Wimberley supports no-kill animal shelter

Support for possibly turning the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter (SMRAS) to a no-kill facility has reached the Wimberley valley.

Last week, the Wimberley City Council approved a resolution in support of an advocacy group’s plan to change the shelter to a “no-kill” facility. By virtue of the resolution, Wimberley becomes the first city in Hays County to throw its support behind the initiative.

The resolution came after intensive campaigning across the county from the Hays County Animal Advocates (HCAA).

To achieve no-kill status, the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter, which services the entire county, would have to declare that 90 percent of pets that enter the shelter are adopted or sent to third-party groups.

“Tonight’s vote is an important step for us. It gets us closer to our goal of no-kill,” said Kate Shaw, member of HCAA. “This resolution is an important piece of the puzzle, which is to build awareness and community support throughout Hays County for more resources and volunteers for SMRAS.”

Sharri Boyett, a volunteer with HCAA, said seeking no-kill status is advantageous because it would allow the shelter to seek grants that it is not currently eligible for.

The resolution outlined the city’s support for the creation of an Inter-Local Task Force that will implement steps for the shelter to achieve 90 percent live outcome. 

The task force will share in governance over animal services and be comprised of each of the participating city and county entities which contract for animal shelter and animal control services, according to the resolution.

The Hays Free Press reported in August the SMRAS has been operating at a range of 105 to 120 percent overcapacity for the past several months.

With state regulations determining how overpopulated an animal shelter can operate at, euthanasia is the only alternative for shelters with high populations.

Barbara Fross, president of WAG rescue, submitted written comments to the council voicing WAG’s unanimous support of the resolution.

“Wimberley was the first to vote this in, but I don’t think the other communities are far behind,” Shaw said.

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