Austin’s No Kill goal put at risk
For the past few months, City of Austin Animal Services has experienced an unseasonal influx of animal intakes at the City shelter, maxing out capacity at both of its locations.
As of May 2, approximately 885 animals were either in shelters or foster homes, representing approximately 30 percent more than shelter capacity.
Compared to the same time last year, the shelter has taken in 150 more kittens and 200 more dogs. Animal Services operates the main Animal Center at 7201 Levander Loop and the overflow Town Lake Animal Center at 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St.
Traditionally, springtime brings in more kittens to the City shelter, but this year the Animal Center has taken in over a hundred more kittens than last year, with more than 600 of those being too young to thrive on their own. As of today, May 2, the Austin Animal Center has about 200 cats available for adoption.
In late April, the Animal Services Office helped the Humane Society of the United States in rescuing 52 dogs from a puppy mill in Giddings. The dogs were living in deplorable conditions and were suffering from various injuries and illnesses.
Many of these rescued dogs are small breeds - including schnauzers, poodles, Maltese and Chihuahuas - all of which are now available for adoption at the Austin Animal Center. All of these dogs have been thoroughly examined by the City’s veterinarians and are in good health and ready to go to a loving home.
Besides kittens and cats, Austin Animal Center is housing approximately 335 dogs, including 25 puppies and several smaller dogs. Approximately 55 larger dogs are currently sheltered at the Town Lake Animal Center. Approximately 300 animals are in foster care.
“We are out of capacity at both of our locations and this is a critical and challenging time for these animals,” Smith said. “The staff and volunteers are doing everything we can to keep from euthanizing any animal due to lack of space.”
Animal Services is asking for the community’s support to help alleviate the overcrowded situation by either adopting or fostering a pet, or by volunteering.
The adoption fee for any animal who has been at the shelter a week or longer is $35. The fee is $75 for any animal who has been at the shelter less than a week or is in a foster home. The fee is waived altogether for City shelter dogs at Town Lake Animal Center.
All pets will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and will go home with a collar, tag and microchip. These services, valued at more than $200, will help the pets stay healthy and safe.
All pets available for adoption or lost pets can be viewed at www.austinanimalcenter.org .
Both shelter locations are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For more information go to www.austinanimalcenter.org , call 3-1-1, or visit www.facebook.com/austinanimalservices  for daily animal updates.
About Austin Animal Services
Austin Animal Services runs the largest animal shelter in Central Texas, providing shelter to more than 23,000 animals each year and animal control services to all of Austin and Travis County.
The Animal Center is an open-intake facility where stray and owned animals from Travis County in need of shelter are accepted regardless of age, health or species.
Austin Animal Center achieved a 91 percent live animal outcome rate for 2011 making the City of Austin officially a no-kill city. The City’s Austin Animal Center opened in November 2011 and operates at capacity daily and continues to focus on the no-kill equation which consists of animal adoptions and fostering; volunteer support; spay/neutering of pets in the community; tagging and micro-chipping owned pets; and a continued effort to work closely with all of its partners and the community to keep Austin a no-kill city.
Additionally, to help save animal lives, the City of Austin entered into a temporary license agreement with Austin’s Pets Alive!, a non-profit animal rescue group, to operate the former shelter, Town Lake Animal Center, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St., as an adoption site for City shelter animals that are at risk of euthanasia. The TLAC facility is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.