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Heat goes out at animal rescue center, community steps up to help

More than 20 pets were fostered from San Antonio Pets Alive on Friday as bitter cold swept through the area.

SAN ANTONIO — On Friday, San Antonio Pets Alive (SAPA) put out an urgent request for fosters after heating malfunction.

The rescue center on Marbach Road quickly dropped into the 50s.

“Our heater did not seem to be able to keep up with the very cold weather outside,” said Marissa Kilgore, the Senior Director of Lifesaving Operations at SAPA. “I think it’s just not meant for the temperatures that we have been seeing.”

SAPA takes animals off the city’s euthanasia list.

“The majority of our animals reside in people’s homes where we get to learn more about them," said Kilgore. "They learn manners and become more adoptable." 

When staff notified the community about the dire need for homes over the Christmas weekend, many stepped up. 

Most of the animals were gone by the afternoon.

UPDATE: 20 dogs and 1 cat went on a staycation and will be in a warm home for the holidays!!! 🙌🎄❄️ You all are AMAZING!!! Our Medical Care Center was in the 50’s this morning, and we asked for short-term fosters. So far, 11 of our pups and 1 cat have left with a foster, and fosters are still coming to our clinic! Our clinic is warmer now 🙌, but we expect it to get colder again tonight. Our building and equipment do not handle these temperatures well, and we are grateful for San Antonians stepping up to help. Our animals are already loving the fact they’re out of their kennels, and our team can spend more time with the pups and cats still here. We still have animals in our kennels at our Building One Rescue Center and Medical Care Center, but fosters can only come by TODAY till 6pm. We will be closed tomorrow and Sunday (team members will be coming to care for our animals, but we wont be open for visitors). SAPA! Foster Application: https://www.sanantoniopetsalive.org/programs/foster

Posted by San Antonio Pets Alive on Friday, December 23, 2022

“They will be in homes for the holidays which is just really heartwarming,” Kilgore said.

The need never stops, though.

A Code Red is called when city shelters put 25 or more dogs on the euthanasia list.

This year, there have been many Code Reds.

“There have been a lot more than last year,” said Kilgore. “We have had three this week, eight in the last week, and 13 in the month of December.”

San Antonio Pets Alive is asking to people to consider fostering. Short-term and long-term programs are available.

During the winter freeze, the nonprofit is also reminding people to bring their pets indoors or make sure they have a warm outdoor shelter and water.

If you come across lost pets, Kilgore recommends bringing them indoors and finding their owner through neighborhood and groups.

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