Sneak peek at new Austin Animal Center



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Posted on November 6, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 7 at 4:07 PM

AUSTIN -- The City of Austin is opening a brand new animal shelter Saturday. The multi-million dollar facility will replace the Town Lake Animal Center downtown.

Animal control supervisor Joan Hamilton-Huber gave KVUE News a tour. The new center is located at 7201 Levander Loop, five miles east of TLAC.

"We're so excited for the animals that they get to have these new digs that are state of the art," Hamilton-Huber said.

Hundreds of dogs and cats will move into this more spacious 41,000 square foot facility this week. Along with the facility, new changes for the animals will come as well.

"No more shivering during the winter months -- the dogs will be in a heated indoor building," Hamilton-Huber said.

The new shelter has bigger kennels for dogs, and are large enough for visitors and volunteers to stand inside. The center also has a designated area for dogs to exercise.

"All of the animals will get to have fresh air and stretch their legs."

Inside there is a special room for rabbits, including a track for them to run around. There is additional space for more than 280 cats.The new kennels give the public a better view of the animals up for adoption, plus rooms to visit them.

"People will be able to come in with volunteer assistance and spend time with the cats," Hamilton-Huber said. "That would mean less stress for the animals and less animals to move."

Ahead of the big move, the shelter needs volunteers to come forward. They need families to foster animals, especially large dogs during the transition. Any foster family who wants to keep a pet they foster will be able to adopt that pet for free.

Town Lake Animal Center closes Wednesday night. The new animal center will open for visitors on Saturday.