AUSTIN (KXAN) - Exactly one month from Wednesday the new $12 million Austin Animal Center will open its doors to the public.
It's located in East Austin where Airport Boulevard meets U.S. 183.
The new shelter will replace the aging Town Lake Animal Center located near downtown, which opened in the 1950s.
With a Nov. 12 opening date set, construction crews are putting the finishing touches on the new center.
"It's only about 5,000 square feet larger than the old Town Lake Animal Center facility, but it's modern, it's clean, it's easy to clean," said Amber Rowland, communications manager with Austin Animal Services.
Planners did not want to make the new animal shelter larger than the current one to encourage residents to keep pets out of the shelter through adoption or spay and neuter programs.
Right now, TLAC holds 191 cats and 263 dogs. The new Austin Animal Center will house a maximum of 283 cats and 278 dogs.
The new center feels more like a campus with seven separate buildings. Most are to house the dogs.
"It's a nice, glass, enclosed room that helps keep the noise down, and that helps reduce stress level, dogs' experience," said Rowland.
And when the dogs walk outside their enclosed kennel, there's artificial turf.
"The dog will be able to come out to its own dog yard," said Rowland.
Dog waste drains through the turf or makes it easy to clean up. But one of the most exciting aspects for potential adopters and volunteers: The kennels are tall enough to stand up inside.
"Which is really important because when you are meeting a dog, bending over can be intimidating or challenging for the dog," said Rowland.
The cat building also offers some outdoor enclosed space. Inside, there's a wide array of cages that offer the public a chance to interact with the cats. And there's also a separate glassed-off area to keep the cats from getting sick.
The plan to move the animals from TLAC to the new shelter will begin on Nov. 10. But in the meantime, they need the public's help.
"What we're going to do is in the coming weeks get as many animals out of the shelter into adoptive homes, foster groups and rescue groups as we possibly can so we don't have to move as many animals because it can be stressful," said Rowland.
But once the new animal center is open, they said they hope it will offer a more stress-free environment.
"We'll open at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12," said Rowland.
Once the TLAC officially closes, Austin Pets Alive will take over the facility for six months.
According to Rowland, when new shelters open, there tends to be an influx of additional animals -- since owners feel more comfortable surrendering their pets to a new facility.
Once the amount of pets coming in stabilizes, all but one of the buildings that make up the TLAC will be demolished, and the land will go back to to its original designation of parkland.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police are looking for a missing woman.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.