San Antonio Unites to Conquer Pet Overpopulation

Community foundation steps up to oversee early initiatives

Read the previous chapter: Texas city of pet lovers builds a humane community

Adoptable cat in animal shelter kennelAt first, San Antonio residents wanted ACS to solve the city’s pet overpopulation problem.

“But clearly this wasn’t one shelter’s problem,” said Gavin Nichols, director of grants and programs for the San Antonio Area Foundation (SAAFdn). “It was a community problem, and as a community foundation, we felt we should be involved in coming up with solutions.”

In 2006, shortly after the City of San Antonio passed its first Animal Care Strategic Plan, SAAFdn brought animal welfare groups together to discuss collaborative strategies that would address the city’s euthanasia rate.                           

“These groups had been working separately and often times at cross purposes with each other,” said Gavin. “We thought it was important that we all line up and start pulling in the same direction.”

SAAFdn hosted quarterly meetings and collected statistics from each group for adoptions, spay/neuter, euthanasia and live-exit rates. They also established Alamo Area Partners for Animal Welfare (AAPAW), a coalition of 50 shelter and rescue groups from the greater San Antonio area, to bring bilingual information to residents through a grassroots marketing campaign.

For the first time, San Antonio animal welfare groups showed a united front and demonstrated how pet parents could help save lives.

Next: Trap-Neuter-Return comes out of the dark to change ordinance


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