More than 40 dogs surrendered amid Austin Animal Center capacity issue

Just days after the Austin Animal Center took in more than 40 dogs from one owner during an eviction, all the animals were either adopted or sent to out-of-state shelters, marketing manager Kelsey Cler said. and communication from AAFC.

However, the overwhelming number of dogs the shelter is treating following evictions in Austin remains a serious issue, she said.

On July 27, 10 new dogs arrived following evictions.

“No one will call us and say, ‘We’re going to be deported; please come get our dogs. Then all of a sudden animal control shows up with a lot of dogs from one home, and we have to scramble to find space for them,” Cler said in an interview with Community Impact Journal.

Most of the dogs in the group of 40 were a mix of terriers and small builds, so they were easier to adopt, she said.

In a press release for the AAC, animal services chief Don Bland said that when his office is notified of an impending eviction, they have no choice but to find a place to put the dogs. .

“We’ve been operating at overcapacity for months now, and we’re starting to see an increase in the number of people having to surrender,” he said.

AAC is a no-kill facility, so animals are not euthanized, and staff must either find space at the shelter or send animals to another facility.

Cler said it’s common for a large group of dogs, usually between six and 10, to be taken from a single owner at least once a year. However, cases have increased recently with larger groups of dogs arriving every few months.

“We are currently operating at 142% capacity for dogs,” she said. “Ideally, we would only use 80% of the kennels to provide the highest quality animal care.”

In addition to the impressive number of dogs in the center, not to mention cats, rabbits and other animals, the shelter is understaffed. It faced hiring challenges like every other organization, Cler said. It also affects animals.

Because there are so many dogs and so few staff, many of them don’t get much attention, according to Cler. The staff try to walk and play with them as often as possible, but that still means most dogs will spend around 23.5 hours a day in their kennels.

When it’s harder to care for them, it’s harder to get them adopted, she added.

During the interview, many staff pointed out Community Impact Journal that the best way to help them was to foster or adopt and consider neutering pets.

“Also, if you know you’re going to be deported, please contact us as soon as possible about your pets,” Cler said.

More information on promotion or adoption can be found at www.austinanimalcenter.org.

The shelter is located at 7201 Levander Loop, Austin, and is open for adoptions Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday by appointment.

Benjamin M. Yerger