Williamson County Animal Shelter over capacity after intake of 30-plus dogs stuck in legal system

Several dogs are having to double up at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, which is currently over capacity and not because they're seeing an increase in strays and surrenders.

The shelter is having to hold more than 30 dogs tied up in court cases and investigations. Until those cases are resolved, it's space they can't use for adoptions

Kennels made for one now house two dogs and the shelter is more than 20 dogs overcapacity. This means some dogs are having to double up while waiting to be adopted.

“It's not ideal for their situation. It's not an ideal living situation. They are much better off when we are operating at capacity,” community program coordinator Misty Valente said.

The facility has only been open since the spring and Valente said the reason this new location reached capacity so quickly is because of cruelty cases.

“This summer we have seen many cruelty cases come our way," Valente said. "When that happens and they are pending investigation, we have to house those animals."

Right now, the shelter is housing more than 30 dogs involved in court cases and investigations, about a fourth of the shelter's capacity for big and medium dogs.

“That takes up kennels for the strays and abandoned dogs that need them,” said Valente.

While these cases go on, Valente said they have to hold the dogs at the shelter and can't foster them out and some of these cases are taking months to resolve.

“The court will either award the animals to the family or the court will award the animals to us," Valente said. "If they become our animals, that's when we can spay and neuter them to get them ready for adoption so they can start their new life."
In the meantime, Valente said they are really pushing for adoption and fosters as the space right now is past limited.

“We can only work under conditions that are not suitable for the animals for so long," Valente said. "The community has always come and made sure these animals are well taken care of, but if not, tough choices have to been made."

The shelter is hoping to have an update on these cases next week.