animals.