AUSTIN (KXAN) – Eighteen dogs were adopted during Saturday’s Austin Animal Event due to an ongoing space crisis. The event followed a video clip apparently showing dogs in a crowded room inside the Austin Zoo that went viral on social media last week, drawing the attention of national groups.
“There is no excuse for what the video circulating on social media depicts: animals stored en masse in crates with no hope in sight,” said Theresa Shagreen, BETA’s director of animal welfare and control.
The Austin Animal Center is in crisis and closed intake earlier this week in an effort to manage the number of animals already in the overcrowded shelter. One volunteer described the situation as “heartbreaking”.
“This means that every kennel run is full, we have dogs in crates for the duration of the kennel run, we have dogs in crates in multipurpose rooms, and we have dogs in crates in a temporary crate that holds about 20 dogs,” said Jane Rubinstein, a volunteer at the Animal Center. In Austin which was at the shelter “Clear the Crates” happened on Saturday, so we’re at capacity, above capacity.
Rubinstein said the shelter is in desperate need of additional volunteers, like her, to help walk the large number of animals in the shelter now. She said they aim to walk each dog at least three times a day, but they also said when they can’t reach that minimum, dogs that aren’t kept in crates are left behind.
That was the purpose of Saturday’s event, which aims to adopt nearly 40 dogs. The dogs were placed in crates in the shelter’s garden, kept away from the Texas heat by a large tent and huge fans. All fees have been waived for dogs, most of which are large breeds.
“It’s crowded, we’re in crisis, intake is off,” Rubinstein said. “We need the community to stand behind us and show up.”
For people who can’t adopt at the moment, Rubinstein again urged volunteering. She added that after the video went viral of dogs inside the shelter this week, they received a huge donation. She said they still needed boxes, food, and blankets, among other things.
“It has gone viral on social media,” she said. “the most [donations] We have the best.”
If all 40 dogs in the park were adopted on Saturday, Rubinstein said the shelter “would still be overloaded, but it would be great.”