• Susan Houser

Williamson County, TX

The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter (WCRAS), located in Texas just north of Austin, provides animal sheltering services for Williamson County (population 423,000) and numerous communities within the county. WCRAS has contracts with four of the communities: Round Rock (population 100,000), Cedar Park (population 54,000), Leander, (population 27,000), and Hutto (population 15,000). In addition to taking in strays picked up by animal control, the shelter accepts owner surrenders during its business hours, with a small fee.

WCRAS provides a link on its home page to its statistics for the calendar year and for its fiscal-year annual reports going back to 2009-2010. The shelter’s statistics for the calendar year of 2012 show a total intake of 7488 cats and dogs. The live release rate for the year was 94%. I’m not able to calculate a modified live release rate (including animals who died in shelter care in the euthanasia total) because the statistics provided by WCRAS include animals who were dead on arrival in the number who died in shelter care. However, the modified live release rate is at least 90%, because the rate calculated with the DOA’s included was 90%.

The shelter’s Annual Report for the fiscal year 2011-2012 shows that intake for the 2011-2012 fiscal year was the highest in the last 5 fiscal years. The shelter reduced its number of euthanasias in spite of increased intake. The Annual Report states that the shelter has 335 foster homes who took in 1764 fosters during the fiscal year (page 9), and volunteers who logged 9166 hours (page 11).

One interesting statistic from the Annual Report is the average length of stay for animals in the WCRAS shelter. Cats on average stayed 15 days, and dogs on average stayed 11 days. Average length of stay is a very important criterion in measuring shelter performance, but it is one that we rarely see in a shelter’s published statistics.

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