Local animal shelters dealing with flooding, overcrowding

A few Austin area animal shelters flooded Tuesday and some sent out a plea for help to all foster families.

“So this stormy weather just put us over the edge,” said Misty Valenta, community programs coordinator with the Williamson County Animal Shelter.

Tuesday, it seemed like it was quite literally raining cats and dogs in Williamson County.

“Right now we are overcrowded. We are getting in strays. It just seems like a continuous flow of strays. We are completely overcapacity for our medium and large dogs and we're seeking help with adoptions and fosters,” Valenta said. 

The Williamson County Animal Shelter has 86 dog kennels but 125 dogs. They say on a typical day they take in about 20 animals. Wednesday in just one hour, they received 14.

Shelter staff is asking people who are planning to surrender a pet to wait a couple weeks until they can adopt some pets out and make room for more.

“If people who need to owner surrender know that they can save a life by just keeping an animal for just a little bit longer then they tend to do that,” Valenta said.

The Austin Animal Center is dealing with a similar problem. They usually hold 500 animals, but they are currently housing 560. They have gotten creative, housing friendly animals together to make more room and sending whatever pets they can to Austin Pets Alive. Although the weather has caused some problems there too.

“Yesterday afternoon, when it was torrential down pouring, our shelter flooded very quickly and we had to get all of the dogs into what we call their bedroom, the back part of their kennels,” said Katie Mellon, intake coordinator at Austin Pets Alive. 

An emergency email to Austin Pets Alive foster families helped 54 animals make it through the storm, but with more rain in the forecast this week, area shelters know there could be more trouble ahead.

“Every time storms roll in, we always see an influx of strays coming into the shelter; dogs who have escaped down fences or gotten spooked because of the rains and get lost and need help,” Valenta said.