Animal Care Services launches new initiative to help keep dogs off the streets

ACS’s CASA team initiative provides education and resources to dog owners

SAN ANTONIO – If you’ve driven around some parts of San Antonio, you may have noticed many apparent stray dogs. However, according to Animal Care Services, some of them could very well have owners.

ACS is launching a new initiative to help dog owners best provide for their furry friends and keep them off the streets.

Their approach is to meet community members at their doorstep and offer everything from education to resources.

On Friday, the Community Animal Support and Assistance team, or CASA, canvassed neighborhoods throughout San Antonio in an effort to help keep dogs off the city’s roadways.

“So our whole goal is to assist people, whether that be education or resources,” said Katherine Powell, case management manager at ACS.

ACS officers went street by street, house by house ensuring the community has the help they need and are familiar with city ordinances.

“We just need to make sure that we give them the support that they need to be the best pet owners that they can be,” said Powell.

This initiative also gives pet owners an opportunity to correct any violations and avoid citations.

“We provide them with supplies to keep their pets appropriately contained in their properties so that they are not at risk in the communities,” said Powell.

Dogs out on the street pose many safety concerns, according to ACS.

Some of the dogs that are out and about have collars, so CASA’s effort is to get owners to keep them on their property, properly and off the streets.

According to ACS, just in the last six weeks, they’ve come across more than 600 dogs. Of those animals, 80% have a home.

Aside from education, CASA’s initiative also provides owners with the appropriate tethering and even on-site micro-chipping. Since January, ACS has microchipped over 400 dogs in the field.

“We have microchips. We microchip on the spot in the field daily. So if you see us, flag us down,” said Ericka Colon, District 3 ACS officer.

The canvassing teams will also be looking out for any signs of animal neglect or cruelty and remind the public that chains are not allowed.

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About the Authors:

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He’s a bilingual award-winning news reporter and he joined KSAT in 2021. Before coming to San Antonio, Cotto was reporting along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He’s a veteran of the United States Navy.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.