SAN ANGELO – San Angelo Animal Shelter officials Tuesday announced changes to the facility's operations to reduce overcrowding and unsafe conditions after disturbing images recently circulated on social media.
According to Morgan Chegwidden, Assistant Director of Neighborhood & Family Services, the Animal Shelter recently had an infestation of German roaches which required the facility to temporarily close for treatment.
As the shelter resumes normal operations, the City will be implementing new operational changes. The shelter has been housing more animals than it can physically hold to save as many animal lives as possible. With the nationwide challenges facing animal welfare, this was neither sustainable nor feasible with the current facility.
The Animal Shelter recently had an infestation of German roaches which required the facility to temporarily close for treatment. The City’s contracted pesticide company will monitor the situation and continue future treatments as needed.
Currently, there are 183 dogs and 10 cats at the shelter. Numerous animals are still in temporary foster care or have been recently adopted; we are truly grateful for all those who have helped in this time of need.
As the shelter resumes normal operations, the City will be implementing new operational changes. Recently, the shelter has been housing more animals than it can physically hold to save as many animal lives as possible. With the nationwide challenges facing animal welfare, this was neither sustainable nor feasible with the current facility.
We are aware that images have been circulating showing what the conditions of the shelter looked like prior to the pesticide treatment. At the Sept. 8 City Council meeting, several citizens voiced their concerns about the shelter, as well. The City heard your comments and, rest assured, had been working to address the concerns that were voiced.
Moving forward, the total animals housed in the Animal Shelter will be capped at 125 dogs and 50 cats. This is to ensure the facility is not overwhelmed and that there is sufficient space available. This number includes animals in the general population kennels, quarantine room, medical recovery room, garage, prenatal cat room and other rooms at the shelter
The shelter will undergo incremental population reductions each month to meet the maximum limit by Nov. 30. The shelter will then be required to keep no more than the maximum capacity on a monthly basis moving forward.
There are multiple ways the shelter population can be reduced:
- Short- or long-term fosters.
- Transportation to outside agencies for adoptions or fosters.
This difficult decision was made so that all animals and staff can thrive in a healthier environment. Although no-kill status was achieved in fiscal year 2021, it was not achievable for this year.
Other operational changes being implemented:
- Spay/neuter enforcement will be increased.
- Animals will not stay longer than three months at the shelter.
- Roaming feral cats around the shelter will be returned to their colonies if possible.
- The use of crates to house dogs will be minimized as much as possible.
To volunteer at the shelter, visit cvpaws.org/volunteer.