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The Austin Animal Center Has A 'Capacity Crisis.' It Says Its Kennels Are Completely Full.

Cooper, a German shepherd, was available for adoption at the Austin Animal Center last week.
Austin Animal Center via Facebook
Cooper, a German shepherd, was available for adoption at the Austin Animal Center last week. The city-owned shelter says it's at capacity.

Austin Animal Center says its kennels are completely full, and it's asking for the community's help to avoid euthanizing dogs and cats at its shelter.

In a memo last week, Austin's chief animal services officer asked the City Council for assistance in encouraging adoptions, rescues and fostering.

"This current challenge may create the need for staff to issue notifications for possible euthanasia," Don Bland said, calling the situation a "space and capacity crisis."

AAC took in 1,146 animals from June 1 to 23, Bland said. Its partners, like Austin Pets Alive! and the Austin Humane Society, are also facing capacity issues, which threatens the city's status as the largest no-kill city in the U.S. A city can euthanize no more than 10% of the animals in its shelters to keep the designation.

Bland said if the space situation does not improve, notifications for euthanization would be first issued to animals that have been at the center for a long time because of behavioral concerns.

The shelter issued a similar callout earlier this month, citing the return to pre-pandemic normalcy as the reason for the spike in intakes. Prior to that, the shelter had not been at 100% capacity in a year and a half.

The center is also urging people who find stray pets or may want to give up their pets to avoid taking them to the shelter for the time being.

Adoption fees are currently being waived. The shelter is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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