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The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter announced it has been awarded a $2,500 grant from the Petco Foundation to support its lifesaving efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. Daily Record file photo

San Marcos Animal Shelter awarded grant

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter was awarded a $2,500 grant from the Petco Foundation to support its lifesaving efforts during COVID-19.

According to San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter Animal Services Manager Jeanne Saadi, the Petco Foundation investment will be used to supply pet owners with resources in an attempt to meet the community’s immediate needs to help keep pets at home in spite of personal or financial hardships.

“What we're focused on right now is finding ways where we can help keep pets in their homes. We expect that a lot of people are going find themselves in transition with having been unemployed for a while or not being able to go back to their jobs, not being able to pay their rent and having to seek somewhere else to live,” Saadi said. “Moving is really the top reason that people surrender their pets and we think that there's a lot that we could do to help them either temporarily care for their pets while they're in transition so they don't have to give them up just because they can't find a place to live with their pets right away or need some more support for them so that they can use money that they may have spent to help their pets with their other expenses that they need right now.”

The grant is part of the Petco Foundation’s Pledge to save pet lives during the COVID-19 pandemic by distributing $1 million in product and cash donations and putting out a national call to implore animal lovers to take action now to help save animal lives. The commitment to the San Marcos Animal Shelter follows the Petco Foundation’s recent distribution of more than $13M to animal welfare organizations nationwide. 

“Animal welfare organizations are facing the business impacts of COVID-19, just like many other businesses during this crisis. But when your business is saving animal lives, the consequences of a business failure are devastating,” said Petco Foundation President Susanne Kogut. “At the Petco Foundation, we will support our partner’s most critical needs during this time and help mobilize the public to take action to help save animal lives. We hope this matching grant support will help the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter do just that.”

Saadi said they are still working on figuring out the specifics of the  grant and how to utilize the funds best, but she said if anyone is in a position that they are needing help to take care of their pet — whether it be food, supplies or financial assistance — to reach out to the Animal Shelter at 512-805-2650 immediately.

“If you think that  something that you're going to have to be faced with, give us a call now, so we can help you work on some solutions,” Saadi said. “So you don't have to make that choice.”

Saadi said because the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter services all of Hays County, that the grant is applicable to anyone within the county, not just San Marcos residents. Acceptance is also not guaranteed.

“It depends on what people need and what we're able to help with,” Saadi said. “Just supplementing pet food for people so they don't have to go out and buy pet food, we can do that easily because the community has been wonderful with giving us donations of pet food and pet supplies. So right now, immediately, without even touching that grant money, if people need food assistance or some supplies like flea and tick preventative or collars and leashes and toys and bowls and stuff like that, we have that and we can give you that right now.”

Saadi said the animal shelter is trying to get ahead of the situation and prevent pet and owner separations before they occur.

“We're trying to get ahead of it right now because we don't want to see that happen and we know that having your pet with you can really help you through some of these really stressful times,” Saadi said. “So we don't want to add even more stress with a heartbreaking separation on top of that. So we're working on some specific ways that we can help and that's why we want people to know now, don't make that decision without calling us in advance or without giving us  some time to help you.”

Saadi said the animal shelter is weathering the pandemic rather well, in large part because of the community’s participation. In April, the shelter recorded its highest live-release month in its history, with a 98.2% live-release outcome. And Saadi said she expects May to close with a similar live outcome rate — especially since there are currently more animals in foster homes than in the shelter.

Saadi said when COVID-19 stay at home orders were issued in March, residents who were home more than normal were prompted to foster and adopt animals, and the shelter was able to empty its capacity by nearly 70% in the first two weeks of the stay at home orders. 

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter is also one of only 33 animal shelters across the country to be recently accepted by American Pets Alive to help work on a new model for shelters nationwide, According to Saadi.

The animal shelter is currently offering a pay what you can adoption fee and is doing adoptions by appointment only. For more information about the shelter’s efforts in Hays County and how to get involved, visit the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter website.

San Marcos Record

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