SAN ANTONIO – We see them roaming the streets and filling rescues, including San Antonio Animal Care Services. Stray, loose and even owner-surrendered dogs and cats.
“Most of the rescue community is just tired, overwhelmed, underfunded and we need help from the city,” Deanna Lee, a local rescuer, said.
Lee organized a town hall at Braun Hall on the Northwest Side Sunday. There were over 20 local rescues represented there.
Their goal was to lay out issues they’re facing when trying to help animals across San Antonio.
“Spay and neuter is the most important component in addressing this stray population in the city,” Lee said.
If they’re not born, they don’t roam the streets and ultimately fill ACS or rescue shelters. But there’s still one more problem with that solution.
“We’re only building about 2,500 to 3,000 vets a year. There’s currently a deficit of about 7,000,” Shannon Sims, the director at Animal Care Services said.
With not enough veterinarians, the number of animals waiting to be spayed and neutered continues to grow.
Sims said in the long term, they won’t fix the city’s problem without that demand being met.
“The root of the problem is a lack of spay-neuter in the community, both whether the city is paying for it or who’s paying for it, there is not enough to service our community now,” Sims said.
This part of the equation won’t be solved in the short term, so in the meantime, rescues are asking the community to foster.
“Our most immediate need right now is for fosters because the animals that were born need homes,” Lee said.
Sims mentioned he’s hopeful the bond that includes a new veterinary hospital will be approved on May 7th by voters. It’ll double their spay and neuter capabilities and allow them to recruit more veterinarians.