Do you need a new companion? Maybe a fluffy and furry one?
The Bryan Animal Center needs the help of Brazos County residents to adopt some of their animals in need of homes. For the past two months, the shelter has reached capacity with 41 total animals on Wednesday, according to Bryan Animal Center supervisor Ashley Rodriguez.
“I have about six or seven overcapacity dogs right now,” she said Wednesday. “We have 41 enclosures and we’ve doubled and tripled everything we could to open up those enclosures so they can be adopted.”
Currently, the animal center is experiencing an influx of admissions via animal control and good Samaritans who bring stray animals onto the streets within Bryan’s city limits, Rodriguez said. They’re at the point where they’re trying to get back to the normal pre-pandemic intake level, she said.
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“We’re sort of getting back to normal for us, getting closer and closer to our 2019 numbers when we took just over 2,000 animals that year,” she said. “I have a total of 61 animals since Wednesday this week. Of the 61 animals, 47 are dogs.
Rodriguez said many of the animals that come in aren’t microchipped or have any kind of identification, which makes it more difficult for them to come home. Even though there are lost pets being brought in, the majority of the intake is strays, she said.
“With the number of stray dogs running through the building, we haven’t been able to accept surrenders from owners as we don’t have the space for that,” she said. “We give owners looking to rehoming their pets the best resources to have their pets rehomed outside of the shelter.”
The cause of the current spike in animals brought in over the past few months is unknown, Rodriguez said. During the school year at Texas A&M, there are more dogs adopted during this time, rather than the summer when all students are out of school, she said.
When an animal is brought to the shelter, they must state exactly where it was found. Animal Control also does the same for animals found within city limits, she said.
“They come in all areas of Bryan,” Rodriguez said. “At the end of the day, if it’s a stray, we have to take it in because we’re an open water intake for the town of Bryan.”
Despite the overcrowding, she said the animals are clean, happy and healthy and ready to find their forever homes.
“We have allowed all the volunteers to come back as well, which also provides a lot more exercise for our pets. Our staff walks all of our dogs in the morning before cleaning, so they can look fresh in the morning and go outside,” she said. “One of our dogs, Wren, came in as a good Samaritan. Someone found him in June and he found his home two weeks ago, and that’s long enough for a dog to be here.
There’s a schedule for each animal that’s brought in, and Rodriguez said they have a protocol if they reach a larger capacity and the animals aren’t adopted.
“All of our animals that arrive as strays without any identification have 72 working hours from the time they arrive, so that we can assess their health and behavior to see if they have potential for adoption or rescue or family. foster care or whatever the case is,” Rodriguez said. “Any animal that arrives with an ID, meaning they have a microchip, readable tag [or] something written legibly on their collar, we keep all these animals for 10 calendar days so that we give the owner the opportunity to come by and sign for them.
“Once we reach capacity, we do our best to reach all of our relief contacts. We have a number of relief partners who have helped us with some of our most difficult cases, whether of a medical case coming in that just needs a little more TLC, they have the capacity to take care of it.
Rodriguez said they are doing their best to use all avenues to care for all animals. However, there are times when they have to make a more difficult choice.
“We try not to use human euthanasia as much as possible,” she said. “Unfortunately last year we had to euthanize to have space because there were only a few spots where we didn’t have room, so those animals that have behavioral difficulties, that aren’t safe for the public or who have been here too long, we unfortunately had to euthanize for space. So far we haven’t had to since October. But last year, unfortunately, we did, it was only a handful, but we do our best not to have to euthanize to save space when we can.
The animal center needs people to adopt pets, she said, because the majority of older dogs are left unnoticed and homeless in their old age.
“A lot of what we have in-house are bigger dogs and unfortunately those are the dogs that don’t get a lot of attention,” she said. “So anyone looking for a bigger dog or a puppy that’s going to turn into a medium or large dog, we need those people to come out and adopt.”
The Bryan Animal Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Their “Fall in Love Adoption Special” will run through November, where all animals in the building are $5 to adopt; with this price includes the sterilization of the animal, the microchip and the basic vaccinations.
“I’ve found a love for this work because not only are we helping the community, but we’re helping underserved shelters like us,” Rodriguez said. “We really want to make sure we bring all of these animals home.”
To see available animals or learn more, visit bryantx.gov/animal-center or call 209-5260.
The Bryan Animal Center is located at 2207 Finfeather Road in Bryan.