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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

San Marcos National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day benefits

Rosey Mendoza
Ivy Camp meets a new best friend with excitement at the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter, Saturday, March 30, 2024, in San Marcos.

Local animal facilities in San Marcos will offer discounted adoption services for students on National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, April 30.

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter is the only open-intake facility for stray animals in San Marcos. The shelter receives animals from animal control officers from Kyle, Buda, Hays County, San Marcos and Wimberly and from the public, according to Community Engagement Coordinator Minnie Buckhaults.

On National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter will waive adoption fees for the first 25 pets adopted on April 30 as an incentive to give pets forever homes.

“We are very over capacity in our dog kennels right now,” Buckhaults said. “We have 93 dog kennels and we have… over 160 dogs currently at the shelter.”

Students who are unable to adopt due to housing or financial limitations can aid the animals at the shelter in other ways.

“Fostering, volunteering, donating needed items like wet puppy food, dog treats, anything like that is really great,” Buckhaults said. “I know one of the favorites for college kids is our Dog’s Day Out program.”

The Dog’s Day Out program allows anyone in the community to pick up a dog from the shelter and take them on a short outing. This gives the shelter dogs a chance to experience new people and places away from the shelter environment. The Dog’s Day Out program is offered every Monday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It is also really so beneficial for the dogs because they get out of the loud shelter environment, we get notes [and] we get photos,” Buckhaults said.

Hailey Heitmeyer, a theater education sophomore, signed up to participate in Dog’s Day Out. After choosing a day to take a dog out, Heitmeyer was paired with a dog based on the activity she chose. Heitmeyer took the dog to get a treat and to Sewell to play fetch for a couple of hours.

“As much as it gets the dog out of the kennel, it also gets students out and doing stuff,” Heitmeyer said. “If someone is looking to adopt a dog and they don’t know if they could handle a dog, then it’s a easy way to…[get] some experience with a pet first just for the day.”

Pet Prevent a Litter (PALS) is a nonprofit spay and neuter hospital that partners with the city of San Marcos to grant students free surgical sterilizations for their pets. Lauren Foye, the president and clinical operations director of PALS, offers discounted animal healthcare services to students, such as low-cost vaccinations and yearly check-ups.

“Our goal is to make sure that people can keep their pets [and] that they aren’t having to surrender them to the shelter,” Foye said. “We want to be supportive care.”

Many students adopt animals through unvetted channels as opposed to animal shelters that sterilize animals before adoption.

On National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, PALS is hosting a spay and neuter clinic so students can sterilize their pets for free. To receive this service free of charge, students can fill out a voucher application on the PALS website.

“PALS is adopt don’t shop everyday,” Foye said. “Our whole thing is to keep the animals out of the shelter, and that first line of defense is [to] spay and neuter.”

PALS recognizes that pet food can be expensive, so students who struggle to pay for it are invited to the PALS Pet Food Pantry, which is hosted every third Saturday of the month from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

“People need to know more about our services and that…we’re just here to help and service the community,” Foye said.

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