Texas animal rescue groups rally to save 8 dogs at risk of euthanasia

HAYS COUNTY (KXAN) — Eight dogs will now undergo treatment and rehabilitation efforts at a Central Texas animal rescue group after being rescued from the risk of euthanasia at the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.

The eight dogs were first brought to SMRAS by Hays County officials following an animal seizure for hoarding and cruelty. Due to limited resources coupled with the high needs of these dogs, they were at risk of being euthanized on Tuesday.

Christie Banduch, head of shelter services at SMRAS, said these dogs had been isolated and lacked key socialization with humans, leading to behavioral issues and an increased need for intervention from outside rescue services. While shelters often face the need for more foster families and adopters, she said rescue services only are requested in the most extreme circumstances, where animals need rehabilitation.

“It’s not something that we’re going to ask the community to come and take these dogs home,” she said. “We need someone with experience in rehabilitating dogs that are at this level.”

These trained professionals came in the form of Central Texas Ruffugees, an animal rescue organization that reaches out to shelters in need of supporting the physical and emotional rehabilitation of dogs. CTR works with SMRAS, My Buddy Pet Resort and volunteer Jen Harris to help train and socialize the puppies.

“They’re all going to need a thorough checkup because they’re pretty sure they’ve never been to a vet in their lives,” Marla Briley, president and founder of CTR, said in an email. . “We’re positive with patience, time and a bit of TLC, these guys will come back.”

When it comes to identifying animal rescue groups, interested organizations submit their 501c(3) status documents to validate their rescue status, Banduch said. From there, she said SMRAS also checks the organization’s positions on animal care, neutering and neutering to ensure their values ​​align with SMRAS.

Harris has volunteered with SMRAS for years and works closely with these eight dogs as they receive help. She said CTR and My Buddy Pet Resort will continue to assess the pets’ current needs while providing them with a safe place to stay.

“We need to continue to assess their needs and what would be best for them in the long run,” Harris said. “And so they’re actually going to a fantastic boarding school in San Marcos that’s offered to open their doors to give these guys a chance, and so = we’re really grateful to have this opportunity and we’ll be evaluating them to place them the place in foster homes in small increments.

For several years now, SMRAS has operated as a no-kill status shelter, but Banduch said there are extreme circumstances where euthanasias occur. Euthanasia is not used as a capacity management practice at SMRAS, she added.

The 90% alive result status of SMRAS means that 90% of the dogs cared for by the shelter are living, while 10% have died due to medical issues, trauma sustained during shelter care, or other circumstances. . Between January and March of this year, Banduch said the shelter’s euthanasia rate was 4.63%.

“We weren’t euthanizing for space,” she said. “The situation like with these eight dogs, in particular, we are so overcrowded and so spread out with staff, we don’t have the resources to provide proper care to animals that need that level of care. That’s why we asked for help.

In the fall, Hays County approved funding for a study of a possible county-run animal sanctuary. A Hays County spokesperson said an update on the study results could come in the coming months.

“The county consultant, Team Shelter USA, has begun collecting data and will begin meeting with stakeholders, including county officials, beginning at the end of the week,” said Hays County Commissioner, Debbie Ingalsbe, in an emailed statement.

While these particular dogs were not eligible for fostering and adoption, Banduch stressed the importance of more people considering short- and long-term fostering and adoption as a way to support local shelters. She also said pet owners should be vigilant when neutering and neutering pets to avoid unintended breeding, which can lead to increased capacity constraints.

“We don’t want to give the community a false sense of security and say, ‘Well, the shelter is not a killer, so I don’t have to do my part anymore. Everything is fine.’ It’s not right,” Banduch said. “We are always overcrowded. It’s a daily fight for the [workers] here. For me, there’s kind of a fine line, like, yeah, we’re here and we’re saving these animals. But that’s because the staff here save them and do whatever it takes.

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