SAN ANTONIO – Cold weather has left San Antonio’s Animal Care Services with a sudden influx of animals, forcing them to euthanize more than 30 dogs this week.
The shelter euthanized 23 dogs Tuesday and 11 dogs Wednesday due to lack of space, public relations and outreach manager Lisa Norwood said.
Low temperatures have played a major factor as ACS has a zero-tolerance policy for weather-related violations.
“As you can imagine, the recent cold front has led to an increase in the number of pets our animal care officers have been bringing in because of weather-related calls,” she said. “Anytime we see that sort of extreme weather, it can lead to increased intake and that can tax the shelter which only has so much space."
The dogs that were euthanized were not rescued, adopted or placed in a foster home.
“Euthanizing for space is last resort and the worst option,” she said.
Norwood said every day, ACS sends rescue partners a list of animals in need of adoption.
But those organizations are limited if they have outdoor kennels, leaving them no longer viable in the cold weather and therefore limiting their space for intake, she said.
An ACS partner, San Antonio Pets Alive!, waived adoption fees Wednesday because it reached maximum capacity.
Another factor that has contributed to overcrowding is a large amount of unvaccinated pets.
Norwood said an “overwhelmingly unvaccinated pet community” makes it easier for diseases to spread among animals in a crowded shelter.
“Prevention has to be constantly monitored and refined,” she said, adding that adopters may pass up sick pets because they’re not as attractive as healthy ones.
ACS requests locals vaccinate their pets, keep them on their property and care for them humanely.
Information on low-cost vaccinations can be found on ACS’ website.
Spay and neuter services are free for residents living in specific ZIP codes. Free microchipping is offered for city residents every day.
ACS is located at 4710 Highway 151.
Below are some dogs that are up for adoption at ACS. More adoptable animals can be seen on the shelter’s website.
Apple (A304595), Jacob (A395636) and Rocky (A366330) are up for adoption at Animal Care Services.