“Step up San Antonio!” That’s the name of a new campaign launched today by resident Jenn Studley. She says she is tired of seeing thousands of perfectly adoptable dogs euthanized by the City’s Animal Care Services department each year. Studley’s push calls upon the City and residents to do more to help save animals.
“The City of San Antonio claims it’s trying to become a “no kill” facility, which would mean about 90% of dogs who come into the pound would not be euthanized, and many people believe Animal Care Services is a no kill municipal shelter, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth,” said Studley. “Wonderful, friendly dogs, even puppies are euthanized daily. If an animal is surrendered by its owner, sometimes the dog is killed within hours of being dropped off. I’m sick of it, and things need to change.”
Last year more than 4800 dogs were killed by the City of San Antonio and thousands have been euthanized so far in 2014. Ongoing patterns of disturbing behavior by Animal Care Services have been revealed by WatchDogMary, including posting pictures of dogs with terrible looking “adoption photos” and “profile pictures” of pups covered in clusters of ticks who were euthanized when they were not adopted. Other articles reveal questionable behavior by city employees and flat out mismanagement of the operation.
Studley’s Step Up San Antonio calls on the Mayor, City Manger and Animal Care Services employees to work harder to save animals, but Studley says, local pet owners also need a serious wake up call. “I moved to San Antonio from Massachusetts years ago and I’m shocked and horrified by how some residents here don’t care about their pets. There are massive numbers of stray dogs just roaming neighborhoods. People aren’t spaying and neutering their pets. When some female dogs get pregnant as a result, they’re dropped off at Animal Care Services with their pups. On some occasions the mother dogs are euthanized by the City, and pups that are days or weeks old are left to be bottle fed. What happens here is so hard to comprehend.”
Who’s on the campaign’s list to “step up”?
The City of San Antonio: Studley says, “If Animal Care Services ultimately does want to achieve a ‘no kill’ goal then they’ve got to stop practicing ‘catch and kill animal control.’ The City picks up dogs and kills them in a very short time span. If some dogs were given just a little more time, fosters, rescue groups and adopters could be found and lives could be saved. The City could also work harder to let people know there is a crisis and thousands of dogs need homes. If they stepped things up and were honest about the situation, they truly could achieve their supposed no kill goal.”
Pet Owners to Spay and Neuter: Step Up San Antonio calls for pet owners to spay and neuter their dogs and to stop allowing them to roam the neighborhood. Studley adds, “This creates more unwanted dogs, many of whom end up being picked up by animal control officers and are ultimately euthanized by the City. There are many low cost options to spay and neuter your pet so there’s no excuses for not doing it.” Click here for more information.
Owners Considering Surrendering their Dog: Studley urges people to think twice before they “surrender” or turn their dog into Animal Care Services. “When someone surrenders their dog there’s no mandatory hold the City places on the dog to give its owner a chance to claim it. The dog can be immediately euthanized and often that’s what happens, sometimes within hours of a dog being turned into the shelter. It’s just heartbreaking and awful. Dogs wake up in their owner’s living rooms and are dead later that day.” Step Up San Antonio also calls on the City to do more to encourage owners how to solve problems they may be having with their pets. There are many alternatives to surrendering, click here for more information.
San Antonio Area Residents to Foster: The campaign says local foster homes are desperately needed in the San Antonio and surrounding areas. Many out of state rescue groups and even adopters will offer to take dogs, but when a pooch has to be out of Animal Care Services by 5pm on a certain day or be killed, they need a temporary place to stay until they can be transported to their new home. Studley says, “If more people would consider fostering a dog by just letting the pooch stay with you, you can literally save his or her life.” To learn more about becoming a foster contact San Antonio Pets Alive.
Adopters: Step Up San Antonio wants people to adopt dogs and to tell their friends and family to adopt dogs, not to buy one from a breeder or a pet shop. Many of the dogs can be safely transported to adopters anywhere in the US and to out of state rescue groups. Studley says for years she’s seen, “Many amazing, well behaved, even pure bred dogs come into the shelter, of all ages, there’s no reason anyone could not find what they’re looking for at ACS.” To see dogs available for adoption check out the ACS website and the San Antonio Pets Alive Facebook page both are updated several times a day.
Studley adds many people just complain about what’s going on in the City and others may have no idea that thousands of dogs are killed each year. “It’s time to make everyone aware there is a horrendous situation and only if people step up, will things change.” She encourages people to say it with her and spread the news: “Step Up San Antonio!”
Step Up San Antonio now has a Facebook page.