Austin Animal Center to close on Sundays due to COVID-related staffing concerns
Austin Animal Center will be closed on Sundays starting Jan. 23 due to COVID-related staffing concerns, the center announced Tuesday night.
The closure will be temporary, and the center will remain open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday for adoptions and reclaims (in other words, owners claiming lost pets that have been found). Intake also will continue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday.
"This decision was not made lightly and many factors were taken into consideration, including first and foremost our ability to safely and humanely care for the animals in the shelter," a statement from the center read in an Instagram post.
Center officials used data on how busy operations were during the week to determine Sunday for the closure. They also looked at the center's ability to redistribute its staff throughout the week.
The center is working to fill vacancies, as well.
"We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times together," according to the statement from the center.
Pet owners who are looking to reclaim their animal on Sunday can call 3-1-1 and ask for an animal protection officer.
The closure comes nearly a week after Austin-Travis County moved into Stage 5 of Austin Public Health's coronavirus risk-based guidelines amid a surge due to the omicron variant.