The Denominator: Help Arrives for Pets, Homes, HVAC, and the DoSeum

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Daisy is one of the three dogs that are mainstays of the Gonzales family.

Rachel Chaney for the Rivard Report

Daisy the dog relaxes outside her home in the shade of a tree.

The Denominator is a weekly brief of significant numbers underlying our latest news stories.

New Ordinance Mandates Shade for Pets

$300 to $2,000 is how much San Antonio residents can be fined for not providing shade for their pets. The new rule, approved unanimously by City Council on Thursday, attempts to curb the nearly 3,500 calls made each year to the City’s Animal Care Services (ACS) department about animals in extreme heat conditions.

Prior to the ordinance, San Antonians could legally leave dogs and other animals outside without any shade as long as they had an enclosed shelter, such as a dog house, and weren’t tethered. But a recent incident sparked reconsideration of the original rule, when a dog named Molly suffered severe burns after being left outside without open-air shade.

No Rest for HVAC Techs

1,032 is the number of licensed HVAC contractors in Bexar County, according to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation lists. Some 16,228 HVAC contractors work in the state, and few of them get vacation time during hot Texas summers.

Today, air conditioning accounts for 12 percent of total annual home energy expenditures in the United States, but 27 percent in the hot and humid South and Southeast regions, according to the latest EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey.

Making Houses Healthier

40 percent is the number of American homes that have at least one or more health or safety hazards, according to a State of Healthy Housing report. The cities with the least healthy housing in 2013 were San Antonio, Memphis, and Birmingham, Alabama. Studies show deficient housing contributes to not only increased health problems and injuries, especially in the elderly, but also homelessness and economic instability.

Local nonprofit Blueprint Ministries repairs substandard homes that belong to people who live at or below the poverty level and who do not have a family member or friend who can assist them. The organization expects to repair more than 60 homes in San Antonio this year, including local resident Debra Clay’s little green house on the city’s East Side.

DoSeum Gets Dough

$100,000 is the amount Whataburger donated to The DoSeum to support the children’s museum’s efforts to promote learning through exploration.

To show its appreciation, The DoSeum’s food truck inside its Little Town exhibit will be unveiled as a Whataburger food truck on Monday morning. The exhibit allows children to learn through role play as servers, cooks, or customers.

Signing Up for Sick Leave

70,419 is the number of signatures validated on Thursday by San Antonio’s City Clerk on petitions for an ordinance mandating paid sick leave. The ordinance could be enacted by City Council or placed on the November ballot for voters to decide.

More than 350,000 San Antonio workers currently do not have access to paid sick time. If placed on the ballot and approved by voters, the ordinance would require employers in the city to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, capped at six or eight days annually depending on the size of the business. It would also allow parents to take time off to care for sick children.

 

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