Abilene Animal Services to implement new owner surrender procedures

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Due to a high intake rate of owner surrenders, Abilene Animal Services will implement new procedures to lower the rate animals taken in on a daily basis, according to a City of Abilene press release. 

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article contained a typo stating that the shelter would close from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for cleaning. That typo has since been corrected to 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The new procedures will come as a response to a report made by Best Friends, a nationwide animal rescue and advocacy organization. Best friends observed a higher-than-average rate of intake and euthanasia at the shelter when the report was made in June.

The report noted that, “Abilene’s animal shelter has a per capita intake nearly double even many high-intake shelters. Shelter policies have made it very easy for both residents and non-residents to surrender animals to the shelter.”

Beginning on Tuesday, August 21, the shelter will adopt intake procedures recommended by Best Friends, according to the release. 

The new managed intake procedures are:

  • Intake Hours: Monday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Owners may only surrender their pets by appointment only.
  • Those from outside of city limits who want to bring animals the Abilene shelter must make an appointment

“There are days at the shelter when we experience an intake of over 80 cats and dogs.” Animal Services Director Mirenda Walden said in the release. “We still want to provide intake services to the public but request that owners make an appointment to surrender their pets. It is often a difficult decision to surrender a pet to the shelter and by limiting those surrendered each day, it will give your pet a better chance of a positive outcome.” 

Operating hours of the shelter will also be modified in order to focus on daily care for the animals, according to the release. The new hours will be Monday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., the shelter will close from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. for cleaning. 

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