Kick starting pet adoptions in county
By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor
Bandera County will sponsor a series of special adoption days in November and December to help reduce the number of impounded dogs that are being euthanized. It has been reported that approximately 20 dogs are put to sleep by injection each month.
During the Thursday, Oct. 24, meeting of commissioners court, County Attorney Janna Lindig asked the court to approve adoption days on the first and third Saturdays of each month, Nov. 2 and 16 and Dec. 7 and 21. The adoptions would take place from 9 am until 2 pm, at the Bandera County Animal Control Facility, 3012 Highway 16 North. The events would be done in conjunction with Becky Bradford, animal control liaison and the Bandera County Sheriff's Office.
"The adoption days will help determine if such events can help control the numbers of animals being held at the animal control facility," Lindig told the court. She said a county resident had approached her with the idea.
Additionally, Lindig will contact local veterinarians to see if rabies vaccinations could be administered on-site at no cost to those adopting an impounded animal. "The current adoption fee is $25 plus $15 for the rabies vaccination, which is required by a state statute," Lindig said. "We propose that the $25 fee remain in place and that, if vaccinations are made free of charge, adoptive families consider paying an additional $15 to help defray the cost of maintaining the county facility.
Responding to a query from Judge Richard Evans, Lindig said she would obtain a release of liability from members of the public who would have contact with animals. She would also complete a simplified questionnaire for adoptive families.
One point that concerned commissioners was that dogs would be released without being spayed or neutered. Currently, Lindig said, no mechanism exists requiring dogs to be sterilized before adoptions despite the following warning on the website, www.banderacountyac.org/departments/AnimalCare.htm: "By State law you MUST have the pet spayed-neutered within thirty (30) days of adoption. Proof of the spay/neuter must be returned to Animal Control."
"If we don't make spaying and neutering mandatory, we're just contributing to the problem," said Precinct 4 Commissioner Doug King.
It was suggested that Lindig approach local veterinarians to determine if they were willing to offer lower cost surgery for dogs adopted from Bandera County. The cost of the procedures could be added to the adoption fee, which would be paid prior to a county representative transporting the dog or cat to a veterinarian. The adopter would then retrieve his new family member from the clinic when the surgery was completed. Or, the county could contract with a single local veterinarian willing to do lower cost sterilization procedures for county animals.
Additionally, it was noted that low cost spay and neuters are always available from the Hill Country Animal League in Boerne for companion animals of Bandera County. Telephone number is 830-249-2341.
"If these adoption days are successful, we'll return to the court for permission to conduct these once a month," Lindig said.