San Antonio City Council hints at boosting Animal Care Services budget

Animal Care Services presented its new strategic plan Wednesday

San Antonio – The San Antonio City Council appears ready to throw Animal Care Services a bone.

During a presentation on the department’s updated strategic plan Wednesday, multiple council members commented about a need to increase ACS’s $21.4 million budget. Specific numbers weren’t mentioned, and ACS Director Shannon Sims didn’t have a hard estimate on how much it would take.

And although the council members’ willingness to shell out more more money comes less than a month after a fatal dog mauling on the West Side, Sims doesn’t believe it’s directly linked.

“I say that from the fact that we have have been in talks with their communities over the last year. Do I think that it probably garners more attention because of the February attack? But a lot of what we’re talking about wouldn’t even impact that,” Sims said.

ACS had already been in the process of finalizing its new strategic plan when the deadly dog attack happened on Depla Street.

Loose dogs are one of the top animal-related concerns for San Antonians, ACS said, and a focus of the new plan would be a focus on making sure people feel safe.

Other aspects of the plan, though, include ideas like transporting animals out of state for adoptions in an effort to improve the department’s live release rate.

City Manager Erik Walsh said the plan would “require dedication of a significant amount of money over time” and for the council to prioritize the department.

The council is scheduled to have a discussion on its budget priorities on April 5.

About the Authors

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.

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