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Animal shelter finds homes for seized animals, looks for volunteers


The sign in front of the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter adoption center, a public facility. 

This past November, the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter took custody of 161 cats and 15 dogs, summing up a total of 175 animals seized as part of a local rescue mission.
Hays County seizing agency received a call and found there were multiple mistreated animals on the outskirts of Buda.
Initiating the cruelty and neglect investigation, the Hays County seizing agency and the Leisure Cat Animal Rescue found multiple places housing animals did not meet the criteria for cruelty and neglect.
Animal Protection Supervisor for San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter, Steven Heath, said San Marcos is the only intake facility in the area, which is why the animals from the seizure were brought to their location.
“We are the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter, which means the shelter and animal control are ran out of this location,” Health said. “For everywhere else in Hays County, we are there holding facility for any animals they’ve healed.”
According to Lauren Lanmon, animal shelter community outreach coordinator, the animals came from various shelters around San Marcos, such as Lockhart Animal Shelter and Cat Trappers in Austin.
Since the seizure occurred, almost all of the animals who had microchips, besides one cat and two dogs, were returned to their previous owners or have been adopted.
Many animals arrived injured or diseased, but most were treated effectively. The number of deceased animals is unknown. On May 1, Lanmon reported the remaining animals not adopted from the night of the seizure are two cats.
“The community really supported us and gave us a lot of donations,” Lanmon said. “We’re not looking for donations for this seizure, it is pretty much wrapped up. We are asking for donations (of dog food) for senior and adult dogs (on our Facebook page).”
Additionally, the animal shelter is constantly looking for volunteers.
Brandon Weigand, program coordinator for San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter, overseas the volunteer, rescue and foster program and is implementing a new Volunteer Orientation Program. The orientation began in May and takes place Saturday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Weigand said despite the newness of the program, it has been thoroughly planned for the past four months, implementing different exposure to a multitude of volunteer programs the shelter has to offer.
Sections of the program include Dog Behavior training: training dogs to be obedient and learn tricks; Dogs Day Out: taking dogs out for a run or allowing them to play in the park and Matchmaking, which walks prospective adopters through the steps of adoption and seeing what animal fits best with them based on their characteristics.
“During the orientation, all volunteers will be trained on how to do the matchmaking program and the Dogs Day Out program,” Weigand said. “We are using the orientations to build up volunteer support and a good, solid base for some of these other programs.”
Programs like Dog Behavior training will require volunteers to become more invested on a regular basis. Rescue Transport, on the other hand, does not require real training to be able to come and take animals in and out of the shelter.
Additionally, Weigand adds how Dogs Day Out and Matchmaking are more specialized programs, but volunteers will gain exposure by going through a demo at orientation.
Weigand encourages the community to get involved with the animals at the shelter. Helping retain volunteers, Weigand and his team have began implementing discounts based on volunteer hours. For every hour volunteered at the shelter, the adoption fee of a neglected animal will be discounted by $1. For instance, if a volunteer goes in and worked for three hours that day, the fee would reduce by $3 for an adopter the same day.
To get involved, prospective volunteers can fill out an application on the shelter’s website.

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