The stray animal problem in San Marcos and the surrounding areas has become a major issue. Some animals being stray because they were dropped off by someone who decided they didn’t want them anymore, or others being stray because they were part of a litter that was born on the streets. With pets being dumped, and even more being brought into the world, the problem of strays often times becomes overwhelming. Most times strays are brought to the local shelter, but what happens to them there? As a community we can only hope they are being well taken care of.
Where the local shelter in the San Marcos area is supposed to come in and help house the strays and take care of them until they are adopted, they are instead treating them horribly in many cases. Some would even say that these animals could be better off left on the streets where they have a better chance of not being euthanized. Of course there are many local shelters that euthanize animals due to being over capacity, so they can make room for more. I spoke with one of the shelter volunteers, Claudio Romero, who said he would agree some animals are often times better left on the streets where they have a lesser chance of being euthanized.
But in our regional San Marcos animal shelter, there have been many volunteers complaining about how the animals there are being cared for. Among the three volunteers that I spoke with, all of them had negative things to say about the shelter and how the animals there are being cared for. Not only does the shelter often times reach capacity, but the animals are left in small cages sometimes without food or at least a small blanket to sleep on. While some of this could be from lack of donations, shouldn’t there be more that the shelter could do to get donation or fundraise? Or what about a simple reallocation of funds? During my personal visit to the shelter there were many shelter vehicles that didn’t seem like they were being used. All of which were newer model vehicles, which of course would be expensive for the shelter to purchase.
This is just one of the many things that seem to be going wrong at the local animal shelter. While the care of animals is one of the major ongoing issues at the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter, there recently were issues with the general manager. A video had surfaced on social media of the general manager enticing a dog to become vicious which led to his euthanization. Since the surfacing of said video, I have found out this general manager has been fired. Which means the shelter is currently which a general manager at this time.
After seeing this video online, I asked to speak with the local San Martian who brought the video to light. She had a few things to say about the shelter and her opinion of how it was being ran. Grace Buse has been involved with the San Marcos Regional Shelter for a few years as well as other shelters in the San Antonio and Austin area, so she is pretty educated on what goes on there behind the scenes of the public eye.
When interviewing Buse, she was very adamant about how she feels about the shelter, and what needs to be done to make things better. She has visited the shelter a few times recently and says that her main reason was to go and love on the animals that are there being neglected. Buse believes that one of the biggest down falls of the shelter is the director because the director seems to be more worried about her income and not the well-being of the shelter. Many of Buse’s visits have been filled with seeing animals sitting in their own feces with empty water bowls and no beds or blankets.
From how Buse described her visits to the shelter, it is truly sad how these animals are being treated. They should be rescued and be going somewhere safer and better for them, but instead they are staying in a shelter that doesn’t truly care about them and their well-being.
I spoke with someone else who is pretty familiar with the shelter and what goes on there. Kelly Arthur is a lead volunteer at the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter, and has pretty similar opinions as Buse. Just as Buse says, Arthur also thinks that the main issue of the shelter is with the director. Arthur believes things need to be majorly changed at the shelter, and the community can be a part of this change as well.
Both Buse and Arthur hope that the community can realize how corrupt the local animal shelter is. The change for the shelter can’t be done within the shelter alone, but they also need help from the community to make the change.
Below are are some visualizations for ways you can personally help out the shelter. From adopting an animal, to donations, or even volunteering. Check out where your local shelters are located.