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The University Star


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Commissioners Court renews contract with APA!, proclaims Parks and Recreation Month

Star file photo

During its July 2 meeting, the Hays County Commissioners Court extended its Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) to continue their work at the Hays County Pet Resource Center.

APA! signed a one-year agreement with Hays County in April 2023 to manage the development of Hays County Pet Resource Center and extended the agreement to June 30, 2024. With this contract award, APA! will be able to continue its work with Hays County as their old contract’s due date was approaching.

According to a press release sent from the Office of Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, the continued collaboration between Hays County and APA! will increase access to resources for pet owners and allow the county to focus efforts to improve fostering and adoptions numbers.

“This community loves all too much what’s going on, what we are doing and what we lead the charge with and who we used to help us get here,” Judge Ruben Becerra said. “There’s no way we won’t get exactly what we are asking for, so I’m very optimistic.”

In May, APA! helped San Marcos Regional Shelter throw a “It’s Gonna Be May Austin-Area Adoption Event” allowing $10 adoptions for all ready-to-go cats and dogs and free adoptions for dogs at the shelter for more than 190 days.

Since APA! has partnered with Hays County, they have engaged over 2500 Hays County citizens in community events, according to Becerra’s press release.

Along with this, the Hays County Pet Resource Center has provided support to over 500 pets and owners with Hays County Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender, the virtual resource center that helps animals get rehomed rather than surrendered to a shelter.

Judge Becerra said that APA! has already had a positive impact on Hays County.

“Keep up the good work,” Becerra said. “Keep leading the charge because you are beacons of hope for all of our loved ones.”

The Hays County Commissioners Court also proclaimed July 2024 Parks and Recreation month.

According to the proclamation, parks and recreation not only positively impacts mental health by increasing cognitive performance and well-being, but also increases a community’s economic prosperity through increased property values, expansion of the local tax base, and increased tourism.

Commissioner Lon Shell said though the San Marcos Parks and Recreation team is small, they do a lot of work for the community.

“They take ownership and pride in the parks they run and the people they represent,” Shell said. “I have experienced it many times myself. I am always proud when I go to one of the parks and see the staff interacting with the public, especially the younger public.”

According to San Marcos’ Parks and Recreation website, San Marcos has 28 parks consisting of over 450 acres of parkland and seven unique natural areas consisting of over 2,100 acres of greenspace and almost 40 miles of trails.

The Hays County Commissioners Court 9 a.m on select Tuesdays each month. For more information, visit its website.

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