Animal Care Services Strategic Plan

Published on March 13, 2024

City of San Antonio Animal Care Services Department   

Lifesaving placement options, increased resources highlight Animal Care Services Strategic Plan

SAN ANTONIO (March 13, 2024) – Pets deserve a lifetime of humane care. Increased resources and lifesaving placement are key hallmarks of the San Antonio Animal Care Services (SAACS) Strategic Plan, which includes five focus areas that support a holistic approach to animal care and control in the community. A core priority to “support the placement of pets for life” includes goals which promote increased positive placement channels for adoption-ready dogs and cats. The objectives also aim to create greater community understanding about the importance of humane pet care:  

  • Provide services and resources to keep animals in their homes  
  • Provide the highest standard of care for pets in the shelter 
  • Provide lifesaving placement options for animals in the shelter

From FY23 to date, the shelter’s focus on keeping pets with their families has resulted in more than 4,400 interventions with at-risk pet owners by the Animal Care Services Community Animal Support and Assistance Team (CASA). During the same time frame 9,406 dogs and cats have also been returned to their owners. While many of the pets were simply lost and brought to the shelter, others were allowed to roam by neglectful owners who also received citations and education for their irresponsibility. 

Spotlighting adoptions, rescue partnerships, and other live release options has increased the placement rate to 85 percent for FY24. More than 30,000 companion animals were welcomed into new homes. Additionally, SAACS has engaged in four off-site adoption events and a pair of rescue transports which saw two hundred and thirty-one pets transported to their new families outside of San Antonio. More than 170 dogs and cats found homes at a large-scale adoption event in Houston that SAACS participated in. 

As staff increases playgroups and other enrichment options for the shelter’s pets, SAACS will also conduct a community survey concerning humane pet care this spring. Through this outreach to local residents, SAACS hopes to establish a community standard of pet care. This resource will not only outline the socially acceptable level of pet care that should be provided by San Antonio pet parents, but it will also serve as a guide for potential ordinance changes. The survey period will include a series of public workshops to discuss the community standard.  

The inclusive City-sanctioned plan can be seen in its entirety at