The citizens of Austin are proud of their city’s No Kill status and at least 90% save rate. Today the doors opened to a new, 41,400 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. Austin Animal Center was created to further the humane treatment of animals who find themselves in the frightening position of being homeless as well as better serve adopters and assist those searching for lost pets. Sheltered animals will receive veterinary care in modernized rooms and will be afforded more comfortable surroundings than the almost 60 year old Town Lake Animal Center could provide. The successful and popular non-profit animal rescue, Austin Pets Alive! will operate city animal adoptions (for one year with a possible six month extension) from the old facility at 1156 W. Cesar Chavez Street, which first opened its doors in 1952.
Voters approved the $12 million facility located at 7201 Levander Loop in the Betty Dunkerley Campus in 2006 and broke ground in spring of last year. As well as the advanced medical facilities, the center includes 40 large and flexible townhome-style spaces for housing dogs inside and outdoor yards with artificial turf. Cats have 10 spacious group rooms with screened porches. Rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals have space with a secure outdoor area. A large multi-purpose room is available for training and outreach programs. Animal Protection and Control field services for Austin and Travis County and the Cruelty Investigation Unit of the Austin Police Department will operate from the new building.
In a statement, Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith said, “It remains our goal to place all adoptable animals in permanent homes and this new center will help us continue to reach that goal. The city’s new Animal Center provides a cleaner, safer and an overall healthier environment for the animals, as well as pleasant setting for human visitors and that means more homeless animals will be saved.”
Artist Brad Goldberg designed the sculptural seating welcoming visitors to the entrance with a limestone spiral. The building will be LEED Gold Certified and includes solar panels and rainwater collection. Included in the design by Jackson & Ryan Associates are modern sanitizing and ventilation systems and temperature-controlled living spaces for all the animals. Materials were repurposed from the demolished campus of the segregated African-American Texas Blind, Deaf and Orphan School established in 1943 and originally occupying the site. Historic markers, displays and architectural features throughout the new facility pay homage to the school.
Volunteers, staff, rescuers, fosters and adopters have been adding their sweet remembrances on Town Lake Animal Center’s last 100 days blog and submissions of 500 words or less are still being accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The stories are tender, silly and hopeful. View the blog at http://thelast100daysoftownlakeanimalcenter.blogspot.com.
For more information visit www.austinanimalcenter.org or call 311.