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Frequently Asked Questions

Is AHS a non-profit organization?

Yes. We rely on community donations, fundraising events, and foundation grants to fund our programs.

Is AHS associated with Austin Animal Center?

No. Austin Animal Center is the City of Austin’s municipal animal shelter. We are an independent organization.

Does AHS work with AAC and other animal organizations?

Absolutely. We have long-lasting relationships with Austin Animal Center and other local animal shelters (like those in Williamson County, Bastrop, etc.) We transfer animals from these overcrowded shelters in our adoption program.

We are also a proud partner of groups like Animal Trustees of Austin, Emancipet, and AAC in addition to being part of the ASPCA’s Mission: Orange movement. Mission: Orange offers all of our organizations invaluable resources to achieve the goal of ending unnecessary euthanasia in Austin.

What does it mean to be a No-Kill shelter?

We are a selective intake shelter, meaning we focus on saving as many adoptable animals as possible. We shelter an adoptable animal for as long as it takes to find him or her a permanent home. All animals who enter our shelter pass a medical and temperament test.

How many animals does AHS save each year?

We helped over 11,000 animals last year.

What about spaying and neutering?

We sterilize every single animal before they leave us as well as over 5,000 feral cats each year. We do not spay/neuter owned animals, if you would like to have your pet spayed or neutered, please contact our partners at Emancipet or Animal Trustees of Austin.

But I want a guinea pig/parrot/python/rabbit! Do you adopt other types of animals?

Sorry, but we work with dogs and cats exclusively. They keep us plenty busy! Austin Animal Center does adopt out rabbits in addition to dogs and cats.

How long do animals usually stay at AHS?

The average stay is 2-3 weeks. Adult cats and dogs typically wait longest to find their forever homes.

How many animals does the City of Austin euthanize?

The City of Austin has officially reached their goal of having a 90% live release rate and we are working closely with them to help ensure they can continue to maintain this number! It’s a team effort and we’re so pleased with how Austin has pulled together behind this goal!

Does AHS have a paid staff?

Yes, we have around 40 permanent and part-time employees and more than 700 volunteers!

Where do your animals come from?

Transfers from other shelters and owner surrenders.

Do local veterinarians help you?

First, the AHS Clinic examines every animal that comes through our doors. We have two full-time veterinarians on staff who care for our animals daily. For special cases, we have a variety of partnerships with veterinarians and emergency clinics to assist our animals with medical needs. We also have a partnership with Texas A&M Veterinarian School.

What is the dog-to-cat adoption ratio?

Believe it or not, it’s about 50-50.

Are there criteria for adopting animals?

Some. Every potential adopter must complete an application and pass a simple interview to ensure they will be able to properly care for an animal.

Do you accept ANY cats and dogs in your adoption program?

If you want to surrender your pet, you can contact us at All cats and dogs must pass a medical and temperament evaluation before being placed in our adoption program.