Update: Austin Animal Center initiates emergency plan, will not take in more animals

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One of the many dogs now at Austin Animal Center, which is overcrowded from recent high intakes.
One of the many dogs now at Austin Animal Center, which is overcrowded from recent high intakes.

One of the many dogs now at Austin Animal Center, which is full from recent high intakes.

UPDATE: Austin Animal Center, already packed to capacity, has initiated its emergency plan. They have set up an emergency hotline for people missing a pet: Call 311 within city limits, 512-974-2000 outside Austin. Email Animal.CustomerRelations@atxad.org. Photos of strays are posted regularly at www.austinanimalcenter.org. The city also will deliver lost pets back to their owners of they can identify the animal through a photo, microchip or rabies certificate.

From the city:

The Austin Animal Center will be initiating its emergency operation procedures due to predicted continued rainy weather that could further strain its ability to house any more animals.

The AAC will not be taking in lost or stray pets for the next 24 to 48 hours due to rainy conditions. During this time period, May 27-28, AAC also will not be taking in any owner-surrendered pets. The City is asking for people who find a lost dog or cat to keep the animals in a safe environment until the Center is open for intakes.

The Center is preparing for a potential relocation of approximately 30 to 40 dogs from the Town Lake location should it become necessary. The AAC is at capacity due to the influx of animals during the past two weeks. …

The Austin Animal Center will be open for those residents who are looking for their lost pets and want to reclaim them and for those individuals who would like to adopt a pet, those that can foster a pet, and for volunteers. The Center will be open for these services through the weekend and on Memorial Day, May 30, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Earlier: Austin Animal Center is asking for help as shelter staff continues to try to deal with overcrowding from recent storms.

May is traditionally a high intake month, according to a recent release, “as pets are surrendered at the end of the school year as families prepare for summer vacations.”

On top of that, recent storms have brought even more dogs and cats (and rabbits) than usual into the shelter: between 60 and 100 each day for the past two weeks.

“Because we don’t euthanize for space or convenience this is a very challenging situation for us,” Chief Animal Services Officer Tawny Hammond said in the release. “We need to have kennel space to help incoming animals, many of them who are suffering from broken bones, mange, ringworm and other illnesses. We need our animal loving community to lend a hand at this critical time.”

To try to ease the space situation, the shelter is having a “Memorial Mutt Madness” promotion. Friday through Monday, adoption fees for puppies and dogs currently in outdoor kennels will be $20. This covers more than 200 dogs.

Austin Animal Center is overcrowded right now. Staff says many strays come in needing medical care, which further strains resources.

Austin Animal Center staff says many strays come in needing medical care, which further strains resources. (Photos from Austin Animal Center)

Reclaim fees for lost pets are being waived through June 1.

Other ways you can help:

Foster, particularly a medium or large dog. You can foster through the city shelter, one of its two main rescue partners (Austin Humane Society and Austin Pets Alive) or one of Austin’s many rescue groups.

If you find a stray animal, call 311 to report the animal, but keep it in your home if you’re able to. The shelter will notify owners if they contact the shelter. You also can post photos and information to the Austin Lost and Found Pets page on Facebook.

Leave kittens alone. The city shelter, Austin Humane Society and Austin Pets Alive are at critical capacity for kittens, with more coming in each day. People are encouraged to leave healthy kittens where they are. It’s not unusual for mother cats to leave their litters alone for periods of time. You can monitor the kittens to make sure their mother comes back to care for them.

Keep your pets secure during storms. Even the most loyal dogs and cats can get scared during storms and run away if they’re left outside or in less-than-secure yards. If your pet is lost, check Austin Animal Center regularly; all strays are brought to the city shelter.

Spread the word. Use social media to help AAC share photos of found pets and to let others know about the crowding at the shelter.

It's kitten season, which means the city shelter and its rescue partners are bursting with tiny cats.

It’s kitten season, which means the city shelter and its rescue partners are bursting with tiny cats.


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