According to Animal Care Services (ACS) of San Antonio TX – they have no documented standards or training for determining behavioral issues with animals.
Additionally, although ACS claims they have fulfilled this reporter’s request for information about training provided to employees for the medical determinations of animals, they replied with only a copy of a Vaccination Protocols sheet.
Unfortunately, animals are killed when behavior is an issue. Of course, many may also die or are killed when medical issues are present and not recognized properly.
An important note, under circumstances of medical and behavioral issues, the killing of the animal may not negatively impact the percentages that have often been touted by ACS. Those deemed and killed as Unhealthy/Untreatable are not counted for live release rates of Healthy/Treatable animals — the percentage that ACS provides to the public to “prove” their success.
Uncaring and unscrupulous directors and city officials could easily manipulate percentages through the unwarranted killing of animals while claiming they are Unhealthy/Untreatable when they are not. This could easily be executed through the lack of proper documentation.
If through only incompetence in training and record keeping, the same results may be found – healthy and behaviorally sound animals killed unjustly.
It is wondered how ACS percentages can be taken seriously or how they can be considered factual when no training or standards are documented and important information is not logged.
Additionally, with no documented standards or instruction to those making the decisions of life or death – many pets may be killed because they are only afraid and not aggressive.
ACS and the City of San Antonio promotes high live release rate percentages to the public, when many animals could be killed negligently. Additionally, animals at the Brooks shelter are often found not listed and ACS must be repeatedly “reminded” by rescue individuals to place them in the system to be adopted or found by owners that have lost their pets.
Moreover, ACS has a history of deceptive practices that cast a great doubt on anything they now present to the public.
Animal Care Service’s history of deception in San Antonio, TX
Animal Care Services violates Brooks’ lease in San Antonio, TX
Below are copies and replies of Open Records Requests and the responses from ACS:
RE: Response to Public Information Request
COSA ORR No: W019216-100813
“This letter responds to your request for information to the City of San Antonio, dated and received in our office on 10/8/2013 8:41:11 AM.
“Information Requested: Animal Control Records –
I require the following concerning Asilomar behavioral classifications training, standards, and documentation at ACS:
- Training provided to employees to evaluate behavior and apply classifications to reports
- The complete copy of the training manual and guidelines to instruct employee’s in behavioral classifications and outcomes
- Dates of classes held that instructed employees in behavioral classifications and outcomes
- The number of employees that are trained in behavioral classification
- The systems and methods that are used for testing the animal’s behavior along with corresponding documentation of use of that system
- ACS documentation showing how many times an animal is to be tested for behavior before a determination of behavior is made
- A copy of the log that is used for behavioral determination
- Training information and documentation in how ACS determines outcome for the animal.
I require the information above. A policy detail sheet or other document(s) not detailing what I have requested is not acceptable. Thank you. Material request date 10/08/2013 cc:rls
“The City of San Antonio has reviewed its files and has determined there are no responsive documents to your request.”
RE: Response to Public Information Request
COSA ORR No: W019262-100913
This letter responds to your request for information to the City of San Antonio, dated and received in our office on 10/9/2013 7:51:16 AM.
Information Requested: Animal Control Records –
According to ACS document 37-05-005: Treatment of Diseases: “2. Each animal, upon intake or as soon as possible, shall receive an initial physical exam from clinic staff to determine if the animal requires additional medical treatment. This exam can include monitoring for hair loss, discharge from the eyes and nose, underweight, lesions, pale gums, diarrhea and other symptoms of illness and communicable disease. – a. While the initial physical exam and subsequent follow-up will be performed by clinic staff including Veterinary Technicians and the Veterinarian, it is the responsibility of all members of ACS to notify clinic staff immediately if they suspect an animal may be ill or wounded. Potential symptoms could include loose or bloody stool, vomit, bleeding, favoring one limb over the other, not eating or drinking, or being excessively lethargic.”
Since determining the health of the animal is used for life or death decisions for the pet; I am certain ACS must have training in place for all members of ACS since they are listed as responsible.
And of course, ACS would have more detailed training for the clinic staff. I require the following documents:
- Dates of training classes for the past 3 years provided to employees to physically examine and evaluate animals along with attendance for classes
- Dates of training classes provided to all other members of ACS to physically recognize symptoms in animals along with attendance for classes
- Complete training manual for clinic staff in examining, determining, and assessing treatment of animal
- Complete training manual for all others of ACS in recognizing symptoms in animals
- Copy of physical exam logs for the entire month of September 2013 showing details of examinations performed along with the staff members assigned specifically to each separate examination
- Documentation of level of training for each staff member and all ACS members for September of 2013
“The City of San Antonio has reviewed its files and has located the enclosed documents that are responsive to your request. Although the Public Information Act allows a governmental body to charge for copying documents, the enclosed is being provided to you at no charge.”
All that was received by ACS was a Vaccination Protocols sheet (37-05-006) …and none of the additional information requested appears to exist.
ACS had none of the documented information requested concerning behavioral and medical issues of the animals, yet they continue to claim continued success in No Kill.
However, with no documented systems in place, it is clear that many animals could have been killed needlessly due to incompetence or disregard for their lives. Funding continues to pour in from donors, and nonprofits work tirelessly to save the animals. But behind the scenes at ACS there appears that much needs to be investigated.
However, city officials have knowingly allowed unlawful and deceptive situations to continue for approximately 3 years. Taxpayers wonder if and when elected officials will perform their duties as representatives of the citizens of San Antonio.