City Council changes stray hold policies for Animal Care Services

ACS officials: Change will speed up adoption process, create kennel space


SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio City Council members Thursday approved a request to shorten the stray hold period at Animal Care Services from three days to two days.

“The ordinance will allow those pets that have been selected in our shelter for adoption, or for pull by a rescue partner, to go home one day sooner,” said ACS director Kathy Davis.

The ordinance only applies to stray animals with a live outcome, meaning the dog or cat is ready to be adopted immediately.

Davis said the move will not only speed up the adoption process, but also increase ACS’ kennel capacity by more than 750 animals.

“Just one day less for those pets that have been there, that frees up space in our shelter, which is very important towards trying to address the stray dog problem, the loose problem, that we have out in our neighborhoods,” she said.

Some critics argued that ACS is risking adopting out a pet that already has an owner.

“Even if it’s a live release that means that they somehow got their after two days and somebody else has their animal,” said co-executive director of Voices For Animals John Bachman. “These people necessarily are not people that have the time to run down [to ACS] every day.”

Davis said ACS has policies in place to prevent that from happening.

“If an owner does happen to come back at any point while we still have that pet in our care that pet will still be reunited with that owner and we'll cancel the adoption,” Davis said.

City council members also approved a 10-month lease extension with Brooks City Base to house ACS’ quarantine facility.

Bachman said the facilities are outdated and inadequate, but Davis disagreed.

“We've put money into them to rehabilitate them. They're spotless, they're clean, they're gorgeous,” she said. “We take great care of our pets out at Brooks, and as even John [Bachman] will admit, when he’s out there the pets are being taken care of.”

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