Shannon Sims quietly retires as director of San Antonio Animal Care Services

In-person interviews for Sims' replacement are slated to begin next week.

click to enlarge Departing San Antonio Animal Care Services Director Shannon Sims rails against his critics during a speech at an ACS Advisory Board meeting last week. - Michael Karlis
Michael Karlis
Departing San Antonio Animal Care Services Director Shannon Sims rails against his critics during a speech at an ACS Advisory Board meeting last week.
Shannon Sims quietly took an early-than-expected retirement Tuesday as director of San Antonio's embattled Animal Care Services, officials with the city department confirmed to the Current.

Sims’ departure comes as the city continues its search for a new ACS director. Sims initially announced his intention to retire late last year, telling the Express-News he planned to leave in June. At the time, Sims also told the daily that he would stick around longer to help the new ACS director adjust to the demanding role, if necessary.

ACS spokesperson Lisa Norwood didn’t immediately respond to the Current's questions about what prompted Sims’ earlier-than-expected exit. However, she said Assistant City Manager David McCary, who acts as liaison between ACS and the city, will serve as interim director until a permanent hire fills the role.

“We wish ACS Director, Shannon Sims the very best. We are proud of his 10-year dedication to ACS, and we greatly appreciate his commitment to the community and animal welfare,” McCary said in a statement.

Sims' two-and-a-half-year tenure as ACS director was mired in controversy after a slew of headline-making dog attacks rocked San Antonio. Animal advocates have also criticized the department’s low live-release rate and blasted it for accidentally euthanizing of three dogs last summer that were not supposed to be put down.

In his farewell address last week, Sims attacked the department’s critics, calling them “social media terrorists.”

A total of 74 people have applied to replace Sims, McCary said during a presentation last week. Of those applicants, at least nine have moved on the next round of in-person interviews, according to documents obtained by the Current. Two of the candidates are current ACS employees.

ACS Advisory Board member Valerie Moore told the Current the interviews will begin May 31.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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