Capone’s Story

Capone - Day 1

Capone, on the day he came to San Antonio Pets Alive

The animal rescue world is challenging on the best of days. We see the broken and unwanted of the City of San Antonio on a daily basis. One of the most unforgettable of those days was 5 weeks ago, when Capone walked through our door. He was starving, with patches of hair missing, broken teeth, and his ears jagged and cropped. It was evident that this pit-bull/mastiff mix was intended to be used in a fighting ring, but was discarded. The reason he was discarded soon became evident, as Capone didn’t have an aggressive bone in his body. The San Antonio Pets Alive Clinic Director, Gabby Uresti described him as having “a heart of gold…even though his body was weak all he wanted was to give kisses.”

Capone at his evaluation

Capone and the evaluator from Service Dog Express

Immediately, the medical team at San Antonio Pets Alive went into action. Capone began treatment for his hairloss, and was put on a healthy diet to get his weight back up. Due to his condition, he was placed in a foster home to regain his health. Throughout his recovery, we knew he was special. It was suggested that with his docile, attentive nature, he might do well as a service dog. So we reached out to the wonderful folks at Service Dog Express to see if he might be a good candidate for working as a service dog for Wounded Warriors and Civilians with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

Capone and Gabby

Capone and Gabby Uresti, on the day he passed his evaluation

Friday, October 30, 2015 – The day finally came. Thanks to the San Antonio Pets Alive medical team and Capone’s foster family, he was healthy and ready for his evaluation. The trainer from Service Dog Express worked with him for an hour. They ensured he was willing to be petted and touched on all parts of its body, including back legs and face. He went on walks around other dogs and people, and was more interested in his “person” than on the other distractions. He showed no signs of aggression at all, and was very responsive to the evaluator’s affection. Not only did Capone pass, the evaluator was BLOWN AWAY! We were told that he would be a phenomenal service dog and would change a Veteran’s life, just by being him. His profile is now up on the Service Dog Express website, and he is waiting in his San Antonio Pets Alive foster home to be matched with the Veteran that needs him.

Days like this. Dogs like this. This is why we do what we do.

“I am beyond humbled and thankful that I had the opportunity to help Capone heal, and now I get to be a part of something amazing! There are many more tears to come but they will all be happy tears and I cannot wait for the day he meets his forever human, even though he will take a piece of my heart with him, forever.” – Gabby Uresti, Clinic Director at San Antonio Pets Alive

If you know of a dog that you think would be suitable as a service dog, please contact Service Dogs Express for an evaluation.


$25K Match Challenge For Heartworm Treatments

Love is in the air at San Antonio Pets Alive! In the spirit of Cupid’s favorite holiday, an anonymous donor with a huge heart has offered to match all donations for heartworm treatments made between February 1st and Valentine’s Day (up to $25,000). Donations will help save the lives of all our dogs that have tested positive for heartworms, including this adorable senior Border Collie blend named Lou.


The average cost of care and treatment for a heartworm positive dog is $150. In 2014, SAPA! took in more than 100 heartworm positive dogs like Lou, with new ones coming through our doors almost every day. Heartworm disease is curable with the proper treatment, but without it many of these dogs won’t be able to survive.

Heartworm positive dogs have a considerably longer wait to find a home because of the cost and stigma they carry with them. Gifts during the match challenge will not only be doubled, but will help these deserving dogs become more adoptable and eventually find their way into a forever home. $50,000 will allow SAPA! to save countless lives through emergency medical care, starting by funding treatment for ALL heartworm positive dogs in 2015!

Our generous donor will double every donation made through February 14th. DONATE NOW to help give Lou and our other heartworm positive dogs a second chance at life!

Online fundraising for Have a Heart Match Challenge
HW Infographic_Match

Happy Birthday Paul Jolly Center!

The Paul Jolly Center for Pet Adoptions is turning one this month. Since its opening in October 2013, The Paul Jolly Center for Pet Adoptions has been instrumental in San Antonio Pets Alive!’s ability to increase the live release rate at San Antonio Animal Care Services. With over 3,000 adoptions in less than one year, the center is now a focal point for SAPA!’s adoption program as well as a hub for community engagement initiatives at the Petco Pavilion including a monthly pet market, dog walking volunteer groups, weekly meetings for a local 4-H Club and the location of this year’s TPR “All Pets Considered” event. The central location of the center has allowed SAPA! to extend its supporter network and ultimately strengthen its presence within the community.

Meet Arabella
. She was 2 years old and suffering from mange and emaciation when she was rescued from the city shelter and taken in to our program. She was at the center for four weeks before being adopted by Laura Gonzalez. She was still recovering from hair loss caused by mange, but her new mom continued care with medication, coconut oil and love. She gained 15 lbs. and her beautiful fur coat grew back. Like many other adoptable dogs and cats at the center, Arabella found her happy ending!

In celebration of The Paul Jolly Center and to all of those that have supported our work this past year, SAPA! and Petco are teaming up to host a family friendly event on Saturday, October 25. Bring your wolf pack and have a doggone good time dancing to the beats of Jason Saldana, getting your grub on with Cheesy Jane’s food truck, winning our Halloween costume contest, and saying “cheese” for the pumpkin patch photo–op. The first 150 past adopters will also receive a Petco swag bag, so get there early! A special “Walk of Life” will take place at 1 p.m. in Brackenridge Park where all dogs and their humans are welcome to join. Of course, all of our wonderful pets will be available for adoption and freshly groomed thanks to Petco’s expert grooming department. For one day only, folks can add a new member to the family for a donation to SAPA!


Thank you for making our first year one for the books!
We could not have done it without our amazing supporters who have helped find homes for countless animals.  Your commitment to making San Antonio a No Kill city is demonstrated through your passion and generosity. With your help, we will become the largest No Kill city in the nation!

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Honoring Paul Jolly

Honoring Paul Jolly

It is paul jollyimportant in our lives, to seek and gain motivation and inspiration from the work of others.  Paul Jolly is one of those people. Mr. Jolly didn’t live in San Antonio, but as the director of the Petco Foundation for many years, his work had, and continues to have, a lasting impact on our efforts to save pets from needless death.

We lost Paul Jolly on March 8, 2014. He died surrounded by family and friends, but his compassion and life-saving efforts will continue here in San Antonio and beyond. Just one branch of Mr. Jolly’s legacy, as many of you know, is the Paul Jolly Center for Pet Adoptions which was named in honor of Mr. Jolly.  The center opened this past October and has already saved hundreds of lives.

Paul dedicated his life to saving pets and leading the Petco Foundation. He was well regarded nationally as a man who devoted his career to saving our most vulnerable pets. San Antonio Pets Alive! takes seriously the legacy of Mr. Jolly, and every life we save carries the impact of the compassion and commitment he showed in life.paul jolly plaque

Mr. Jolly watched the groundbreaking of the Paul Jolly Center for Pet Adoptions remotely and wrote a beautiful piece that was read at the groundbreaking. We share a part of it below in honor of Mr. Jolly and as continued inspiration for those of you who share his passion for saving pets;

I envisioned potential pet parents walking into the center hoping to make that connection with a homeless pet.  I imagined homeless animals – scared, hurting, and unsure – having a state of the art sanctuary while they await their second chance at a better life. I saw them both coming together with hope and promise.  This is what will make San Antonio special.  This is what will make the city magical.  And I remembered the animal welfare heroes in my life who served as inspirations to me. I am forever grateful to them for imparting to me their passion and their commitment to making a difference for animals.  This building may have my name on it, but it is really named for all of them that guided my journey in humane work.
I thought about the enormous progress that the city of San Antonio has made to become a “No-Kill” community.  It is my hope that this adoption center will be a beacon and symbol for the local animal leaders and others that are championing this cause.  I hope they will be reminded of the ultimate goal when they repeat my name and know that if I could I would be fighting the good fight with them also.  Each animal adopted will be a visible reminder of the importance of aspiring to greater things, the importance of saving lives, the difference that can be made.
That is why I agreed to the naming of this adoption center, and that’s why I want you to join me in celebrating the dawning of a new day for all of us, animals and people, in San Antonio. Thank you for this honor.  May this edifice always stand as a symbol that this community and nation are places where we all can make a difference for animals.


Kids, Pets and Giving Back!

Looming for Pets is a non-profit organization started by Mykenna, Makalyn, and Nathan Dinger to raise money for orphaned animals in need. The club makes and sells loomed jewelry and donates 100% of the proceeds to SAPA! In an effort to raise more funds and invite new members, the club hosted Picnic at the Petco Pavilion at the Paul Jolly Adoption Center on February 15th. Children from all over the city came out to show their support and donate the funds they had raised from their sales. The group was able to raise over $1,300 at the event and has donated over $1,500 total to SAPA! We are so excited to have the support of this group and to see the youth of San Antonio coming together to give back to their community.The group plans to sponsor a kennel and continue raising funds for animals in need.

Learn more about Looming for Pets by visiting their Facebook page.

P.O. Box 830006 San Antonio, TX 78283 | 210-370-7612 |

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