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Animal Care Services will be revamped amid new budget

ACS will be receiving $28.5 million. According to the city, 29 positions will be added.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio City Council recently passed a $3.7 billion budget, and much of the money is going to public safety.  

Animal Care Services will be receiving $28.5 million.

ACS Director Shannon Sims said this is significant.

"This is the largest budget at least since I have been there in the last 10 years," he said. "Really start to shore up our enforcement and the ability to make San Antonio a safer place when it comes to dogs."

According to the city, 29 positions will be added.  However, Sims said it will take time.

"It is going to be a heavy lift," he said.

Sims also said the positions will be for bite investigators, dangerous dog investigators and officers.

"Seven doesn't seem like a lot of addition," he said. "But, it provided us an additional day shift which doubled the number of officers we have in the field 5 days a week."

The city said a bigger force will hopefully mean a cut in response times. However, Sims says this won't happen overnight.

"This isn't just a year one solution," he said. "We have already built in what our year two asks are going to look like."

Beatrice De Los Santos' husband was attacked by two dogs, in their yard, a month ago. He is still in the hospital.

"We have been through such a horrible emotional roller coaster," his wife said. "His right leg was fully amputated this week."

De Los Santos said more money to ACS is the right step, but believes there should be more.

"When are we going to be safe?" she said. "It is not just about adding numbers and adding dollars. The whole system needs to be looked from the bottom, up."

According to the city, ACS positions will increase rescue opportunities and adoptions and promote responsible pet ownership. Funding is also added to achieve 44,000 no or low cost spay and neuter surgeries in 2024. The city will also develop two new spay and neuter clinics in areas of the community that lack access to veterinary services.


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