San Marcos animal shelter at capacity, situation could worsen

San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter (KXAN Photo)
San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter (KXAN Photo)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The summer months are when many local animal shelters begin to reach capacity. The city of San Marcos has already hit that threshold with much busier months ahead.

From big barks to tiny paws, it’s hard to believe that people would abandon their pets or refuse to pick them up from the shelter if they were found. “It’s sad, either they don’t want to pay the fees or they don’t want to drive so far,” said Animal Services Manager Kara Montiel.

She says it happens often at the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter causing it to reach capacity.

On average, Montiel says the shelter takes in more than 6,000 animals a year. The shelter says due to a lack of adoptions, they have to euthanize around 50 to 60 percent of the animals they take in. Currently, the shelter is full and with peak intake season just around the corner, they’re concerned it could be much worse this year. Last fiscal year the shelter saw 58.5 percent of their annual intake during the spring and summer months with June and July at 30.7 percent.

“When you increase the intake, and the outflow of animals slows or stays steady, that’s a recipe for disaster so to speak,” said Montiel. Montiel has a team that contacts rescue organizations on a daily basis to help with the overflow, but she says they, too, are maxed out. “PAWS would come out and take a load of animals every week, but right now they aren’t able to do that, they might take one or two every couple of weeks. Fosters are full because litters are out and about. It’s just a hard time for rescues and all shelters, it’s just full to capacity day to day.”

The shelter has already exceeded last year’s transfer rate to other rescue organizations. Last year the shelter transferred just over 10 percent, so far this year the shelter has transferred 15.7 percent of animals to other partner agencies.

Montiel believes many of the animals already have homes, it’s just tough to find them. She says the easiest way to get your pet returned is to make sure they are microchipped. If you have a pet that is not microchipped in Hays County, the animal shelter in San Marcos will do it for just $10 this month.

Montiel says microchipping pets is the best way to find your pet if it goes missing. “I will tell you that we have seen an increase in identified pets, however the challenge is with the information being current. Our procedure is to track back to the implant facility for microchips when it is not registered or not current, to hopefully find some type of contact info.  But it is difficult to do that with just a rabies tag or personal ID tag.  This year so far we have returned just over 20 percent of our animals to their owner.”

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