Regional Animal Shelter Study approved by Commissioners Court

Staff Reports

Hays County Courthouse – The Hays County Commissioners Court approved funding for a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a feasibility study for proposals and planning of the centralized Hays County Animal Shelter. In recognition of the growing Hays County region and the No-Kill initiative, Judge Becerra and the commissioners unanimously approved the study for a central animal shelter. 

Judge Becerra sponsored the agenda item and said, “We identified the reality, the situation, the ache, the need for this agenda item to bring relief to the overburdened animal shelter.” 

An RFQ will be created for a feasibility study to determine the needs of the county animal population and if one or more animal shelters would benefit the citizens who own pets. 

Hays County and the cities of San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Wimberley, Dripping Springs will work in collaborative effort to provide a more efficient animal care system to better serve the public and animals of the region. 

According to Lauren Loney, Texas state director of the Humane Society (HSUS) of the United States, Hays County native: 

HSUS supports Judge Becerra’s proposal to conduct a feasibility study on a new animal shelter in Hays County, a plan that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) supports, particularly if a portion of the budget can be set aside for community-based assistance to help keep people and pets together. 

The HSUS supports increasing investment into animal-saving efforts and, in recent years, has worked with communities across the country to shift focus from simply increasing kennel space at shelters to implementing broad community-based programming to support owned pets and their families, in combination with increased kennel space, where needed. 

Sharri Boyett, Judge Becerra’s Animal Advocacy Advisor, spoke in favor of the central county animal shelter and supports a unified regional animal services department and director. Ms. Boyett asked that a county Animal Services division be established, and a community spay neuter clinic and microchip program be included. 

“We’ve been doing something that’s not efficient and is not working. It is time to take collective ownership of lifesaving programs. It’s the right thing to do.” 

Jennifer Hayes, shelter volunteer photographer, public comments: “It is time to be proactive and not reactive and plan for future generations. It’s time for Hays County to run a true regional animal shelter.” 

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