Director, Fort Bend County Animal Services
Rene, who has been with Fort Bend County Animal Services in Texas for 24 years, had a vision for change and led his shelter to achieve it. When he became the shelter’s director in 2015, he inherited a dismal save rate of less than 30 percent. Rene knew effective policies like increased social media presence, more adoption events, and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) were the keys to saving lives.
He turned to Alley Cat Allies for information and wielded the knowledge to advocate for a TNR ordinance in Fort Bend. It passed in July 2018. Rene had all his shelter staff and animal control officers trained on best practices to ensure the success of their TNR program, called the Community Cat Program.
Fort Bend County Animal Services also launched two TNR pilot programs in the cities of Needville and Richmond, which have since gained popularity throughout the county.
Under Rene’s leadership, the save rate at Fort Bend County Animal Services has climbed to, and remains at, 90+ percent.
Rene also helped form Fort Bend PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization benefiting the shelter. He has worked and trained with Fort Bend County Health and Human Services to improve public health and protect animals in the event of natural disasters.