Intake at Austin Animal Center restricted as shelter at overcapacity

The Austin Animal Center has temporarily restricted intake as officials say the shelter is at overcapacity. It's holding an event on September 17 to help get animals adopted.

Officials say the shelter currently has more than 700 animals, including close to 70 dogs living in temporary pop-up crates due to space issues.

AAC has now temporarily restricted intake, beginning on September 13. Intake is restricted to emergencies only, including animals that are injured or currently a clear public safety risk. Officials say each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The shelter says since becoming a "no-kill" shelter in 2011, it has only had to restrict intake three times. Once in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and twice in 2016 due to capacity issues.

"We are temporarily restricting intake now to ensure we can continue to provide the level of animal care that our community expects," said Chief Animal Services Officer Don Bland in a social media post. "When all animals in our care can be placed in regular kennels instead of relying on temporary pop-up crates, we can fully open again."⁠

There will be a "Clear the Crates" adoption event on Saturday, September 17 to help the animals find homes. All adoption fees will be waived. Every dog available for adoption that's saying in a crate will be located in a tent on the front lawn starting at 10 a.m.

If you need assistance with an injured animal, AAC asks residents to take the following steps: ⁠

  • Call 311 and advise that you need assistance with an injured animal and ask to speak with Animal Protection Officer
  • Wait for the Animal Protection Officer to come pick up the animal. DO NOT BRING THE ANIMAL TO THE SHELTER.
  • If you have found a loose pet that is not injured, review the Pet Reunification Guide.

The shelter is open for adoption and reclaim Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will reopen on September 25 for adoption and reclaim on Sundays.