Animal Services

Message from the Director
The Animal Services Office provides sheltering, enforcement and prevention services for Austin and the unincorporated areas of Travis County.  In partnership with community organizations, Animal Services provides a safety net for lost and homeless pets and is dedicated to sustaining Austin’s no-kill commitment of achieving live outcomes for at least 90% of the companion animals that enter the shelter each year.
The top two priorities for the Animal Services Office are preventing animals from entering the City’s animal shelter system, through education and support services, and expediting the placement of sheltered animals into adoptive homes, foster homes, or one of our 140 rescue or shelter partners.   Emphasis is also placed on returning lost animals to their guardians through new programs and increased awareness of shelter resources.  A prevention-based, educational approach is used throughout all of Animal Services’ programming and activities in an effort to keep pets in their own homes and reduce shelter intake.
In the next year, the Austin Animal Center will be temporary home to more than 18,500 animals.  With the assistance of 106.5 staff members and the support of an additional 10 temporary staff, the Austin Animal Center cares of hundreds of pets at the Austin Animal Center and up to 60 medium and large dogs at the Town Lake Animal Center. Veterinary personnel perform thousands of spay/neuter and specialty surgeries each year, in addition to providing preventative and diagnostic medical care for every animal that enters the Center.  Animal care staff members provide care, exercise and enrichment for an average inventory of 800 animals each day, while customer service staff helps facilitate positive outcomes for over 16,000 companion animals annually.  In the field, animal protection officers review over 30,000 calls annually.  Animal Services also serves nearly 11,000 community members through low and no-cost spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, and free microchips.
As the City’s population increases, so does demand for services.  Animal Services continues to seek partnership opportunities with Travis County and with other incorporated municipalities with the county to address regional animal welfare challenges and service capacity issues by exploring expanded prevention programs, facilities, and educational opportunities related to responsible pet guardianship.
With a focus on refining policies and procedures, ensuring appropriate staffing levels to meet service demands, adapting programs to evolving community needs and garnering a broad base of community support, the Animal Services Office will further enhance its reputation as the most progressive and lifesaving animal welfare community in the nation.
Tawny Hammond,
Chief Animal Services Officer
City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15