SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Hays County commissioners on Tuesday approved taking steps toward creating a centralized animal shelter for the county.

That’s according to the office of County Judge Ruben Becerra, who’s been working on the project for years.

According to the office, the pandemic “exacerbated the proper handling of pets that were being dropped off” at the only shelter located in San Marcos. This made it “almost impossible” to humanely care for them.

The agreement approved Tuesday allows for the organization Team Shelter USA to conduct a study on the feasibility of creating a centralized animal shelter for Hays County.

Becerra said in the press release the completed study should be out as early as this summer, and it will determine what programs and shelters are needed.