The Kerr County Commissioners Court wants a nonprofit group to step up and take over animal adoptions, and one group has already stepped into the fold to emerge as the early candidate to take over what the county doesn’t want.
Kerrville Pets Alive formed in the last few weeks with the intention of becoming that nonprofit to take over adoptions. The group has already received some funding, acquired a trailer that will help with mobile adoptions and is now in the process of earning its nonprofit status.
“We felt like it was a good time,” said Karen Guerriero, who is the president of the group. “We had a group wanting to get something together. We wanted to let the (county) know that we were in the game and wanted to work with them.”
For weeks, county commissioners have repeatedly said they wanted out of the adoption business, citing state mandates to focus on rabies control. The commissioners have called leaving the adoption business as aspirations, but Kerrville Pets Alive has already made some big moves.
“It looked like (the commissioners) wanted some quick action,” Guerriero said. “We didn’t want some lapse in time. Some sort of intention needed to happen.”
That intention was made clear when the group announced that it has acquired a trailer full of kennels that could be taken to locations for mobile adoptions. Guerriero said the group is hoping to work with the Kerr County Animal Shelter to take dogs and cats out of the shelter to community events, with the hope of facilitating adoptions.
Although the commissioners voted unanimously to establish the goal of being out of adoption services within one year, the county may still be involved at the same level.
“We’d like to get out of it, the goal is to get out of it, but we have to coordinate with (nonprofits) for it to work,” Kerr County Commissioner Jonathan Letz said.
Kerr County Commissioner Tom Moser also said the county may still be involved in adoption services in a year if the nonprofit sector can’t take up the slack.
“As I said in court, by God it’s a goal,” Moser said. “I think it should be a hard goal, but if we can’t do it, we can’t do it.”
Rather than have no involvement with animal adoptions, the county is likely to have some role — albeit much reduced, even if all goes well, Letz said.
He said the county would probably be able to reduce staff in the animal services department.
On Monday, County Judge Rob Kelly said the county would always be in the "short-term" adoption business.
Kerrville Pets Alive has 10 members, a number Guerriero said feels comfortable, and they have already received some funding.