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What is the stray and roaming dog population in San Antonio?

Opportunity closes: Open until filled
Department or Agency: Animal Care Services

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Data AnalysisData CollectionSafety

Project Overview


San Antonio has a large, but currently unquantified, stray and roaming dog population. As part of the new Strategic Plan, ACS has a goal to decrease the stray and roaming population through a variety of methods. In order to accurately measure our progress, we need to establish a baseline number – that is, how many stray and roaming dogs are currently in the City of San Antonio? We are aiming to establish a baseline number in FY 2024, then repeat the survey every other year to measure our progress in reducing the number of unrestrained dogs in our community.

In addition to the number of unrestrained dogs in San Antonio, we are seeking the percentage that are estimated to be stray (unowned) vs. roaming (owned), as well as where in the City (by census tract) these dogs are concentrated. We would also like some physical data on the animals observed, such as if they appear to be healthy/unhealthy, if they are pregnant or suspected pregnant, if they are alone or in a pack, and if they are puppies or adults.

Anticipated deliverables

1. Count of stray and roaming dog population in San Antonio for 2024.

2. Create a replicable, annual survey methodology for future use.

3. Final report that describes the methodology and results.

Planned use of results

ACS plans to use the initial results to set a baseline stray/roaming population. As we begin implantation of the strategic plan and specifically efforts aiming to reduce that population, that baseline will allow us to measure our progress over the next 10 years. The additional data collected will help us know where to target particular services and will inform our educational campaigns about responsible pet ownership.


Funding is available.


Data will include data from calls for service, data on dogs impounded by ACS, or any other data that is generated by ACS and can be provided as needed.

Helpful links

In January 2019, ACS published an Unrestrained Dog Study, which found that at any given point in time, there were approximately 34,636 unrestrained dogs in San Antonio. It also found that between 87.2% and 96.5% of those dogs were owned. Since that study was performed almost 5 years ago, and due to the dramatic changes (social and economic) that have occurred over the past few years, we expect that number to be much different today.

This project is open. Interested in collaborating?

Project point of contact

Kristen McAvoy

Research & Development Coordinator

City of San Antonio, Office of Innovation

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