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Cap on pet surrenders helps ease overcapacity at Garland animal shelter

 A group of grey kittens sit on a blanket in a metal kennel in a shelter.
Nadya Faulx
Kittens await adoption at a shelter on June 18, 2023.

Much like other cities in North Texas, Garland is dealing with a capacity problem at its animal shelter – but its animal services department has found some success in reducing the number of animals in its shelter after city officials earlier this year lowered the number of daily owner surrenders from five to two.

Animal Services Director Art Munoz says Garland has seen about 420 animals surrendered by their owners this year, down from 675 in 2022.

Although it doesn't look like a huge number,” Munoz told the animal services advisory committee earlier this month, “that's a significant number to the shelter because that's 200 less animals that could have been euthanized.”

Inflation and the pandemic pet boom are largely at fault for the overcrowding in shelters across Texas, Munoz said. Garland has seen an increase in stray pets, but that is a statewide issue, Munoz added.

For example, Collin County’s animal shelter has been overcrowded for years; voters approved a proposition in November to double the size of the shelter.

Are you going to have citizens that get creative?” Munoz said. “Yes.”

But Munoz said limiting animal surrenders and helping owners with resources are better alternatives than doing nothing. The city’s shelter offers low-cost vaccines and a food pantry to help owners keep their pets in their homes and make surrendering their animals a last resort.

Juan Salinas II is a KERA news intern. Got a tip? Email Juan at You can follow Juan on X @4nsmiley

Juan Salinas II is currently studying journalism at UT-Arlington. He is a transfer student from TCC, where he worked at the student newspaper, The Collegian, and his reporting has also appeared in Central Track, D Magazine, The Shorthorn and other Texas news outlets.