Wilco animal shelter looking for help after dozens of animals surrendered

A homeowner in Cedar Park has surrendered dozens of animals to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter. This comes at a time when the shelter is short on space and expecting several strays following the Fourth of July fireworks.

The shelter was originally told to prepare for 100 animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, chinchillas, ferrets, birds and reptiles. So far, about 30 have been brought in.

The shelter was already holding an adoption event to help make room for more animals. “We were already pretty full before this happened,” said Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter kennel manager Joel Hess. 

Hess is referring to the shelter learning that about 100 more animals would be brought in over the weekend.

“So far what we've had is we've had about 28 cats come in and two rabbits and we're housing them here in our multi-purpose classroom,” Hess said. 

Community Program Manager Misty Valenta said animal control warned the shelter that cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets and chinchillas may be brought in by a Cedar Park homeowner. They were not seized, rather surrendered voluntarily after animal control warned the resident the majority of the animals had to be taken somewhere safe.

“These guys, once they've been cleared to be adopted, we haven't come up with a plan yet of whether they'll be adopted through us or transferred to another agency and adopted through them,” said Hess. 

It's tough timing for the shelter with Fourth of July on the horizon.

“A lot of times people have their cats and dogs outside and they'll get frightened by the fireworks and they'll end up running off and they'll come to the shelter as strays,” Hess said. 

That's why shelter staff is hoping an adoption special will help free up some space

“We’ve got a free adoption event this weekend, it runs through the fourth, with the goal of getting as many animals adopted and into their forever homes as possible,” said Hess. 

In the meantime, the shelter has set up temporary crates and kennels on their property.

They have also reached out to other local shelters to help with adoptions and fosters.

According to Cedar Park police, the animal's former owner will not be charged as long as he or she continues to cooperate with law enforcement.