AUSTIN (KXAN) - For the first time ever, the Austin Animal Center is not accepting animals surrendered by their owners because the facility is well over capacity.
The city said in a news release Friday that the center has over 100 dogs and cats more than it can handle. In an effort to relieve crowding , the city will waive adoption fees over the weekend. The shelter has more than 1,000 pets available for adoption, but on Thursday, only six pets were adopted.
"We have experienced an extremely high intake rate this past week," said Chris Noble, assistant chief animal services officer. "We are getting animals dropped off from all parts of the county and outside the county and we can't keep up with the demand. All of these animals are in peril at this time and people with pets need to find an alternate source other than surrendering them to the City shelter."
The center has reached out to all its rescue partners and organizations for assistance, the release said.
"Many of these groups are doing what they can, but they too are in a similar situation with a high inventory of abandoned pets," the release said.
The Humane Society and Austin Pets Alive came by Friday to take some of the center's animals off their hands, but Austin Pets Alive Director Ellen Jefferson says, "Our shelter is very full too. We're asking people to foster pets or adopt. Any cage that is emptied turns into a cage where we can take an animal from this shelter over to ours."
The Austin Humane Society told KXAN it plans to send staff to the center to take in as many pets as its facility can handle. They also encourage fixing your animal.
The Humane Society's Kelly Haynes says, "Just stopping that cat right there will provide the opportunity for four or five cats not to be born. If two or three of those animals were female that's four or five from there."
According to the animal center's website, center took in 1,920 pets in May. of those, 419 were brought in by their owners. Nearly 1,400 were strays. The breakdown between dogs and cats was almost 50-50, but a few more cats arrived than dogs.
That month, 565 pets were adopted from the city facility. The count for dogs was much higher -- 360 to 205. Owners reclaimed 287 of the pets. Again, far more dogs than cats -- 251-36 --were reclaimed.
More than 100 animals were euthanized -- 57 cats and 49 dogs.
More from the release:
- The Austin Animal Center is waiving fees on all pets through Sunday. Interested adopters can visit www.austinanimalcenter.org to view a vast array of beautiful animals ready for adoption.
- The Austin Animal Center is open daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and this weekend, the Center will extend hours for those who call and make an appointment. If an interested adopter cannot visit the shelter during normal hours, call (512) 978-0500 to leave a message requesting an appointment and a staff person will call back.
- Austin Pets Alive, the City's partner operating out of the Town Lake Animal Center will also waive fees for dogs and cats this weekend in hopes that the public will step up to help keep Austin no-kill by saving a life.
- Pet adoptions will take place at both the Austin Animal Center, 7201 Levander Loop and at Town Lake Animal Center, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St. Spay or neuter surgery, a microchip and vaccinations are included in the reduced adoption fees – a value of more than $200.
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