“I’m moving tomorrow, and I can’t take my cat.”
“My dog keeps escaping from the back yard.”
“The kids don’t play with the guinea pig anymore.”
These are familiar refrains at the Georgetown Animal Shelter, the City’s municipal open-intake animal shelter. But animal shelters should be the last resort for pets that depend on their humans to take care of them.
Beginning in February, the shelter will direct people wanting to give up their pets to make appointments.
“We hope to give people extra time to think about their decision and whether an animal shelter is the best place for their companion,” explained shelter manager Jackie Carey. “Shelters are stressful places even for easygoing dogs and cats.”
If you determine that surrendering your pet is the only option, call 512-930-3592 to make an appointment. Bring any veterinarian records and proof of residency. (As a tax-supported city department, the Georgetown Animal Shelter only accepts animals from people who live within the city limits.)
Be prepared to spend a half hour at the appointment. You’ll be asked to talk to a staff person, complete a profile on the animal, and sign over your rights to make decisions. It’s possible that staff can suggest other alternatives to surrendering the pet.
“We want to see if by talking to people and offering help they will not have to surrender their pets – for example, help fixing their fence, help getting their pet altered, help with training or offering a crate. But if someone is already at wit’s end, we understand and will take their pet without trying to talk them into keeping it,” Carey said.
Appointments will be scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. On weekends, appointments will be available from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.