Austin Animal Shelter overcapacity, asks public to adopt or foster

The Austin Animal Center is once again over capacity and asking the public to adopt or foster.

However, this call seems even more serious as the shelter is forced to find unconventional ways to house the increased number of animals entering the facility.

“I know we’ve asked for this call a lot, but right now we’re at an all-time low,” said Stephanie McCutcheon, marketing coordinator at the Austin Animal Center.

The Austin Animal Center must take extreme measures to temporarily house animals at its facility because more animals are coming in than they are leaving.

“So we’re hurting,” McCutcheon said.

McCutcheon says the shelter‘s normal capacity is 272 and the shelter is well over that number. As of this week, the shelter has 326 dogs and 194 cats in its establishment. This forced the shelter to find creative ways to house these animals, especially the dogs.

A dozen dogs are placed in pop-up crates in places like the shelter’s multipurpose room. A room supposed to be used for training and staff meetings is used to house the dogs.

The shelter also had to rent an air-conditioned shipping container to house the dogs.

“These poor babies are sitting in there for over 23 hours a day and it’s just not the right thing for our dogs. They can’t get up and walk around. They’re not in the kennels like they are in our normal shelter area, and they’re just in a crate all day,” McCutcheon said.

She says summer is usually the time of year when the shelter sees the most animals coming in, but not that much. She believes this capacity issue is related to several factors, including Austin’s housing crisis. People can’t afford to keep their animals, so they bring them to the shelter.

Now more than ever, the Austin Animal Center needs people to adopt or adopt so they can get back to running the shelter smoothly.

“We just can’t keep track of how many animals come into the shelter and how many don’t leave, so we really need people to help and the community to step up,” McCutcheon said.

For more information on adoption or fostering: www.austinanimalcenter.org. You can also donate at this link.

About Chuck Keeton

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