Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
San Antonio Animal Care Services said the department will begin euthanizing dogs Friday if they are not able find homes for more than two dozen dogs.
On Wednesday, ACS put out a notice to the public on Facebook detailing how its officers seized 54 dogs found living at one home as they investigated an animal cruelty case. The dogs were found covered in mud and their own waste and brought back to Animal Care Services to be evaluated. All have received vaccinations and other necessary medical treatment.
“The dogs have been here since May 3 and have been available to both the community and our rescuers since that time,” Lisa Norwood at Animal Care Services said in an email. “Thankfully, SA Pets Alive and SA Humane Society have stepped up to help some of them.”
She said some of the puppies seized were infected with canine parvovirus, a highly contagious illness that requires intensive therapy to treat and that can be prevented by vaccinations.
Norwood said that the community needs to ensure they vaccinate their pets as well as spaying or neutering them. Of the 54 dogs found in a single home, many were puppies of the older dogs.
“They should have never had to come in,” Norwood said. “It shouldn’t have gotten to a point where there were 54 animals in a home. Those poor dogs were living in their own waste.”
A cruelty investigation on the dogs’ living situation remains open, Norwood said.
While some of the dogs seized have been taken in by local no-kill shelters San Antonio Pets Alive and the San Antonio Humane Society, two dozen dogs still needed homes. Animal Care Services said they would begin to put down some of the dogs on Friday, as they are over capacity, KSAT reported Thursday. The dogs have been in ACS custody since they were removed from the home on San Antonio’s East Side.
Norwood said that ACS has a 93 percent live-release rate, which means 93 percent of the 30,000 or so animals that ACS takes in every year find homes. But that also means 7 percent are euthanized, which is never an easy decision, she said.
“Just as it tears apart the people that hear about the euthanasia of pets at the shelter, so too does it tear apart the staff that has to make those decisions,” she said. “These decisions are not made lightly, and those decisions are also a last resort.”
Norwood said that applications for adopting and fostering animals are online, and can be submitted through the website. She added that interested people also can come to the shelter and interact with pets directly.
Adopting and fostering pets from other animal welfare groups also helps, Norwood said.
“What it’s doing is supporting the idea that our pets mean something, and that they’re worth something, that they’re part of the family,” she said. “That’s the idea we want San Antonio to get behind, because that’s the only way our community is going to become a safer and more humane place for our pets.”
Animal Care Services is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. The facility is located at 4710 State Highway 151 on the city’s West Side.
People interested in rescuing or fostering the dogs should contact the department at firstname.lastname@example.org. People interested in adoption can email email@example.com. Call Animal Care Services at 210-207-4738.