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San Antonio Mayor leads city towards no-kill

Mayor Julian Castro giving the keynote speech Sept. 4, 2012 at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.  Castro has helped San Antonio reach an 80% live release rate and 90% adoption rate among homeless pets.
Mayor Julian Castro giving the keynote speech Sept. 4, 2012 at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. Castro has helped San Antonio reach an 80% live release rate and 90% adoption rate among homeless pets.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro practices what he preaches. When he says he’s an advocate for animals, he means it. How do we know? Castro helped implement a program that included a $2.2 million no-kill kennel that is all part of San Antonio’s Animal Care Services. (Source: Voxxi.com)

Because of the success of the program, the Alamo City has become a model in the U.S. for finding homes for adoptable pets. The original goal was to reach a no-kill rate of 70% live release by the year 2015, but ACS says that goal has already accelerated to 80% overall for live release and 90% for adoptable pets in 2013.

A U.S. –based Public Policy Polling Group released a report last month that shows 61% of American voters say they own a pet. Many shared they like their pet more than people, and that their pets sleep with them. How pets are treated in public policies is important to people. How a politician treats animals makes a difference with voters as demonstrated during the 2012 presidential election when Republican candidate Mitt Romney was criticized heavily for traveling across country with his family dog, Seamus, strapped to the roof of the car inside a dog carrier. Romney’s favorability, already suffering, dropped further in the eyes of voting pet parents.

As for Castro, (whose political star is rising after giving the keynote address at the 2012 DNC), animal advocacy groups and pet owners continue to view him favorably as he puts his money where his mouth is moving San Antonio towards 100% no-kill. His sense of humor when asked what other job he might consider on the state level says it all; his answer – “Dog catcher of Texas!”

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M. Gwynn has authored two books, Harvest and The Cat Who Wanted to be a Reindeer on Amazon.com .

All articles by Michele Gwynn are under copyright and cannot be re-posted whole without written consent by the author. Partial re-posting with a link back to the original article is permitted. For consent, questions, or comments, email megwynn@msn.com.

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