About ACS

Daily Shelter Flow

The table below outlines a typical day at Animal Care Services between the hours of 6:00 AM and 9:00 PM. The table is separated by the five main operational areas of Animal Care Services: Clinic, Intake, Live Release, Kennels, and Field. The yellow stars Yellow Star under each area will provide you with an overview of duties for each respective area. Each box represents a job description for that operational team and the paws Paw provide quick facts for each area. This graph is meant to detail a “typical day” and does not guarantee that the events on this calendar will or do occur daily.

FlowChart ClinicStar IntakeStar LiveRelease Kennels Field Clinic Paw Fact Clinic Paw Fact Clinic Paw Fact Begin Care of Hospitalized Pets Pulling Pets for Surgery Spaying & Neutering Pets Shelter Medical Rounds Foster Hours Foster Hours Vaccinatioins for Incoming Animals & Medical Workups for Pets with Placement Intake Paw Fact Intake Paw Fact Intake Paw Fact Intake Paw Fact Intake Paw Fact Morning Preparation Daily Intake Activities Follow-up on All Identification Tags and Microchips to Identify Owners Live Release Paw Fact Community Cat Surgery Drop-Off (Thur-Sat) Daily Setup Morning Walkthrough Move and Plea-out 5PM Dogs Daily Activities Trainer Evaluation and Interactions Foster, Rescue, and Adoption Kennels Paw Fact Kennels Paw Fact Kennels Paw Fact AER Transport Update Kennel Count & Walkthrough Prep Kennel Sanitation Euthanasia Post-Surgery Transport to Kennels Post-Surgery Transport to Kennels Space Evaluation Euthanasia Feeding AER Transport Field Paw Fact Field Paw Fact Field Paw Fact Field Paw Fact Field Paw Fact Sweeps Begin Roll-Call Begin 311 Call Response Investigations (Cruelty, Bites, Permits, and Dangerous) AER Drop-Off Begins Neighborhood Meetings 11:00 PM 311 Closes
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Clinic

The Clinic Division plays an important role at Animal Care Services as it provides medical care for all of the pets in the shelter. Clinic duties include vaccinating the dogs and cats at the shelter, providing emergency response, performing spay and neuter surgeries, conducting medical rounds, and cleaning.

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Intake

The Intake Division provides a number of services for San Antonio residents. These services include processing incoming pets, assisting customers with billing, returning pets to their owners, and microchipping pets. This division is also responsible for providing alternative intake solutions for owned and stray pets, such as the Diversion Program.

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Live Release

The Live Release Division focuses on finding placement for pets at the shelter. This division is divided into six teams whose responsibilities include processing adoptions, recruiting fosters, dog training, updating animal profiles, customer service, and animal pleas to rescues.

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Kennels

The Shelter Division is in charge of all operations of the kennels. This includes caring for the animals, helping customers, and maintaining and maximizing kennel space. This team plays a key role in the health of the animals at the facility by making sure that sickness and disease are not spread from animal to animal.

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Field

The Field Operations Division is responsible for protecting the health and safety of the residents of San Antonio and their pets. Services include answering abuse and cruelty calls, animal bites, animal nuisances, injured animals, and livestock issues. This also includes animal nuisance to include roaming dogs. Animal Care Officers also play a key role in educating citizens when out in the field.

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Clinic - Fact

Puppy biting on a stethoscope
  • Surgery
    • The ACS vet clinic performs an average of 60-80 surgeries daily.
    • We complete over 18,000 surgeries annually.
    • ACS vet staff also complete specialized surgeries such as wound repairs, hernia repairs, enucleations (eye removals) and amputations.
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Clinic - Fact

ACS Employees Vaccinating Animals
  • Vaccines
    • Anywhere from 50-100 animals are vaccinated each day. During intake vaccines, pets also receive an initial medical exam and treatment for internal and external parasites as needed.
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Clinic - Fact

ACS Employees Ready to Give Medical Exams
  • Fosters
    • Fosters receive free medical exams and monthly preventatives.
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Intake - Fact

Puppy being scaned
  • ACS interacts with over 200 customers on a daily basis and follows up on over 25 Return to Owner calls a day
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Intake - Fact

Puppy being scaned
  • ACS staff processes over 40 payments daily for adoptions, return to owner, permits, fines and intake
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Intake - Fact

Puppy being scaned
  • Follow up on Return to Owner calls (25 day)
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Intake - Fact

Kittens in a Kennel
  • Did you know that many services can be initially started via email? For more information, please visit www.saacs.net
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Intake - Fact

Puppy being scaned
  • ACS impounds over 30,000 pets annually. Of those, over 10,000 are impounded over the counter.
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Live Release - Fact

Kitten feeding from a bottle

The following duties are completed during 11:00AM to 7:00 PM:

  • Update pictures (50+/day)
  • Foster (8-10/day)
  • Adopter interactions (30/day)
  • Respond to emails (100+ day)
  • Respond to voice mails (60/day)
  • Trainer evaluations
  • Foster applications review
  • Create adoption folders (30 /day)
  • Verify surgery for adopted/foster pets, processing new adoptions (20-50 /day)
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Kennels - Fact

Kittens in a Kennel
  • Animal Care Services shelter staff feeds more than 1,000 pounds of dog and puppy food each week.
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Kennels - Fact

Kittens in a Kennel
  • Our ACS cats and kittens eat more than 220 pounds of cat and kitten food each week.
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Kennels - Fact

Kittens in a Kennel
  • We care for more than just dogs and cats. On any given day you can find anything from rabbits to potbelly pigs in our care.
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Field - Fact

Field Officer speaking to a resident
  • San Antonio’s Animal Care Officers issue 11,000 to 13,000 Citations annually
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Field - Fact

Field Officer speaking to a resident
  • Over 100,000 Calls For Service to include 70,000 resident initiated calls and 30,000 staff initiated calls for services
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Field - Fact

Field Officer speaking to a resident
  • ACS impounds over 30,000 pets annually. Of those, over 17,000 are impounded from the field.
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Field - Fact

Field Officer speaking to a resident
  • ACS officers return approximately 3,500 lost pets to their owner in the field
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Field - Fact

Field Officer speaking to a resident
  • The ACS field divisions has someone on duty 365 days a year, 7 days a week
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Clinic - Begin Care of Hospitalized Pets

Care of sick/injured pets – On a daily basis, ACS receives pets that are sick/injured and require medical attention. Any pet that shows signs of being physically sick/injured will be examined by an ACS veterinarian who will decide further medical treatment including possible hospitalization.

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Clinic - Pulling Pets for Surgery

Pulling Pets for Sterilization Surgery – A team of skilled high-volume/high-quality spay and neuter surgeons perform pet sterilization surgeries at ACS six days a week. These pets must be transported each morning from the main kennels to the clinic to prepare for surgery. This process can take four to eight staff members up to an hour depending on the number of surgeries scheduled. Upon arrival to the clinic, the medical staff will perform pre-surgical workups to ensure pets receive their visual exams and preventions.

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Clinic - Spaying & Neutering Pets

Spaying and Neutering Pets – All adopted pets released from ACS are sterilized prior to going to their forever home. ACS also sterilizes pets for the Community Cat Program, and numerous grant funded programs.

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Clinic - Shelter Medical Rounds

Shelter Medical Rounds – An ACS staff veterinarian performs a daily walkthrough review of all the pets in ACS care which can be up to 300 animals on any given day. This includes a visual examination of the pets to ensure the pets to monitor their health and to provide special care instructions, if needed. Staff veterinarians are also responsible for monitoring pets in quarantine for any signs or symptoms of rabies. 

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Clinic - Foster Hours

Foster Hours – ACS relies on fosters to care for thousands of pets annually. Many of these pets need medical support beyond vaccinations and preventive care. Regardless of their medical need, the ACS clinic will provide approved veterinary services and prevention for the foster at no cost to the foster family.

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Clinic - Vaccinations for Incoming Animals & Medical Workups for Pets with Placement

Vaccinations for Incoming Pets – All animals that enter the ACS shelter receive their initial vaccinations to help build immunity for common diseases and to help prevent the spread of those diseases--in the kennels and in the community.

Medical Workups for Pets - All Pets with a live placement will receive a visual exam and preventions for internal and external parasites.

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Intake - Morning Preparation

Morning Preparation – The intake and customer service team processes approximately 100 emails a day dealing with intake, microchipping, permits, licenses, public requests for spay-neuter, and vaccination information. The best time to address these emails are to before we open to the public at 11:00 AM.

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Intake - Daily Intake Activities

Daily Activities – In addition to impounding pets from the public, the Intake team provides the first interaction with visitors to Animal Care Services by greeting, directing, assisting and answering questions. ACS implants free registered microchips in community pets daily and completes input of the information necessary to ensure their proper registration and activation. The Intake team processes financial transactions for all adoptions, permits, licenses, citations, owner surrenders, and owner reclaims.

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Intake - Follow-up on All Identification Tags and Microchips to Identify Owners

Follow-up on identification tags – On a daily basis, Animal Care Services impounds pets with identification such as microchips or tags. These identifiers are used by the intake staff to try to reunite these pets with their owners. Intake staff works with microchip companies and veterinary clinics to verify ownership and contact owners for information. We attempt to reunite the pet owners with their pets utilizing as many methods as possible to include calling/emailing/texting the owners to arrange reunions.***Time of day may vary but ACS dedicates up to 4 hours a day.

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Live Release - Community Cat Surgery Drop-Off (Thur-Sat)

Community Cat Drop-off – On a weekly basis, ACS works with caring individuals who participate in our Community Cat Program (CCP). The program provides humane trapping, sterilization, vaccinations and release services for feral cats throughout San Antonio. The program typically sees up to 50 cats brought in through CCP each surgery day.

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Live Release - Daily Setup

Daily Set-up – The Live Release team processes around 300 emails on any given day. This includes answering questions, providing info on the pets, setting up adoptions, talking with rescue partners and fosters, intake, and general customer service. During this time, Live Release also sorts incoming pet supply donations, cleans and sanitizes all intake and adoption areas.

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Live Release - Morning Walkthrough

Morning Walkthrough- Each morning before ACS opens to the public, live release and shelter staff joins on-site rescue partners to walk through each of the ACS kennels to review placement options for all the pets as well as evaluate the condition of animals who may have been brought in overnight by our field officers. 

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Live Release - Move and Plea-out 5PM Dogs

5 PM dog Pleas/Promotions – To postpone humane euthanasia for pets who have been selected for euthanasia that day, ACS has created five outdoor spotlight kennels to better showcase pets and provide additional time. The Live Release staff uses ACS social media platforms like Facebook to enhance promotion of these special pets to encourage placement.

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Live Release - Daily Activities

Daily Intake Activities – Throughout the day, Live Release staff can be found assisting adopters, interacting with customers, greeting and recruiting fosters, putting together adoption foster packets, directing volunteers, evaluating pets, distributing humane traps and vouchers for our Community Cat Program.

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Live Release - Trainer Evaluation and Interactions

Trainer Evaluation and Interactions – The ACS trainer evaluates dozens of dogs on a daily basis for placement, meet and greets with would be adopters as well as one-on-one training.

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Live Release - Foster, Rescue, and Adoption

Foster, Rescue and adoption Animal Pick-up & Outcome – The best part of our day is watching pets head off with their new families, foster or rescues! Before they leave though, we go through the pet’s medical history, explain the microchip process and discuss proper integration into their new home.

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Kennels - Pet ER Transport

After hour Medical Transport - On a daily basis, ACS receives pets that are sick/injured that require medical attention. If ACS does not have a vet on campus, any pets that shows signs of being physically sick/injured or in need continuous medical care will be transported to a local animal emergency hospital. ACS begins transporting pets from the local animal emergency hospital back to ACS at 7:00 AM.

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Kennels - Update Kennel Count & Walkthrough Prep

Update Kennel Count and Walkthrough Prep – ACS staff begins its initial daily walkthrough of the kennels at 8:30 AM in order to ensure all pets have proper identification on their kennels and are in their correct locations.

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Kennels - Kennel Sanitation

Kennel Sanitation – In order to prevent the spread of disease, ACS sanitizes over 330 kennels daily which includes a seven step process: removing organic material, rinsing, soaping, scrubbing, rinsing, disinfect, and drying of kennels.

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Kennels - Euthanasia

Humane Euthanasia-Pet overpopulation is a serious problem in San Antonio and Animal Care Services annually brings in more than 30,000 animals. Although ACS has a 90% plus placement rate for our pets, some pets are, sadly, still euthanized every year. Although most of these pets have critical medical or behavioral issues, a small number are euthanized because of shelter overcapacity. The medical decision to euthanize a pet is not one taken lightly and any humane euthanasia at Animal Care Services is performed by a state certified staffer with an emphasis on providing the most humane process including sedation.

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Kennels - Post-Surgery Transport to Kennels

Post-Surgery Transport to Kennels – A team of skilled high-volume/high-quality spay and neuter surgeons performs sterilization surgeries at ACS six days a week. These pets must be transported from the main kennels to the clinic to prepare for surgery. Once the surgery is completed and the pet is ready, Kennel staff will transport the pets back to their kennel.

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Kennels - Space Evaluation

Space Evaluation-During the morning walkthrough as well as throughout the day, Shelter staff work with Live Release, Clinic and Field Operations to ensure Animal Care Services is providing humane care for the animals in all our kennels. This includes a continuous evaluation of the housing and space needs of those currently housed pets as well as the pets we know will come in through our lobby as well as field intake. ACS subscribes to and supports nationally accepted shelter “best practices” for humane kennel housing.

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Kennels - Feeding

Feeding – ACS staff ensure that all pets in care are properly fed based on their specific dietary needs. One example, nursing mothers with puppies are provided food at all times. ACS utilizes Hill’s Science Diet food to guarantee pets have the best nutrition possible while in our care.

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Field - Sweeps Begin

Sweeps Begin – Using data collected from Call for Service requests and in concert with Council District requests, enforcement sweeps are conducted in high stray call volume areas from 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Field - Roll-Call

Roll-Call – On a daily basis, field leadership provide officer assignments, reminders and safety briefs with first responders during Roll Call.

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Field - Begin 311 Call Response

Begin 311 & Call Response & TNR Drop-off – Upon completion of roll-call, ACOs prepare vehicles and equipment to begin responding to 311 calls. Community cats from the Trap Neuter Return programs are picked up by officers for drop-off at this time.

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Field - Investigations (Cruelty, Bites, Permits, and Dangerous)

Investigations – ACS Cruelty Officers investigate thousands of potential criminal cases annually. This ranges from a Class C misdemeanor to felony animal cruelty cases. ACS Bites investigators assure compliance with state mandated rabies quarantine procedures on over 3,000 cases annually. Dangerous dog investigators oversee the execution of Serious Bodily Injury, Dangerous and Aggressive cases as mandated through state and local law. These cases are initiated through a formal witness affidavit.

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Field - AER Drop-Off Begins

After Hour Medical Drop-off – On a daily basis, ACS receives pets that are sick/injured that require medical attention. If ACS does not have a vet on campus, any pet that shows signs of being physically sick/injured or in need continuous medical care will be transported to a local animal emergency hospital.

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Field - Neighborhood Meetings

Neighborhood Association meetings – If time allow, ACS provides presentations at neighborhood association meetings. ACS provides operational overviews and answers questions pertaining to specific areas of concern.

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Field - 11:00 PM 311 Closes

11pm (311 closes) – calls received after 311 business hours should be routed to the SAPD non-emergency line (210-207-7484) or 911 for emergencies. ACS has on-call officers that respond to SAPD and SAFD calls for service from midnight to 7:00AM.