A potential partnership between the city of Georgetown and the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter could address capacity concerns facing both shelters through 2035, Assistant Public Works Director Jack Daly said at an Oct. 10 City Council workshop.

What you need to know

The partnership could be possible if Georgetown voters pass Proposition C on the upcoming Nov. 7 ballot.

That proposition would provide $15 million of funding for an expansion to the WCRAS. However, WCRAS member cities—including Leander, Hutto, Round Rock and Cedar Park—would have to approve Georgetown joining the regional shelter, according to previous Community Impact reporting.

If the bond proposition passes but the member cities deny Georgetown membership in the regional shelter, the bond is written in a way that would allow the city to use funding to expand its existing city shelter.

How we got here

The Georgetown Animal Shelter is regularly taking in more animals than it was intended to hold, according to the city. A 2016 assessment pointed out the shelter would be at or above capacity by 2020.

The WCRAS is experiencing similar capacity issues, Daly said, with its dog capacity reaching 165% earlier this year.

A facility feasibility study found the WCRAS would need to increase capacity by 106 kennels—bringing it to 240 total—to sustain 2035 intake projections for dogs.

“The big focus is dogs; there’s never enough room for dogs,” Daly said. “Dogs, they need space.”

A closer look

The city’s proposed plan for the expansion of the WCRAS includes:
  • Two new buildings with two stories connected to the most recent expansion
  • Indoor and outdoor dog kennels
  • Consolidating staff members into one building
  • Addressing cat capacity concerns and projected needs for dogs
Daly said this would be a phased approach, and the WCRAS could continue to build out beyond 2035. However, Georgetown would only be responsible for funding Phase 1.

Georgetown joining the WCRAS would allow for future growth and would not exhaust the site, Daly said. The expansion would also accommodate the demand of all parties through 2035.

As a temporary solution, eight additional kennels were installed at the Georgetown Animal Shelter. Daly said the addition will help the shelter from having to euthanize animals during the planning process, and it will be usable during the transition.

Keep in mind

The city is working on a community outreach and education campaign that will run through November.

Early voting will be held Oct. 23 through Nov. 3. Election Day is Nov. 7.