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The original item was published from 5/12/2020 1:59:28 PM to 8/13/2020 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: May 12, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Highest Live-Release Month Ever for San Marcos Animal Shelter

SM Regional Animal Shelter front of building

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter is celebrating the highest live-release month in its history with a 98.2% live-release outcome reported for the month of April.

Since December 12, 2018, the Animal Shelter has directed animal rescue efforts towards the “Pawsitives Outcomes Implementation Plan,” a partner-driven mission to achieve a live-release rate over 90%.

“Our community is fortunate to have a large network of knowledgeable, passionate fosters and advocates who have made this possible,” said Jeanne Saadi, Animal Services Manager. “We’ll work to continue this momentum so that these significant breakthrough results will become a regular occurrence.”

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the shelter has been closed to visitors so staff has engaged the community and enacted creative outreach efforts including virtual matchmaking and social media events. The shelter has prioritized maintaining adequate space for emergency housing, so residents who find a friendly stray dog or cat have been encouraged to use the physical shelter as a last-resort destination.

“A huge part of our mission right now is letting people know about options beyond shelter drop-off,” said Saadi. “By safely keeping and returning animals to their rightful owners, our community has helped us focus our resources and finances on the animals in the shelter.”

According to Animal Shelter staff tracking the lost and found postings on a local Facebook page, over 55% of the animals reported as found since April 1 were returned to their families from the finders. The shelter’s return to owner rate is only 16%.

“We are using what we are learning from this to strategize a better way to reunite pets with their families moving forward,” she said.

SMRAS services all of Hays County. Foster appointments and adoptions are being handled online and by appointment. The shelter is offering a “Pay What You Can” adoption fee special to help keep open kennels during the COVID-19 crisis.

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