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‘No Kill’ and At Capacity: What Should the Austin Animal Center Do Now?

Austin's new home for strays is already operating well above capacity.
Photo by KUT News
Austin's new home for strays is already operating well above capacity.

The new Austin Animal Center, opened only in November 2011, is already well over capacity. And the city is asking for your input on what to do now.

While the new center has helped with the city’s ‘”no kill” goals – maintaining a 90 percent “live outcomes” rate for pets that pass through the shelter – it’s straining. And it’s not just seasonal, city officials say.

‘Since April the animal intakes at the city shelter are not leveling off and the Animal Services Office can not keep up with the high number of intakes versus those animals that are being adopted or rescued by the City’s partner animal rescue groups,” city officials write in a press release.

“Compared to last year at this time the animal shelter has taken in 140 more animals and have 139 less adoptions, a net increase of 279 more pets,” they continue.  The total inventory of animals at the center, in foster homes, and at the Town Lake Animal Center (part of which is being operated by non-profit Austin Pets Alive) is currently 1,010.

Have an idea that can help?  The city has launched an online discussion forum at, where participants can share their own ideas for alleviating crowding at the shelter.

“We’d like to hear from the community and perhaps there are ideas that we haven’t thought of that we can consider or even implement to help address the current need and potential long-term solutions, as well,” Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith says in the release.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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