Clear the Shelters: ‘Precarious situations’ face shelters as they fill up, adopt a pet for free Saturday

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas leads the rest of the country with animal shelter intakes in 2021, according to Shelter Animal Count, a national database. It also shows Texas, California and Florida have the most organizations for animal intakes as well.

Austin Animal Center is the largest no-kill shelter in the United States, but recently the kennels have been filled and keeping that title could be difficult if they can’t get animals adopted or into foster care.

Organizations like Austin Pets Alive! help these shelters by taking in animals that can be difficult to place into homes. The shelter rehabilitates them, works with them on social interactions and gets them adopted, but that can be hard especially now.

“We are seeing an increase in animals slated for euthanasia even though there is a decrease in the number of animals coming into shelters because of staffing shortages,” said Ellen Jefferson, Austin Pets Alive! CEO. “There are budget freezes and decreases happening across a lot of governments. So, shelters are in very precarious situations.”

In San Marcos, they have euthanized 11 dogs since the end of August, but this doesn’t happen often.

At the start of the pandemic, they were able to get animals adopted, but now with more people getting out and about, the shelter is filling up and they are having to make tough decisions.

“It takes some time to create that human-animal bond, and right now some of the shelters just don’t have that time to do that for those animals,” said DerryAnn Krupinsky, assistant director of neighborhood enhancement for the City of San Marcos.

On Saturday, Sept. 18, the Austin Animal Center opens at 9 a.m., two hours early, and adoption fees are waived for all animals.

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