Animal Care Services (ACS) operation of a 3-year “temporary” and severely restricted animal shelter located at Brooks City-Base is likely the cause of the deaths of many lost pets in San Antonio.
ACS claimed through the years that the system is viable; however, the history of their seriously flawed operation and failed system shows otherwise.
Nonprofits, animal rescues, and taxpayers desperately and repeatedly attempted to convince the city to stop their abuse of the taxpayer’s money and to deal honestly and openly in transparency – but the pleas for reason where to no avail.
Insufficient record keeping and tracking is so terribly faulty and disarrayed that ACS even used the photo of a pet they killed to promote their budget.
Those wishing to find their lost four-legged family members are met with a cumbersome online system that fails miserably in helping residents to find and save their pets. One can only guess how many lost pets have been killed due to ACS and their questionable actions concerning the Brooks Animal Shelter.
Below is an email provided to this reporter by a concerned citizen of San Antonio, Texas.
The message was sent September 16 to ACS Director Kathy Davis, Mayor Julian Castro, City Manager Eric Walsh, City Manager Sheryl Sculley, BDA President & CEO Leo Gomez, BDA Public Affairs Manager Natalia Martinez:
“I have shared with all of you my concerns regarding the Brooks City-Base Animal Shelter. Because my concerns remain unaddressed, I continue to research why such obviously legitimate issues are being ignored by San Antonio city officials.
“I wonder how much the Brooks City-Base Animal Shelter has contributed to Animal Care Service's shameful low "Return to Owner" rate, the number of impounded animals reclaimed by their families. ACS returns only about 6% of impounded animals to their families. In fact, since FY 2009, ACS has barely improved from an RTO rate of 5.70% to 7.26% YTD FY 2013. That's an improvement of only 1.56% over 4 years! According to ACS records, in FY 2013, you have consistently missed your own FY 2013 targets (which are still well below the national average of 15-20%) for Return to Owner by at least 20%.
“The national average for impounded animals that are returned to their owners is 15-20%, a sad figure in itself. Progressive shelters that have embraced No-Kill principles, such as Washoe County Animal Services in Nevada, have even better rates. Washoe County Animal Services returns 54% of dogs to their families, despite taking in over two times the number of animals per capita than the national average. You claim to embrace No-Kill principles too, yet your Return to Owner rate is only about 6%.
“Maybe one reason it's so low is because since 2010 about 15,000 dogs have been kept at a shelter that is closed to the public and not advertised or promoted by the city. That number is based on ACS capacity figures and estimates from concerned citizens who spend time at the Brooks City-Base Animal Shelter. Oddly, even though ACS cites the capacity at the Brooks shelter in its planning documents, you claim to have NO data unique to the dogs held at this closed public shelter.
“My data is based on the same figures that ACS uses to calculate its Live Release Rate. Math is not my strength, so I welcome you to confirm my figures in case I have made an error.”
The person sending the email has not received a response from any of those contacted in this message.
Animal Care Services is now racing to convert the Brooks Animal Shelter to a quarantine facility after being exposed for their corrupt and unlawful actions.
When complete, ACS may claim a pet is ill and send it to the quarantine facility.
Due to their 3-year history of unlawful actions, poor performance in record keeping, false claims and deception, and their questionable claims to live release rate percentages…the pets and pet owners of San Antonio may continue to have a great deal to fear in continued and inexcusable killing.
Since pets are considered "property" in Texas - Animal Care Services and the City of San Antonio may have even opened the possibility of law suits against the city for denial of access to said property. It will be up to the courts and legal system to decide, but when it is the taxpayer's money on the line - there appears to be little thought or concern for outcomes.