starAbout Us

The Objectives in creating a regional animal shelter include;

  • increasing pet adoptions and lost pet claims
  • emphasizing humane care for lost, unwanted, or displaced pets
  • assisting animal control public safety efforts by providing a safe haven for strays and secure area for dangerous animals
  • reducing the costs to each participating entity through a shared regional facility

The Goals of the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter are:

  • Assess the need for services, determine the costs of providing them, and request the needed funding.
  • Plan and utilize available resources to maximize short and long-range effectiveness in working toward other goals.
  • Provide desirable and challenging employment opportunities to attract, retain, motivate, and develop personnel necessary to fulfill planned work activities.
  • Comply with all legal requirements and manage the shelter to prevent unnecessary exposure to legal actions and allegations of impropriety against the shelter, its partners, or the employees.
  • Encourage professionalism among shelter personnel in their performance and strive for a positive relationship between the shelter and the community.
  • To be an advocate for the unwanted, lost, or abandoned pets and to provide a humane, safe environment for the housing of these animals.
  • To find loving permanent homes for the adoptable animals that are brought to our shelter.
  • To relieve the pain and suffering of animals in a humane, compassionate environment.
  • To enforce and comply with the state laws and local ordinances pertaining to the animals in the County and the participating cities.
  • Respond to all reasonable needs for assistance in a timely manner, whether such needs are requested or observed.
  • To cooperate with other agencies to accomplish mutual goals.
  • Reduce the number of stray and abandoned animals by encouraging responsible pet ownership with emphasis on spaying or neutering, identification, and vaccination.
  • To identify those animals with illnesses, injuries, or behavioral issues that can be rehabilitated and adopted into permanent, loving homes.
 
 

starShelter Board Members

Board Chairperson
Daron K. Butler, Business Services Director, City of Cedar Park
daron.butler@cedarparktexas.gov

Board Members:
Helen Ramirez
Assistant City Manager, Hutto
helen.ramirez@huttoTX.gov

Commissioner Valerie Covey
Williamson County Commissioner
vcovey@wilco.org

Jeff Hayes
Asst Chief of Police
Leander
jhayes@leandertx.gov

Lorie Lankford
Deputy Chief Financial Officer
Round Rock
llankford@roundrocktexas.gov

Secretary to Board
Linda Gunter
Administrative Supervisor WCRAS
lgunter@wilco.org

 

starAdvisory Committee Members

Position Name Term Expires
Veterinarian Katrina Breitreiter, DVM January 2019
County Municipal Official Wayne Cunningham January 2019
Person Involved in Daily Operation of Shelter Alexis Fine January 2019
Member of a Welfare Organization Dr. Laura Hobgood January 2019
Resident of Participating Entity Rachel Yarger January 2019

Contact the Advisory Board wcrasadvisoryboard@wilco.org

Advisory Board 2017 Meeting Schedule:
All meetings are 12-1pm in the WCRAS Classroom
February 23rd, 2017
May 4, 2017
August 29, 2017
September 7, 2017
November 2, 2017

 
 

starFrequently Asked Questions

Is there a Veterinarian on staff at the shelter?

WCRAS contracts with veterinarians to perform the spay/neuter surgeries of shelter animals. We do not have veterinarians on staff to health check an animal because of cost restraints. This is the case in most shelters. We do have veterinarian technicians on staff every day that weigh the animals, perform a quick health assessment, give the animals their vaccinations, test for heartworms in dogs, and feline leukemia in cats. They monitor the animals, as do the shelter staff routinely, for any signs of illness. There are standing protocols to treat most suspected illnesses.

If an animal comes to the shelter very ill or injured, we may arrange an appointment with a local veterinarian for care. When the animal is adopted, this is explained in the adoption contract. We also state in the contract that the animal should be taken to a veterinarian within five days of adoption.

Because incubation periods (the time of an exposure to a disease to the time of symptoms) vary with every disease, it is possible that we would not be able to detect an illness in an animal during its stay at the shelter. This is also explained to the adopter who also agrees to pay all Veterinary expenses once the animal leaves the shelter.

Adoption contracts from most shelters cover these same issues.

Are you a no-kill shelter?

Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter (WCRAS) is celebrating three years of being a no-kill, open-admission shelter. Since December 2010, WCRAS has reached a save rate of 90% and above. Because of the shelters efforts, almost 19,000 cats and dogs have found their way home.

In order to reach and maintain a “no-kill” status, WCRAS has to overcome many obstacles. They cannot control which animals enter their shelter because they are an open-admission shelter. An open-admission shelter is usually supported by tax dollars and is responsible for stray and abandoned animals. In other words, WCRAS shelter must take in an animal from their jurisdiction regardless of their behavior or medical condition.

WCRAS receives on average, two to three medically compromised animals a week, whether from being injured while on the run, diseased animals the owner can no longer afford, or animals with normal aging issues. Even though the shelter is government funded, they do not receive funds to treat these behaviorally and medically compromised animals. Their budget for these treatments are derived completely from donations.

In addition, Williamson County does not have a large rescue group to support the shelter, such as the relationship between Austin Animal Center and Austin Pets Alive. This shifts a higher reliance on smaller rescue groups and the citizens of Williamson County. Cheryl Schneider, Animal Service Director of WCRAS, would like to thank the community for their involvement in this “no-kill” accomplishment. “We are a ‘no-kill’ facility because we believe it is the right thing to do. Our shelter is not funded to act as a no-kill shelter. We have reached this mile-stone because of our community. We can only continue to be ‘no-kill’ because of our caring adopters, committed volunteers, caring fosters and generous donors.”

What is the adoption fee?

Normally the adoption fee is $75. However, many times there are special adoption fees, which can be found on the Home page. This fee covers the cost of spay/neuter, initial vaccinations, de-worming, Heartworm testing in dogs, Feline Leukemia testing in cats, Rabies vaccination (if the animal is old enough,) and a microchip. These services will be completed before the animal goes to his new home.

What are the rules for Rescue groups?

There is an application that a Rescue group must fill out prior to pulling animals from the shelter. They must supply us with certain paperwork such as their 501 (c)3 status, copies of their adoption agreement and their policies on spaying and neutering. They must also list the persons with their group that will be allowed to pull on their behalf. In most cases, the rescue group is already established in the area and we can make a few quick phone calls to other shelters they pull from as a reference.

Rescue groups are very important to us. We bring in several hundred animals a month and about 14% of those will go to rescue groups. This allows us the space to house animals that come in without having to euthanize. It also gives the animal a better chance of adoption because most rescue groups take the animals to off-site locations which give them better exposure. Also, many rescue groups have their animals reside in foster homes, which may be less stressful than a shelter.

A Rescue Group Application is on the Home page of this website.

My dog got kennel cough when after we took him home or my cat got a cough after we took him home? Why did they get sick? Do you vaccinate the animals at the shelter?

All the animals that come to the shelter are given their routine vaccinations. Additionally, dogs are also vaccinated against Bordetella, one of the agents causing kennel cough, as soon as possible after they arrive at the shelter. Animals that reside in close proximity and under stressful living situations are more prone to break with a disease. Kennel Cough in dogs and Upper Respiratory Infection in cats are like the common cold in humans: very easy to catch and spread. Vaccinations are not 100% effective against disease. We clean the shelter thoroughly every day and attempt to reduce stress by walking the dogs, giving toys and treats, and feeding them a quality brand of food. We also have barriers between the adoption kennels to eliminate nose-to-nose contact and sound baffles to reduce the noise in the dog adoption areas. However, about 30% of our dogs and cats will become ill.

Most of our animals come into the shelter as strays with unknown vaccination history as well as unknown exposure to diseases prior to arrival at the shelter. As in humans, an animal can be exposed to a disease and not show signs or symptoms for up to 14 days in some cases. In those days before the animal exhibits symptoms, the animal can still be contagious.

We give all adopters hand-outs on Upper Respiratory Disease in cats and Kennel Cough in dogs. If the dog or cat is already sick, an adopter may be allowed to take the animal home if they agree to provide veterinary care to the animal. Many animals recover quicker once out of the shelter environment. However, adopters should be aware that the animal can pass the illness to other animals in their household. In most cases, Kennel Cough and URI are self-limiting. However, in rare cases complications can occur such as pneumonia, which can be expensive to treat.

We strive to keep our animals healthy and medicate the ones who become ill so they can eventually find a forever home. If you have further questions concerning the health of a shelter animal, please contact the Shelter Director or the Kennel Manager.

How do I adopt a pet?

The goal of WCRAS is to make lifelong matches between the new pet and its owner. You should be prepared to spend some time with the animal you are wishing to adopt before you make that important decision. We have meet and greet rooms as well as a large yard for taking dogs for walks. We also encourage your decision to be made with the support of your family as well as any other pets you may own. You should bring any dogs that you already have to the shelter to meet the potential new family member. The shelter staff will assist you in taking the animals out of their kennels or cages as well as provide information about a particular animal. You will be required to fill out an adoption application and staff will qualify you for the adoption. You must be at least age 18, with current identification and able to pay the adoption fee.

How long do you keep an animal?

Initially the time frame depends on whether the animal is a stray or has an identified owner by collar or microchip. Stray animals are held for 72 hours after their arrival to the shelter and identified animals are held for 5 days. After this initial period, the animal is evaluated for behavioral or temperament problems that would prevent them from being adopted. WCRAS is unable to re-home animals who are a danger to others or who are medically challenged beyond rehabilitation. There is no set time frame that an animal has while waiting for the perfect family. However, space can become an issue and then tough decisions may have to occur. It is our desire that all adoptable animals are re-homed through the shelter or transferred to various rescue groups for placement.

Why does an animal have to be spayed or neutered when they are adopted?

Sterilization is a requirement under Chapter 828 of the Health and Safety Code. A violation of this Chapter is a criminal offense punishable as a Class C Misdemeanor. Animals that are sterilized are behaviorally better and healthier pets (lifespan.) Unsterilized animals create too many pets (see shelter.

How do I surrender my pet?

WCRAS accepts pets from the jurisdictions that participate in our shelter by appointment. Please bring proof of address and any information you have about your pet including vaccination and medical records. If they have a favorite blanket or toy, it can also be released with the pet to go to the new owner, if adopted. You will be asked to complete an Owner Surrender Form and sign a legal release of ownership. The surrender fee is $25.00 for each adult pet and/or for a litter of puppies or kittens. If the animal is deemed high risk, (i.e. old age, questionable temperament, ailing health) there is an additional fee of $35.

Where do your animals come from?

Our shelter mainly houses cats and dogs. The animals come from owners who no longer can care for their animal(s), from animal control agencies in one of our participating jurisdictions, or from citizens who find the animals as strays.

 
 
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Williamson County Animal Shelter 1855 S.E. Inner Loop, Georgetown, TX 78626 General Information: (512)943-3322
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