At its Feb. 9 meeting, the Hays County Commissioners Court declared February as Spay/Neuter Awareness Month in the county, provided updates on COVID-19 vaccination disbursement and approved technological purchases for first responders to aid response times during emergencies.
In response to the number of homeless and stray animals, the commissioners adopted the proclamation, "In Support of the No-Kill Initiative" at the start of the meeting to raise awareness for spaying and neutering pets.
Lauren Loney, Texas state director for the Humane Society of the United States, thanked the court for its efforts and says having the awareness month can encourage more pet owners to secure the safety and well-being of their pets.
"I just think it's really good to see advocates in my hometown, working to raise awareness about the benefits of spaying and neutering pets, " Loney says. "This is an opportunity, you know, to remind us and all [persons] that neutering and spaying their pets will save lives and only hope to reduce homelessness and euthanasia, here and [in] Hays County."
In relation to the recent distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra says the process has been positive so far.
"So as you well know, we are underway with our vaccination efforts. Although we have very micro low quantities of vaccinations in Hays County, every single time we open up our vaccination site, I've been at every single time, every single day, every single one, all the feedback that I'm receiving from everyone, that has moved through that effort, has been positive," Becerra says.
According to Chief of Staff Alex Villalobos, the county distributed 762 vaccinations on Feb. 8.
After deciding to construct a pre-registration portal for vaccinations, the commissioners continued to evaluate methods to inform all residents on how to sign-up for vaccinations. The commissioners discussed future solutions to possible language barriers and restrictions of technology that could prevent citizens from not only signing up but being informed of vaccinations altogether.
To increase emergency response time, the commissioners agreed on a Statement of Work with Westnet, Inc., which will be a distributor of new medical technology and supplies for first responders. Westnet, Inc. will provide software that allows dispatchers to quickly search for the resources they have and need before being sent to a location.
The commissioners also authorized a grant application for the Hays County Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Family Justice Center in the amount of $54,868.74. The grant will ensure victims of crimes will have assistance and be informed of their case status.
The court approved a $9,600 contract between Hays County and QuickBase Inc. to be used for software in the COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration system. Additionally, the court permitted a contract with the San Marcos Department of Public Safety to assist with testing and the analysis of collected drug evidence submitted by Hays County law enforcement agencies.
Due to technical difficulties during the Hays County Commissioners Court live stream, some information is unavailable.
The Hays County Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. For more information visit its website.