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Hays County seeks public input for future pet resource center

Friday, September 1, 2023

Calling all Hays County community members and animal lovers to participate in an important survey.

Local participation in this survey will be used to help guide the future of animal welfare in the area.

Hays County has partnered with non-profit organization Austin Pets Alive! to lead the development of a new pet resource center that will provide programs focused on public safety, animal safety and lifesaving, increased public access to important resources for pet owners, and community education to provide safe and humane care for pets.

The survey launches Sept. 1, and community participation will help determine programs for the Hays County Pet Resource Center.

“We want to know what the community’s needs are for people and pets,” said Lee Ann Shenefiel, Austin Pets Alive! Executive Advisor and Project Coordinator. “All survey responses will be looked at and considered, so this is an important opportunity for the community to share their input with us and drive the conversation from the beginning on what people and pets need in Hays County.'

Austin Pets Alive! is a nonprofit organization pioneering comprehensive, innovative programs designed to save the most at-risk homeless companion animals and educate others to do the same through its American Pets Alive! nationwide education and outreach division.

A leader in No Kill sheltering in America’s largest No Kill city, APA! helps more than 10,000 dogs and cats annually in Central Texas and beyond get a chance at the life they deserve. This project aims to implement recommendations from a 2022 feasibility study that proposed an animal welfare system for Hays County.

According to Hays County, the purpose of the Consulting Services: Animal Shelter and Animal Services Feasibility Study was for consultants to propose an appropriate animal welfare system in Hays County in light of the potential growth the region is experiencing.

Both the city of San Marcos and Hays County leadership indicated at the time the study was conducted that they were not interested in a joint expansion of the current facility or another capital project, so recommendations focused on a new Hays County campus.

This includes construction of a new shelter designed to support 2000 dogs and cats annually, investment in robust community programs designed to reduce the number of animals coming into the shelter and help keep people and pets together, and a high-volume public veterinary clinic.

Initial construction estimates are around $24 million.

The survey is open to participants through Sept. 30 and is available in online and print formats in English and Spanish.

Austin Pets Alive! is also looking for volunteers to attend local events promoting the Pet Resource Center.

Volunteers will visit with local community partners to share information about the project, gather survey input, and input survey results. Training and community service hours are provided, and application fees are waived for Hays County volunteers. For more information or to sign up to volunteer, visit austinp e t s a l i ve. org/ volunteer or email

To learn more about APA!, visit austinpetsalive. org

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666