Austin Animal Shelter over capacity, 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 plea seems even more dire as the shelter is being forced to find unconventional ways to house the increased number of animals coming into the facility.

"I know that we've asked this plea a lot, but right now we are at rock bottom," said Stephanie Mccutcheon, Marketing Coordinator at Austin Animal Center.

The Austin Animal Center is having to take extreme measures to temporarily house animals in their facility as more animals are coming in than leaving.

"So, we're hurting," said McCutcheon.

McCutcheon says the shelter’s normal capacity is 272 and the shelter is extremely over that number. As of this week, the shelter has 326 dogs and 194 cats in their facility. This has forced the shelter to find creative ways to home these animals, especially the dogs.

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

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

"These poor babies are sitting in there for 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 just are in a crate all day," said McCutcheon.

She says summer is typically the time of year when the shelter sees the most animals come in, but not to this extent. She believes this capacity issue has to do with a few things including the housing crisis in Austin. People cannot afford to keep their animals, so they bring them to the shelter.

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

"We just cannot keep up with the amount of animals coming in the shelter and the amount not leaving, so we really just need people to help and the community to just step forward," said McCutcheon.

For more information on adoption or fostering: You can also donate at that link as well.