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Austin Humane Society hosting urgent adoption special to help the Austin Animal Center's overcrowding

All dogs over 50 pounds will be free to adopt to make room at the shelter.

AUSTIN, Texas — In response to the ongoing capacity issues at the Austin Animal Center, the Austin Humane Society will host an urgent adoption special this week.

Adoption fees will be waived on all dogs over 50 pounds starting on Thursday, Sept. 15, and running through Monday, Sept. 19.

“If you’ve been thinking about adopting an animal, now is the time,” said Dr. Katie Luke, chief operations officer for the Austin Humane Society. “If we can clear more room at the AHS shelter, we will be able to take in more animals from AAC.”

The AAC began restricting intakes of animals to emergencies only on Tuesday, Sept. 13, due to a capacity crisis. Animals who are injured or present a clear public safety risk will be taken in.

The shelter currently has more than 700 animals, with 67 dogs living in temporary pop-up crates due to a lack of space to hold extra animals.

"We're not doing intakes moving forward until we can get out of crates," Kelsey Cler, a spokesperson for the center, said on Monday. "We're only going to take in emergency cases: so that's going to be injured dogs, aggressive dogs, situations where the owner's in an emergency."

If you encounter an injured animal, the shelter asks that you take the following steps:

  • Call 311, advise them that you need assistance with an injured animal and ask to speak with an 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, please review the Pet Reunification Guide.

The AHS said, like shelters across the country, that it is grappling with an influx of animals, decreased rate of adoptions and staffing shortages. This has led the organization to be unable to accept stray animals. If you need to surrender a pet, the organization asks you to contact its Animal Services team to schedule an appointment through email. Walk-in pet surrenders will not be accepted.

The urgent adoption special will begin when the Austin Humane Society Adoption Center opens at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15. Those interested in adopting can view the available animals on the AHS website. Appointments are not required to meet any of the animals at the shelter.


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