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The Austin Animal Center will be closed Sundays due to staffing shortage

A person walks two dogs across a street.
Gabriel C. Pérez

Citing a staffing shortage, the Austin Animal Center said it will temporarily be closed on Sundays starting Jan. 23.

"This was a difficult decision," Don Bland, the city's chief animal services officer, said in a memo to the Austin City Council. "[M]any factors were taken into consideration, including first and foremost our ability to care safely and humanely for the animals in our shelter."

Bland attributed the staffing woes to the pandemic and the city-run center's "difficulty in filling open vacancies."

The shelter works in tandem with Austin Pets Alive, a nonprofit that operates on city land just off Lady Bird Lake, which has also seen staffing shortages because of COVID-19. Last weekend, APA asked for emergency fosters for 50 dogs because it was short-staffed.

If you want to adopt a pet or reclaim a lost pet, AAC says it will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The center will be accepting animal drop-offs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

If your pet is lost, AAC asks pet owners to call 311 and request an animal protection officer on Sundays.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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