A few weeks ago, the Center asked for temporary fosters to take home dogs for a two-week sleepover. It was so popular, we're doing it again.
The second session of Summer Camp 2017 is officially underway -- and it couldn't come at a more important time.
Every summer, about this time of year, the Austin Animal Center sees a spike in the number of lost pets because of fireworks, outdoor activities, and summer travels. The Center is currently at full capacity and continues to take in new animals every day.
“This is the perfect time to take home a medium or large dog or adult cat for a temporary 'Summer Camp' break," said Interim Chief Animal Services Officer, Lee Ann Shenefiel. "Not only will this be a great opportunity for the dogs and cats who go to foster, it also opens up space for the animals who will arrive as lost pets over the next few weeks."
Members of the public are encouraged to come to the shelter 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 2 to 4, to sign up as short-term foster homes for medium and large dogs and adult cats. Even if they haven’t fostered with AAC before, they'll receive all the information and resources needed, and they’ll get to go home and give a dog or cat an amazing vacation. The foster animals can be returned to the Center starting Aug. 16 or later.
When residents come to sign up as a Summer Camp Foster, they only need to bring identification. Staff will help match them with an eager "camper." Please refrain from bringing owned dogs to the shelter. If fosters have dogs at home, they will get counseling about hosting a dog meeting on their own.
Temporary "Camp Counselor" fosters are encouraged to offer fun camp activities like swimming, nature hikes, arts & crafts, tie-dye bandannas, and other creative, animal-safe ideas. Fosters also can help their campers become adopted by reporting good home behavior back to the Center staff, and taking pictures and video and sharing on social media with the hashtags #summercampfoster2017 and #austinanimalcenter.
Members of the public also can help lost pets in their own neighborhoods and keep them from filling kennels at the Center. If anyone finds a dog or cat and can safely keep the pet, call 3-1-1 to create a Found Pet Report. Finders can foster the pet while shelter staff work to reunite the pet with their owner. In addition to keeping pets out of the shelter during this busy period, it can be easier to reunite pets and owners if pets stay in the community where they were found.
The Austin Animal Center offers free I.D. tags and microchips to all pet owners in Austin and Travis County to help keep pets safe and out of the animal shelter system.
If a pet goes missing, owners should visit AustinAnimalCenter.org and click the Lost & Found button. There, owners can find a step-by-step listing of what to do to find a lost pet.