Partner With

San Antonio Pets Alive!



Hello Rescue Partners! We welcome other 501c3 rescues to Partner with us to save lives from the city shelter. 

What we provide for our partners:

If you partner with SAPA! to save animals on the euthanasia list we do provide the following and there is no pull fee:

  • HW test on dogs 6 months or older – Exception: dogs that are fractious may not be tested to avoid any risk of injuries to SAPA! Staff. 
  • Observed temperament and basic medical information – Diagnostic abilities are limited at SAPA!/ACS. Medical treatments are limited to basic triage until rescue can take to your private veterinarian for a more thorough evaluation.
  • Microchip – Paperwork for chip registration will be sent with pick-up, bundled with other hard-copy paperwork. Exception: Dogs that are fractious may not be microchipped to avoid any risk of injuries to SAPA! staff.
  • Vaccinations (BORD\ADEN\PAR\DHPP\RABIES) – Vaccines given are age-appropriate, boosters etc., must be continued at your private vet.
  • Preventatives are brought current (flea/tick/heartworm/de-wormer) – You may follow up with your private vet for continuation of HW preventative and de-worming. Exception: SAPA! staff may not be able to safely administer these preventatives, they may be sent with the pick-up for rescue to administer. 
  • Spay/Neuter – Exceptions: if the dog is denied surgery by the shelter veterinarian due to, space limitations, illness, age or physical condition, then dog may leave with a surgery waiver and you may have altered at your private vet, you may also schedule surgery at ACS/151 as space is available. 

How To Apply: 

1) Please have the Rescue Director complete the application though the Hello Sign link:

2) Then please email the following documents to :

  • Your IRS 501c3 approval letter (or Canadian Charity Registry Documents)
  • A vet letter of reference
  • Your adoption and foster contract/applications.
  • Most recent financial

3) Once your app is complete and we have all your documents we will review your application and let you know via email if you are a new approved partner.  

View Urgent Shelter Pets Here: 

Animals that are available for Rescue Partners can be found in the ACS Report: Animals in Need of Placement:

Euthanasia listed animals are viewable in the ACS Euthanasia Capacity List report:

Animals that are being released to euthanasia are on this report and notated, this report is updated for the following day between 3-5pm for the next morning. Euthanasia then begins at 12pm M-F. Then 11am & Sat.

*Occasionally Animal Care Services will release animals at 5pm M-F and 3pm Saturdays if additional space is needed. 

Requesting Additional Information & Tagging Animals

If you see any urgent animals you would like to help, or have any questions regarding rescue partnership, please email with the animal ID of the animal you are interested in! 


View our Rescue Partner Policies and Contract


  • Determining credibility for your rescue partners (Appendix A)
  • FAQ link, pick-up directions, helpful SAPA! contacts (Appendix B)
  • Finding urgent pets on Facebook (Appendix C)
  • Health Certs, Boarding and Vet resources (Appendix D)


  • Animal Inquiries
  • Copies of paperwork
  • Questions Regarding Current or Previous Pulls
  • Proofs of Spay & Neuters for Animals That Left with Surgery Waivers
  • Reporting Distemper Cases

  • Scheduling spay/neuters to be done at ACS/151


This FAQ applies to the placement department, the SAPA Urgent & Adoptables Facebook page and the placement of urgent animals through SAPA! at the city municipal shelter.

Urgents and Adoptables Facebook Page Update

Who is SAPA! and what is their role with urgent animals?

We at San Antonio Pets Alive! are a no-kill rescue that helps find placement for the animals at risk of euthanasia at the city shelter, Animal Care Services!

We have a special partnership with the shelter that we can process adoptions directly for urgent animals in their care as well as animals that we have already saved, and we also have our own foster system, and we partner with other rescues so they can pull urgent pets directly through us!

SAPA! has a contract with the city to pull dogs, what does that mean?

SAPA! is contracted with the city to save animals and we have a special partnership with the City Shelter, Animal Care Services (ACS) where we have building 1 onsite that we run at the shelter campus to hold released animals and give more time for placement. 

SAPA! is not the only high-volume rescue partner, the city shelter has many rescue partners like SAPA! who have contracts to pull a certain amount of animals per year.

Over the last few years, we have exceeded our contracted numbers, pulled well over what the city expects us to pull. Multiple SAPA! teams work together and are committed- 7 days a week, and onsite 7 days a week to help place the most at risk animals at the shelter. We also work very hard to place cats, all neo-natal kittens and puppies, in addition to distemper pups and parvo pups that come into ACS, in addition to dogs on the euthanasia list.

Where are the urgent dogs located?

All the urgent dogs are located at the Rescue Center in SAPA! Building 1 on the 151/ACS campus. 

Address: 4710 Highway 151, San Antonio, Texas 78227 

Click here for Hours: 

How to get more info on an urgent dog?

Email is the fastest way to contact us! Send an email with the dogs AID number to We are monitoring these emails all day during hours of operation and answer emails very quickly.

How Can I adopt?

To adopt please come onsite for a meet and greet with the dog you are interested in please bring your dogs, and family members including children to make sure the new dog will fit in with your family! Bring an ID with your current address, lease, or a utility bill with your name for proof of address. Your pets must be up to date on vaccinations & a meet and greet with your dog may be required to approve your application. 

You can pre-emptively complete the application online if you wish: 

What Are the Adoption Fees?

URGENT DOGS: $25 for heart worm negative dogs & puppies under 6 months, $85 for heart worm positive dogs. Urgent Animals can be found on our Facebook Page, in the album,  Today's Urgent Dogs @ The 151/ACS Campus In San Antonio, TX!

SAPA! ANIMALS: Dogs & Cats that are already in SAPA! custody are on our website . Some will be available at the 151 Rescue Center (SAPA! Building 1), tran kennels. Others might be in Foster care, our Marbach Clinic or Petco Adoption Center. 

  • Puppies 6 months & under: $150.
  • Dogs 7 months & over: $60 (includes HW+ dogs).
  • Cats, 7 months and up $75
  • Kittens, 6 months and under $100.

**Some Animals have special adoption fees, i.e. Ambassador dogs & Special Breeds** 

Fee includes: the neuter/spay surgery, a microchip, being brought up to date on vaccinations and preventatives. (For heart worm positive dogs, heart worm treatment is included in your fee. Treatment is done at our local SAPA Clinic only).

Can I adopt out of state?

We are able to process adoptions out of state for animals already in SAPA!'s care on a case-by-case right now if the adopter lives in the cities/states we transport to. We need time to process the adoption, screen, and finalize the adoption. - The animal would need to meet the USDA criteria for transport and be healthy enough for transport so not all animals in care would be able to be transported at a given time.

With EBI animals, we do not have the luxury of time. We are a foster-based rescue so we don't have a shelter to hold while we process the adoption. - Animals on EBI we might not have any behavior info, we don't have full medical notes, we don't know if the adopter can pay for the transport fees, we don't have an application to review, and to review USDA guidelines for transport. - We don't have the adoption Fee at the time of tag, to ensure that the adopter doesn't back out. 

For animals on the euthanasia list we require the out of state adopter to have a rescue org to pull for them and coordinate the pull and transport. 

The rescue will need to email us at, fill out our rescue partner application if not already a partner, and then coordinate the pull.

*We currently do not have any rescue partners that have offered to help with out-of-state adoptions*" 

 Does it cost to Foster? How to sign up?

It is free to foster, but you must fill out an application and be in the local area. We have two types of fostering:

  • Long-term fostering: until the dog is adopted, SAPA! provides medical care and marketing support and adoption events to help you find your foster pets homes. Read more about Fostering w/ SAPA HERE
  • Short-term fostering: Temp fostering for SAPA! Approved Transport dogs, we do monthly transport and the temp foster period is 4 weeks at the most!

Foster Applications:



Email  If you are interested in meeting any of the urgent animals or animals at our 151/ACS location. Or for questions about fostering.

What are the Tran/Transition kennels at the Rescue Center in SAPA! Building 1?

SAPA has a contract with the city, where we have SAPA building 1, our Rescue Center on the 151/ACS location, these 25 kennels are the TRANSITION kennels, where SAPA takes care of euthanasia list dogs that the City already slated for euthanasia. Tran dogs get more time to find placement and we do our best to market these dogs the most as our staff has direct interaction with them day in and day out. The dogs released from Tran kennels are still urgent dogs and still belong to the city and are not safe until they have confirmed placement.

How long do dogs at the City Shelter, Animal Care Services have before they are urgent?

Due to the overpopulation in the City of San Antonio, the city is constantly working to make space for the dogs coming in, whether it be from citizens owner surrendering their dogs, or from Animal control officers bringing in dogs that are strays/loose in the city. Dogs that are owner surrendered go on the euthanasia list as soon as they are surrendered. Dogs that come in as strays are checked for chips and held on a “stray hold” for 3 days to give the owners time to come and reclaim. Unfortunately, it is not feasible to hold every dog for a long time because there are limits on space and not enough fosters/adopters or resources to do so.

Why don’t we place the dog with anyone willing to take an urgent dog?

All the dogs we plea belong to the city shelter. We reserve the right to deny someone for any reason. We are just the secondary route to adopt, foster or rescue, these dogs are under Animal Care services and can be placed through them as well. Sometimes due to space or time constraints we have to encourage inquiring people to go through ACS, we are two entities that have the same goal, save pets in San Antonio. SAPA!’s goal is to place animals responsibly into adoptive and foster homes and with Rescue Partner Organizations.

What determines which dogs go to euthanasia at Animal Care Services (ACS)?

Every day the city shelter, ACS posts a list of animals that are most at risk of euthanasia for the next day:

SAPA! Also sends this list out to our rescue partners. 

Every morning & evening (10:00-11:00am & 5pm M-F. Then 9:30-10:30 am & 3 pm Sat.- There is no Euthanasia on Sundays) Animal Care Services determines what dogs are released to euthanasia as their space dictates & sends SAPA! a list of the animals that they need to release to euthanasia. 

We, SAPA! will then start our SOS! Plea Process: 

  • We internally view the release list and determine animals we can pull with the given available space.
  • We move released Animals from the urgent album to the SOS! ALBUM! 
  • We send out an urgent SOS! Plea email to our rescue partners which has the link to the SOS! Album and the Names & IDs of the released animals. 
  • We pull released dogs that we have space for in the SAPA operated Tran kennels. 

Does SAPA! know who will be released from the List of Urgent animals for the following day?

We don’t know who will be released ahead of time, ALL dogs on the euthanasia list are at risk. Dogs in Tran kennels get released as space is needed to give the newer released dogs more time, they still belong to the city shelter.

**ACS can release any of the urgent dogs at any-time during the day. There have been occasions where dogs are released for behavior, medical suffering, or other reasons throughout the day**

Why are pledges important?

Pledges are extremely helpful to rescues to help cover the costs of the dog’s basic needs, medical, boarding or transport. Many of our Rescue Partners are out of state so they incur many costs to pull dogs and get them ready for transport.

Many of the animals that come into the shelter have medical needs, vetting, injuries or possible HW disease. Pledges can help attract rescues to pull these animals who need the most help.

Rescues should NOT rely on pledges in order save an animal. 

Why can’t we pull all released dogs to Tran kennels?

We are allowed 25 kennels in SAPA building 1 to give dogs on the euthanasia list more time. If we over fill our kennels, and violate the city standards we can loose our rights to pull any dogs during the city walk through. SAPA is also contracted with the city to pull a certain amount of dogs per year which we pride ourselves in exceeding those numbers yearly.

Why doesn’t SAPA have information on all dogs on the euthanasia list?

We are onsite to assist the city shelter, Animal Care Services in getting urgent dogs placed. There are often a couple hundred dogs at the shelter at any given time. Dogs that are in ACS kennels, we help plea them, with rescue interest we can have our staff collect info on them. We ask that any interested adopter come to the shelter immediately for a meet and greet. 

Once dogs are released they are moved from ACS kennels to the euthanasia room and it is too late to collect info and they must be pulled blindly. Once dogs come to Tran kennels, we always collect their HW, medial and temperament observations, so it is readily available to any inquiries. We do not have the staffing, time or resources to collect info on every single dog in ACS kennels every day. There are often over 100 dogs on the euthanasia list at any given time.

If you are interested in rescuing, adopting or fostering a dog on the Euthanasia list DO NOT WAIT to email for walk-in information. These dogs are at high risk of being released to euthanasia.

How Does SAPA choose which dogs we will pull to our other locations?

We are constantly in communication with the Managers at all of our locations and as soon as space opens up at one of our locations we rotate in dogs from the euthanasia list who then become safe SAPA! dogs. We never leave a kennel empty we fill them immediately. Who is chosen depends on several factors, the size of the available open space, medical conditions, time, temperament, vaccinations, etc. The onsite supervisor/Live Release Manager makes the ultimate decision, who must plan to move around dogs and current animals to make the most space for the next day’s walk through with the city shelter.

Why are dogs added and released to euthanasia in such a short time frame?

SAPA only markets the dogs once they have reached the city's euthanasia list, dogs have been available for placement & marketed through ACS before they have been posted on the urgent's page. Those who are not on the urgent list yet and not available through SAPA yet, are available and marketed through ACS


We are automatically deleting and blocking comments that are negative in nature, or things that we do not allow to be posted on our page. This is not personal, we just need to ensure that the threads remain positive and information that is not meant to be public is not posted on our page. We appreciate positive networking and sharing the urgent dogs from our page.

Please read below for rules on posting on the Urgent page:

Comments on SAPA! threads that are deleted and can result in the inability to post are as follows:

  • Any negative comments, that are not encouraging the placement of the urgent dogs. 
  • Comments that have words kill, die, murder, slaughter, throw away, etc.
  • Rants/attacks on owners & cursing; POS owners, Dumped, "left to die". We know that this is sad to see, usually, the description will say if the dog was owner surrendered and that is enough. Comments like this fuel more negativity which doesn't help the dogs.   
  • Repeating negative comments will result in the inability to comment on the threads. While these dogs are at risk of euthanasia such comments often rally more negativity and do not help these dogs get placed. Comments like this are discouraging to the staff who work hard to get these dogs placement.
  • Negative comments toward SAPA! or Animal Care Services. Both organizations are trying to get dogs placed and have to work endlessly against the high rates of overpopulation, with people surrendering and dogs coming in from animal control.
  • Spamming photos/Gifs as they clog up the threads. 
  • Photos of dead animals or images indicating dead animals.
  • Threats of any kind.
  • Repeatedly posting the status of Animals.- SAPA! Will update the posts for animals who are no longer urgent or Safe, the public should not be posting status updates as you do not have access to the same information that we do, and your posts may confuse the public or be incorrect.
  • ACS MEDICAL NOTES, MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS, NEGATIVE TEMPERAMENT INFORMATION. - The reason being that anyone interested in an animal should and will email us directly where we will share the information we have. ACS medical is private and should not be shared publicly. There are many reasons why we don’t allow that, or other details about animals on the page since they stir up issues, miscommunication, and negativity.  Having people email for more information allows us to have conversations directly with the inquirer to help them determine if the animal is right for them and answer questions if there are medical issues or less desirable behaviors. This prevents animals from being labeled and skipped over. This also prevents people from taking information out of context and creating negativity on our page or through emails. 

San Antonio Pets Alive! is not the city municipal shelter! We at San Antonio Pets Alive! are a no-kill rescue that helps find placement for the animals at risk of euthanasia at the city shelter, Animal Care Services (ACS)!

We have a special partnership with the shelter that we can process adoptions directly for urgent animals in their care as well as animals that we have already saved, and we also have our own foster system, and we partner with other rescues so they can pull urgent pets directly through us!