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FAQ

Who is San Antonio Pets Alive!?

Established in 2012, SAPA! is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created specifically to work in partnership with San Antonio Animal Care Services to reduce the number of adoptable animals euthanized in San Antonio. We do that by providing and supporting programs that target at-risk shelter populations, such as neo-natal kittens and puppies, pets with treatable medical issues, and animals with behavior challenges. A no-kill community saves 90% of the animals that enter its shelter system, and SAPA! is proud to be part of San Antonio’s life-saving efforts.

SAPA! was founded by Dr. Ellen Jefferson, who was instrumental in establishing a similar program in Austin, TX, (Austin Pets Alive!) that resulted in that city attaining a no-kill status that’s been successfully maintained for the last 4 years. A nationally-recognized authority on community no-kill practices, Dr. Jefferson’s efforts in San Antonio established a model that’s resulted in remarkable success – more than 20,000 animals have been saved since 2012.

Which pets do you save?

SAPA! focuses solely on pets that have arrived at the city shelter with no other options. We wait until other local shelters, rescues, and agencies pull animals for adoption in their own programs, and then we pull from those that remain. Our programs target animals that other organizations may not have the resources to treat or house, and our foster network supplements the limited kennel and cage space available at our facilities.

Our programs save the kinds of pets that take a little more work to make ready for adoption: puppies with parvovirus, neonatal kittens, cats with ringworm, and dogs with behavior issues. Our goal is to continue to create new programs for at-risk populations until every animal that can be saved is saved.

Has any other city achieved No Kill status?

Yes! A number of other cities in the US have achieved no-kill status. Ithaca, NY; Richmond, VA; Reno, NV; and Austin, TX have all become no-kill communities. When San Antonio reaches 90% live-release, we’ll be the largest no-kill city in the US!

Where will all the pets that are saved go?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) publishes statistics based on the US Census that estimate the number of pets in communities vs the number of available homes. In San Antonio, the number of new homes available for pets hovers around 100,000 annually. If just 20% of those families chose to adopt a shelter pet instead of purchasing from a store or breeder, San Antonio would be a no-kill city. Together we can make this happen!

How can you help?

We need adopters, fosters, volunteers and donors so that we can continue our life-saving work!

What programs does SAPA! offer?

SAPA!’s core programs are:

  • Neonatal Kitten Ward: This program helps meet the needs of the thousands of kittens that enter shelters in San Antonio each year. Requiring a high level of care due to their age and medical issues, our neonatal nursery provides treatment and housing until these kittens are ready for foster or adoption.
  • Parvo Ward: Our Parvo Ward isolates and treats puppies exposed to this very common but dangerous virus (canine parvovirus). It takes about 7 days for a puppy to be clear of the infection, which requires careful observation and treatment. Once they test negative, however, they are immediately made available for foster or adoption. Our Parvo Ward saved over 500 puppies in 2014.
  • Ringworm Ward: Ringworm, a common fungal infection, can be a death sentence for shelter cats in many parts of the US. Ringworm is highly contagious and able to survive for extended periods in a household or shelter environment. SAPA’s Ringworm Ward provides treatment for hundreds of shelter cats and kittens annually, returning them to the adoption floor – and new homes – within 4 weeks.
  • Medical Clinic: Our medical clinic provides care and treatment for animals we’ve adopted, those in foster awaiting adoption, and the San Antonio community at large. Everything from rabies vaccinations to heartworm preventative, as well as treatment for injuries large and small, is provided by our veterinary and technical staff.
  • Foster and Adoption Programs: SAPA’s robust and extensive foster program provides safe and stable home environments for animals awaiting adoption. Placement into foster homes increases our overall capacity, providing more opportunities to save lives in San Antonio.
  • PASS (Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender): The PASS program is the only program of its kind in Bexar County, and was created to help the public find resources to keep their own pets, or found pets, out of shelters. Our marketing resources, low cost medical options, behavioral resources, food assistance, and advocacy often make the difference between a night in a kennel and a night in a home. The goal of PASS is to provide alternatives to surrender for 2,500 pets per year.

Is every animal spayed/neutered before adoption?

Yes! SAPA! provides a complete medical workup, including spay/neuter for every animal prior to adoption. This reduces the financial burden on the adopter, and ensures that placed animals do not contribute to pet overpopulation in our community.

What are SAPA!’s funding sources?

SAPA! is funded by revenue from programs, support from corporate and foundation donors, contributions from supporters, and municipal contracts with the City of San Antonio. We are currently focusing on donor development and sustainable business practices in order to reduce our reliance on large corporate and foundation support, crafting a sustainable business and partnership model that will help to save lives for years to come.

Are donations tax-exempt?

Yes, we are a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our EIN # is  45-4141531.

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