Finding ways to humanely control the pet population in Hays County has now reached the Kyle City Council dais.
Earlier this month, council member Daphne Tenorio presented an idea to set aside part of Kyle’s 2018-19 budget to go towards the spaying and neutering of Kyle animals. Similar programs currently exist through Emancipet and Prevent Litter of Central Texas (PALS), where pet owners can apply for assistance on their own.
Tenorio’s concept was struck down 2-5 during the first reading of the budget. But on Tuesday, city leaders resurfaced the idea and approved the spay and neuter program.
City leaders all agreed they want to prioritize animal control and would like to see the San Marcos Animal Shelter eventually operate kill-free. An official plan to do so for the shelter has not been determined.
During the Aug. 28 meeting, Tenorio said she could find the $1,500 needed for the plan from existing budget items.
Tenorio said she believes the first step toward making the shelter no-kill is to relieve the facility of the number of animals it takes in.
“There’s a regional group I am in with a representative from Buda, a representative from Wimberley, a representative from the countyand representative from San Marcos,” Tenorio said during the meeting. “We’re meeting to figure out what it would actually cost (to achieve a no-kill shelter), but I don’t see that happening for at least another year.”
Tenorio’s idea aimed to spay and neuter more pets in Kyle to reduce the number of animals occupying the area. Animals are fixed mandatorily when adopted from the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter or from PAWS Kyle, but other animals in the area dropped off by local residents may not have been neutered or spayed.
City leaders who originally opposed Tenorio’s plan said they would be in favor of taking action to make the San Marcos shelter no-kill and reduce the stray animal population. However, they disagreed with Tenorio’s proposal and where the money should come from.
Tenorio requested pulling from the Kyle Police Department’s $71,468 payment to the city of San Marcos for Kyle’s share of the animal services at the shelter, or through funds meant for a proposed lobbyist. Perwez Moheet, Kyle finance director, said the city’s budget devotes $153,862 annually toward animal services, including the payment to San Marcos, which is the only line item.
Funds for the spay and neuter plan are now earmarked by The City of San Marcos out of the total $153,862 budget allocated by The City of Kyle.
Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said the payment to San Marcos is not a donation, and is meant for their services, which is non-negotiableand for that reason, it was struck down originally.
“It is a noble goal that will just take time,” Mitchell said.