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About 200 animals rescued by ACS during week of winter weather

Officials say the office received about 4,000 calls to help rescue animals left out in the cold.

SAN ANTONIO — Last week's dangerous winter weather resulted in a flurry of calls to City of San Antonio Animal Care Services.

ACS Interim Director Shannon Sims said crews braved the dangerous conditions to rescue animals left in the cold.

"Getting from one call to the next was pretty perilous and painstaking," Sims said. "And it was about 4,000 calls. I would say probably about 70% of those were associated with some sort of lack of shelter."

Sims said most of those calls ended up being unfounded. But one of their worst cases involved a dog named Baxter, who ACS found in the snow, chained up with no food or shelter. His only source of water was frozen solid.

"Baxter was actually one of those cases where we approached the individuals and we said, 'This has to be fixed right now,'" Sims said.

Sims said if an owner can't immediately care for their animal, they can surrender it to ACS. If the owner doesn't do so willingly, Sims said crews have the power to take them.

"We can legally remove the animal," Sims said. "Because we know if it remains in that condition, it will freeze."

He said Baxter's family agreed to give him away. Photos were taken of Baxter at ACS after the storm. They appear to show him smiling.

"He looks gorgeous now," Sims said. "He's a far different animal from the day we picked him up to just a handful of days later."

The weathered soul is ready for a new season as he waits at the shelter for his next family to take him home.

"With a little bit of love and care, these animals turn into great adoptable pets," Sims said.

Sims said ACS rescued about 200 animals during the week of winter weather. Many of them will be available for adoption in the next few days.

To view pets available for adoption at ACS, click here.

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