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Shelter chief pleads for help from community

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 by Tai Moses

In a June 25 memo to City Council, Chief Animal Services Officer Don Bland described a dire state of affairs at the Austin Animal Center, where “every kennel is full, and staff have had to double-up dogs in each suite.” Bland explained that far more animals are coming into the shelter than are leaving via adoptions, rescue and foster, and said, “Maintaining a No Kill shelter requires support from the entire community, and we are asking the community to help us with this challenge.” From June 1-23 alone, the center took in 1,146 cats and dogs. Austin isn’t the only city shelter coping with a capacity crisis; Bland wrote, “Shelters throughout the Southern United States are facing the same challenges. Our largest rescue partners are also at full capacity and not able to take animals from us to alleviate our space issue.” He warns, “This current challenge may create the need for staff to issue notifications for possible euthanasia. Notifications would apply to animals that have been in our care for a long period due to behavioral concerns.” How can community members help? Step up to foster pets; keep lost pets in your homes and look for their owners instead of turning the animals in to the shelter; use your social media platforms to help spread the word about the crisis and promote shelter animals for rescue, adoption and foster.

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