Shelter doesn’t threaten anyone with jail, but it must follow up
First off, the cat that was adopted from our shelter (described in an Aug. 14 letter to the editor) was not feral. It was actually a very friendly animal our Kerr County Animal Services employees felt would make a good pet.
Second, when anyone adopts a pet, we ask them to sign documents stating they understand the commitment they are making toward the care of that animal, and they are informed and aware that they must fulfill certain health requirements related to the pet (e.g. vaccinations, spay/neuter, etc.) on a set timeline. Those rules are not set by us, but rather by the state, and we do our best to comply with state law in the Texas Health and Safety Code. If an individual doesn’t wish to abide by the requirements, they don’t have to sign the agreement. All potential adopters must agree and sign, or adoption will not be approved.
We do not have a veterinarian on staff, and we cannot use taxpayer funds to ensure every pet adopted is vaccinated and spayed/neutered. That’s the adopter’s responsibility.
However, it is not unusual for us to spend time and resources to follow-up with people who have adopted shelter animals to make sure that they are following through on what they had committed to do. We have to hold them accountable, because it is against the law to not follow through with the requirements and we don’t want to see them have trouble.
We don’t threaten anyone with jail, but we do inform people they could be cited for non-compliance with state law.
We love animals as much as the people who decide to adopt them do. We want to assure the public we have many great family pets for those responsible owners who are willing to open their homes. Visit the shelter and give them a chance!
Reagan Givens, Director, Kerr County Environmental Health & Animal Services