Lots of news over the past week regarding the shelter. Here are the relevant articles and documents, from oldest to newest. Part of our mission here at KU is to organize relevant links and documents so that the public can easily find them and become better informed. But Kerrville United cannot complete its mission without the work of local newspapers. Please support the Kerrville Daily Times and the Hill Country Community Journal!
Commissioners Court convenes and votes to change hours and policies. Here’s the agenda for that meeting. No recordings are made of the meetings, and the minutes won’t be publicly available for several weeks.
County issues press release announcing changes. Images of press release are below.
Kerrville United article titled, “Commissioners reduce Animal Shelter hours, eliminate Saturdays from schedule.”
Kerrville Daily Times news article titled, “Change in animal shelter hours leads to questions“
Kerrville Daily Times editorial titled, “Missing logic in shelter decision“
Kerr County updates its original Facebook post, adding…
UPDATE: For those of you who asked for the numbers to support the Saturday closure of the county-owned and operated shelter and for those who wanted to know what the Kerr County commissioners based their decision on … here is that information:Source: https://www.facebook.com/kerrcountytexas/posts/669539976888983
Of the 1,000 dogs and cats adopted from the Kerr County Animal Services facility from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1 of this year, there were 33 adopted on Saturdays. Another 27 animals went out on the shelter’s Family Fit program on Saturdays, but a large number of those pets were returned for various reasons. So, between 4-5% of the total pet adoptions for 2019 were on Saturdays.
Additionally, on Saturdays for the same time period, there were 35 pet surrenders by owners who could no longer or who were no longer willing to take care of them. This number nearly offsets the number of Saturday adoption.
Also, the number of lost pets reclaimed by their rightful owners on Saturdays was 15. That is a slight percentage out of the total of 267 reclaimed pets this year.
According to commissioners, when the court approved being open on Saturdays it was for a trial period, and their intention was to do an evaluation after sufficient time had passed. The trial was done for a year, and the results do not justify continuing, they said.
As to the plan to have volunteers sign up in advance, county officials said that this will limit the number of volunteers in the facility at any one point in time, which is prudent so operations can continue to be efficient. This process will insure the safety of pets and volunteers alike. The other neighboring animal control facilities have the same procedure in place, and they have reported that it works well.
As a final point, commissioners stated that pet adoption is not a requirement of state law for the local animal control facility. (Rabies control and public safety IS a state-mandated service.)
Generally, communities have nonprofit organizations that take the pets from an animal control operation such as the county’s and then they handle the pet adoptions. In Kerr County, there are two facilities that assist KCAS, the Freeman-Fritts Animal Shelter and the Kathleen C. Cailloux Humane Society of Kerrville.
Both have helped a great deal, but are not able to take all of the pets. County leaders stated that what KCAS needs is a local, nonprofit organization to work with to help house and adopt pets. This idea has been brought up numerous times to the local pet advocacy groups and, hopefully, this will take place in the future.
Kerr County Commissioners hold special meeting, but shelter advocates were not allowed to speak because the matter was not posted on the agenda.
Kerr County issues new press release defending the new policies. Images pictured below.
Kerrville United opinion article titled, “Commissioners botched the rollout of new Animal Shelter policies.”
Kerrville Daily Times article titled, “County says facts drove decision on shelter hours.”
Kerr County adds on their Facebook page…
Commissioners on Monday, Oct. 21, released information — statistics and other variables — they analyzed before unanimously deciding last week to make changes to the Kerr County Animal Services’ facility schedule, including closing its two-hour shifts on Saturdays.https://www.facebook.com/kerrcountytexas/
They said they hope this information will provide a bigger picture and explain why they made the decision they did.
Knowing that this is an issue many are passionate about in the community, commissioners on Monday also mentioned the possibility that they will host a special meeting soon so citizens can provide input. It was said that such a meeting will be held on a weeknight and possibly at the Hill County Youth Event Center, in order to accommodate working individuals and an anticipated crowd, respectively.
If more news develops on a meeting focusing on the county-owned and operated shelter, we will post the details here, as well as distribute the information to local media.
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Article appearing in Kerrville Daily Times titled, “County wants to see nonprofit aid animal adoptions.”
Editorial appearing in Kerrville Daily Times titled, “Animals, fiscal responsibility prove to be a challenging mix.”
Article appearing in Hill Country Community Journal titled, “Shelter hours reduction prompts group opposition.”
Public meeting of the Kerr County Animal Services Advisory Board. The meeting will took place at 1 PM on October 23 at the Kerr County Courthouse. The agenda is posted below.
Article appearing in Kerrville Daily Times titled, “Elephant in the room: Questions regarding new policies vex animal services committee.”