Animal Care Services (ACS) of San Antonio, TX has a long history of secrecy and deception in actions and words. ACS and the city originally stated they would achieve No Kill by 2012. When they failed miserably, they stated No Kill would be accomplished by 2015. They now boast that the city is “ahead of schedule.”
ACS does not follow through with resolution agreements with the Brooks Development Authority concerning the controversial and severely restricted Brooks Animal Shelter. They also misappropriated funding approved for Brooks while deceiving taxpayers of San Antonio, TX.
The failed system at the Brooks Animal Shelter has existed for years with full participation and knowledge by ACS and the city.
News articles since 2010 follow:
“ACS opened its new kennel space at Brooks-City this month, and while some believe that more space is what the city needs, others are asking, why the secrecy? As Hendel promised, there is no public access to the new space, which is leased by the City and paid for with public funds.”
“Apparently ACS has its own rules unique to Brooks-City tenants. According to the Brooks Development Authority web site, the Brooks City-Base campus is open to the public and neither tenants nor their guests should ever be denied access.”
“The only way that a citizen looking for a lost pet can tell whether his or her family member has landed at Brooks is to wade through the ACS English-only web site where it is currently impossible to easily view all animals, photos are missing or unidentifiable and dogs are frequently mislabeled. At least at the ACS main shelter anyone can walk in and see the animals for themselves, regardless of their ability to read or access the internet.”
“The reported mission of Animal Care Services (ACS) is to ensure that every animal receives responsible care, and that the City of San Antonio reaches its no-kill goal. Yet when the city agreed to sign a lease with Brooks Development Authority (BDA) to make improvements on property at Brooks City-Base, they came to an arrangement that restricts accessibility to the dogs on the property. This is directly in conflict with the ACS mission, as these animals are less likely to be reclaimed by rightful owners or rescuers and are instead put on a fast-track to being killed.”
“The no-public access policy at the Brooks Kennels has been lifted, though the facility remains difficult to find. Only 100 dogs were adopted from the Brooks Kennels in 2011 according to a report by Eric Walsh.”
(Note: It is wondered how ACS was able to violate the lease in this instance, since they now again claim they are unable to allow reasonable access to the public that funds their operation.)
October 28, 2011 – Reporter Marilyn Litt
“...If the San Antonio City Council ever gets serious about no kill, we will not be the first, just the slowest.
“No kill is quantifiable. A shelter that saves 90% or more of the animals that enter their doors is considered no kill. That is 90% of all the animals, not 90% of the animals deemed healthy and adoptable. There are ways to cook the books that could make butchers look like they are making progress -so the no kill percentage is based on all the animals that enter a facility.”
ACS Continues in questionable actions:
Both ACS and the Brooks Development Authority have been secretive in the existence of the restricted shelter at the Brooks City-Base. Many wonder how many other situations are being held in secret and executed for the benefit of special interests -- while making additional false claims to taxpayers.
Falsified use of Brooks Animal Shelter
Brooks Development Authority Committee Meeting Minutes:
- December 2011
“...Heber Lefgren, CoSA Animal Care Services, stated the city was requesting to extend the use of the kennels located on Brooks City-Base. Mr. Lefgrun stated the FY2012 City of San Antonio budget provided funds to implement a high rescue partnership with local organizations that would rescue large quantities of animals. The Brooks City-Base facility would be used as the staging area by the Humane Society and American Pets Alive organizations. The organizations have service agreements with the department. This is a pilot program for the City of San Antonio....” The motion was approved unanimously.
- January 2012
“Resolution #011012-610 – authorizing the President and CEO to amend Resolution #051110-511, to negotiate and execute the second amendment to the City of San Antonio & BDA SAPD K-9 lease.
“Joe Angelo, Interim Director of the Animal Care Facility, stated Brooks City-Base location would be a holding facility for the 90% of adopted dogs, eliminating the need for public access to the campus. The ACS is partnering with local animal rescue groups to assist with the adoption process...” -- The resolution was approved unanimously.
The Brooks Animal Shelter is not used in the way voted and approved shown above.
Misappropriation of Funding
In 2011 city council approved Animal Care Service's (ACS) budget allocating $339,961 in funding to make the Brooks’ facility accessible to the public. But the funds were clearly not used for that purpose.
In 2012, ACS requested approximately $340,000 from the City Council for additional staff at the Brooks Facility, the construction of 40 additional kennels, and improving the accessibility of the Brooks facility to the public. The funds were granted and not used at Brooks.
Animal Care Services continues to violate disabled rights and San Antonio's municipal code that was enacted to protect the rights of all. The severe restrictions on access and botched system prevents owners from finding their lost pets, and the pets are subsequently killed. ACS recommends searching the kennels in person to find lost pets, but owners are prohibited from doing so at Brooks.
ACS had previously violated the constitutional right to free speech. Their illegal requirements to volunteers and rescues were only recently and quietly changed after pressure from citizens and notification of their unlawful actions to The US Department of Justice.
The city of San Antonio, TX now claims they will change the Brooks Animal Shelter to a quarantine center. This is yet another claim that was made in the past but not fulfilled. Now that ACS is being exposed for their unlawful actions concerning Brooks, they scramble to change the use of what they exclaimed through approximately 3 years was only a "temporary" facility.
Through several years of taxpayer's experience from ACS in secrecy, false claims, unlawful actions, and a complete disregard for transparency in government by San Antonio, TX -- it is clear that any current or future claims are profoundly suspect.