San Antonio Unites to Conquer Pet Overpopulation

Residents and animal welfare groups unite, create lasting change

Read the previous chapter: Grants boost San Antonio’s spay/neuter options

Little girl petting cat at animal shelterWhile there's no one-size-fits-all approach to saving lives, for San Antonio, including pets in the daily conversation appears to be an important key to success. It encourages everyone in the community to speak the same language as they work together to save lives. 

“When people ask how we do it, I say ‘San Antonians rise to the challenge,’” said ACS Director Kathy Davis. “We have a community that has decided it’s not the responsibility of one small city department to solve all the pet problems in our city. If it wasn’t for the community stepping up to help and our partners taking in so many pets, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

After all their hard work, every year San Antonio’s animal welfare partners:

  • find homes for more than 24,000 cats and dogs — a 150% increase in adoptions since 2004;
  • spay and neuter more than 58,000 cats and dogs — an 87% increase in surgeries since 2004;
  • transfer more than 13,000 cats and dogs to other shelters and rescue programs.

As a result, ACS reached an 81% overall live-exit rate in 2014 — and an 87% live-exit rate just for cats. In fact, ACS and the San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS) say they actually have empty cat cages on some days.

“People think we must not be accepting cats, but the truth is, every day we’re seeing fewer and fewer homeless cats coming through our doors,” says Dr. Courtney Bridgeman, chief veterinarian at SAHS. “It’s amazing.”

Over the last 3 years, PetSmart Charities provided San Antonio with more than $2.2 million in grant support to help the community reach its goals.

“We’re proud of the role we played and continue to play in helping San Antonio,” said PetSmart Charities’ Julie White. “This community really shows the power of teamwork to save more lives.”

Learn more about San Antonio's success:



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