"There are more animals running around that we pick up than we can take in," said Terry Honea, an animal control officer for the city.
Sitting across the cemetery in what used to be the grave keeper's shop decades ago, the shelter only has the capacity for four dogs and a few cats.
But that's not where the issues stop -- that's where they begin.
There's also a hole in the roof, no central heat, the danger of flooding and a quarantine cage right next to the healthy animals.
"We do make double sure, with all of the distemper going around Abilene and local shelters, to check. We've been fortunate to not have issues with that," said Temi Nichols, the city's other animal control officer.
But while there are a lot of problems at the shelter, the biggest one is a lack of space for the actual animals.
There are just four cages inside the small room holding the dogs, meaning sometimes, they have to be double stacked.
But, there's now hope in sight.
"I personally think it's definitely needed and has been needed for a long time," Nichols said.
City leaders have approved funding, plans and a location for a brand-new shelter and hope to break ground soon.
The new 2,108 square-foot shelter will have sixteen dog kennels, several quarantine cages, a cat room and an examination area, according to Bill Dolen with Eastland Planning & Zoning.
It comes with a price tag of about $150,000, Dolen said, and will likely be up and running in early 2014.
It currently costs just $5 to adopt from the shelter, but that cost doesn't come with spaying, neutering or any shots.
Those costs, you will have to cover yourself, at your own veterinarian.