Shelter cares for Buda bust animals

Months after being seized from a Buda-area home in late 2018, dozens of animals are still receiving treatment at the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.   

While shelter officials continue to deal with the fallout from the incident, they’ve also received assistance from the community at-large.

When area residents heard the shelter was over capacity, volunteers and local organizations donated money and supplies that were used to feed and treat the animals. Toward the end of 2018, shelter staff had relocated care for more than 50 animals and was able to open the shelter’s doors again for intake.

“It took quite a while (to return to normal shelter functions) with legal proceedings and other issues,” said animal services manager Kara Montiel. “We’re back to normal operations and as of two weeks ago, we were back to our regular intake policies.”

Montiel said the majority of the animals have been transferred out of the shelter to rescues, foster homes and shelters capable of adopting out the animals or treating their conditions. A majority of the sick animals are being treated for ringworm.

The damage to the shelter’s live-outcome rate is yet to be determined, according to shelter officials.

“Whenever there’s a big intake like this, it does affect our outcome,” Montiel said. “A massive intake can lower our live outcome and to prepare for this we reached out to as many rescue groups as we could … final numbers for the outcome will be available later.”

Hays County Animal Advocates, county commissioners and city leaders across Hays County have all voiced their support for the regional shelter to go no-kill. However, with a large stray animal population, massive intakes of animals and the shelter being the only location for the county, the goal may be pushed farther off than activists hope.

To continue toward the goal of adopting out the majority of the shelter’s animals, all adoptions are $45 until Jan. 26 which includes the animal’s spay or neuter, microchip, rabies vaccine, kennel vaccinations and city license, according to shelter personnel.

In November 2018, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office seized 176 domestic animals from a home in the Leisurewoods subdivision. Authorities seized the animals following complaints of animal abuse were made against a pair of homeowners who said they were operating a shelter.

Melissa and Thomas Caffey, of Buda, were arrested in December 2018 on multiple charges related to the case.

Melissa Caffey was charged with two counts of child endangerment criminal negligence, a state-jail felony, and 10 counts of cruelty to non-livestock animals, a third-degree felony.

Thomas Caffey was charged with two counts of child endangerment criminal negligence, a state-jail felony.

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