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Commissioners unanimously approve interim policy for community cats

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Hays County is moving forward with its interim cat management policy.

Hays County commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the interim community cat management policy with recommended changes from Shari Boyett with Team Shelter USA during Tuesday's meeting.

The interim policy “supports the practice of returning community cats to their home location,” according to the Nov. 22 draft resolution, which would in effect exempt community cats from licensing, stray, abandonment and at large provisions.

The vote comes after San Marcos City Council voted to defer a decision on Ordinance 2022-96, amending Chapter 6, Animals, of the San Marcos City Code to limit the reasons to impound cats and delete the stray hold requirement in some instances, among other provisions, until January.

Commissioner Lon Shell said the court has followed up with the Hays County Sheriff’s Office to ensure “we’re all on the same page.”

“We still are waiting for the city to finalize their ordinance before we will bring our ordinance revisions back to the court for approval, but in the interim, I believe this policy will function the way that we intend,” he said.

The commissioners also approved awarding the contract RFP 2022-P12 Pet Resource Center - Pet Coordinator to Austin Pets Alive, an all-volunteer advocacy group formed to help increase homeless companion animal lifesaving.

“American Pets Alive is very well-known throughout the region, very well-respected,” Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe said. “I think they’ll do a wonderful job for us.”

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, the commissioners unanimously approved RFP specifications for an organization to assist with the creation, development, and operation of a Pet Resource Center (PRC).

The proposed facility for Hays County would consist of two buildings: a 4,063 square foot combined Open-Door Veterinary and Spay Neuter Clinic, and a PRC of 17,749 interior square feet and covered exterior of 5,950 square feet. The facility's expected cost is $23,361,928 with a 6% escalation based on the project's time frame.

Claire Callison, director of national operations for Austin and American Pets Alive, said her organization is “really excited for this opportunity.”

“We’ve been preparing for it for years, and we’ve assembled an excellent team to be able to bring this pet resource center to Hays County, so it’s an honor and we’re looking forward to working with the cit(ies),” she said.

The commissioners gave another organization the opportunity to express their gratitude on Tuesday by approving the Hays County ARPA Recovery Grant Agreement between Hays County and Kyle Area Senior Zone (KASZ).

“This will make a huge difference for our seniors, it’ll make a huge difference in our community, and for the young,” KASZ Interim Vice President Betty Conley said. “Our motto is bridging generations and generations together, leaving a legacy, and you just fulfilled that dream.”

KASZ was formed in February 2006 to afford a “variety of social, educational, health and recreational activities to the senior residents of Kyle,” according to the organization’s website.

Also on Tuesday, the commissioners passed a Professional Services Agreement between Hays County and BGE, Inc. to perform a corridor study regarding the possible extension of William Pettus Road from Hwy. 21 west to FM 110 in Precinct 1.

The proposed study is in conjunction with a planning effort by Caldwell County to create a connection from State Highway 142 in Caldwell County west to Highway 21 and Interstate 35 and will study several alternatives to take the new regional transportation project from State Highway 21 west to FM 110, according to the item summary.

Besides alternatives analysis, this PSA will include preliminary engineering, schematic development, public involvement and National Environmental Policy Act compliance.

For the complete meeting and agenda, visit

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666