Fosters Needed!

Short-Term Fosters Needed! We have no space for incoming dogs. ⛔ It feels like a crisis, but maybe that’s because we’re surrounded by it, day in and day out. We have been housing 45-50 dogs in space designed for 37 for months. Without your help, we cannot continue to save all the pets who enter our doors. 🙏
👉 👉 Email or stop by during open hours, and we will find a dog that matches your household.
There was such a great response to our plea for emergency fosters last month. During the two-week period in August when the shelter was managing a distemper scare, the Georgetown pet-loving community stepped up to foster, and it freed up valuable space. Thank you!! Seven of the eight fostered dogs were adopted during that time.
We know there is competition for your attention and your help among all the worthy causes in this world. We ask that you consider helping your local animal shelter by fostering – or adopting, of course.
Take a dog for a few weeks. It will help the dog by giving him a break from the shelter, and you can provide great insight into what kind of home he needs. It will us greatly by freeing up a kennel and potentially saving a life.
Pictured here are the dogs that have been here the longest, but you can see all available dogs here.

Georgetown Animal Shelter contains distemper virus, returns to normal operations

The Georgetown Animal Shelter, 110 Walden Drive, has resumed normal operations after limiting positive distemper cases to a single canine. Test results for the other 26 dogs currently in the Shelter’s care came back negative Monday, Aug. 28. The original canine who tested positive for distemper remains in isolation and continues to show signs of improvement. Shelter staff remain optimistic the dog will make a full recovery.

“Limiting the spread of such a contagious virus to the original dog who tested positive is an incredible testament to our shelter staff, who immediately put safety and cleaning protocols in place, and to our community, who immediately responded to our plea for fosters,” Animal Services Manager April Haughey said.

Within four days of the call for fosters, seven of the 15 healthy dogs were fostered or adopted out of the shelter. Residents who are fostering dogs are being asked to keep them for up to two weeks, to give staff time to catch up on surgeries and other tasks.

The shelter is resuming normal operations. People interested in adopting or fostering can view adoptable pets here. While walk-ins are welcome during operating hours, residents are encouraged to schedule an appointment ahead of time by calling 512-930-3592 or emailing

The most important action the community can take to mitigating the spread of distemper is to fully vaccinate dogs. Dog owners are encouraged to reach out to their veterinarians to confirm vaccination status. The shelter is expanding its vaccine protocols to provide distemper boosters puppies every two weeks until six months of age. The shelter will continue to administer the distemper vaccine upon intake and a booster at two weeks for all new adult intakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Original news release from Aug. 23, 2023

The Georgetown Animal Shelter has seen an increase in canines entering the shelter with the distemper virus. Our shelter needs the community’s help to move healthy dogs out of the shelter and into foster or adoptive homes to separate them from and create isolation space for sick dogs.

The shelter has one confirmed case of distemper and six presumptive cases. The initial canine came to the shelter July 31 and started showing symptoms Aug. 17. The dog went to the vet Aug. 18, and tested positive for the virus Aug. 22. The dog was not found in Georgetown, and the specific details of how it might have contracted the virus are unknown. The shelter will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates at

Additional disease control measures have been put in place to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading; however, because the shelter consistently operates above capacity, creating additional space for isolation has become increasingly difficult.

“We desperately need the community’s help to foster or adopt our current, healthy dogs, so we can limit the spread of this devastating disease,” Animal Services Manager April Haughey said. “We are taking every step we can to clean and sanitize the shelter and isolate potentially infected dogs, but with how this virus spreads and with the shelter being over capacity, we don’t have other options.”

To create space, the shelter needs 15 healthy dogs to move into foster or adoptive homes as soon as possible. See a list of available pets here. Emergency fosters for healthy dogs should be limited to homes that either have no dogs or homes where all dogs in the household are fully vaccinated. Interested fosters should call or email the shelter to make an appointment: 512-930-3592 or

In addition to fostering and/or adopting dogs currently at the shelter, the public can help by:

  1. Limiting casual visits. The shelter has also suspended meet and greets until further notice.
  2. Holding strays: You can also take strays to the nearest fire station to scan for a microchip.
  3. Making sure all pets are fully vaccinated. Adult dogs require vaccinations for distemper every three years.

Visiting the shelter is safe and poses minimal to no risk to owned vaccinated dogs at home. Recent adopters should be aware of the symptoms of distemper, including lack of interest in food, extreme lethargy, severe nasal discharge, severe coughing, muscle tremors or seizures, changes in skin condition or inability to walk straight. Visit your veterinarian immediately if any of these symptoms are observed.

What the Georgetown Animal Shelter is doing

The shelter currently is not taking in owner-surrendered dogs. Intake is currently limited to emergencies only and only as kennels remain available.

The shelter also has:

  • Boosted all dogs who received a distemper vaccine more than two weeks ago. The distemper vaccine protocol for adult dogs calls for one vaccine every three years. Puppies get three boosters, three weeks apart. Because dogs who come to the shelter are from unknown origins with unverified vaccination histories, and shelters are considered high-risk environments, the shelter administers a booster at two weeks for all new adult intakes and boosters every two weeks until puppies are adopted or reach six months of age.
  • Deep-cleaned all dog kennels, water bowls, food bowls
  • Removed pools, toys, and water bowls from play yards.
  • Isolated all dogs exhibiting symptoms in an isolation ward behind a badge-entry door that remains closed at all times. Additional signage indicates the area is accessible to staff only. Only health technicians are allowed to interact with dogs in the isolation ward and must wear full personal protective gear, including shoe covers, gloves, and gowns. All dogs in the isolation ward are not being walked and cannot leave their kennels.
  • Cancelled surgeries to avoid weakening any animals’ immune systems.
  • Contacted the family who adopted a kennel mate of the confirmed positive case.
  • Communicated the changes to volunteer dog walkers.
  • Contacted the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, as well as the shelter in Pflugerville, and is working to contact veterinarians in the area for awareness.

The shelter vaccinates all dogs for the following upon intake:

  • Canine Distemper Virus
  • Canine Adenovirus Type 1
  • Canine Adenovirus Type 2
  • Canine Parainfluenza Virus
  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Canine Parvovirus Type 2C
  • Bordetella

Puppies receive additional boosters every two weeks through five months of age.

“Currently, the affected dogs are showing very mild symptoms,” Haughey said. “We are optimistic that our response and protocols will mitigate the spread, and the dogs will recover.”

About distemper

Distemper is a virus that primarily affects unvaccinated dogs. The virus can impact all systems in the body, but typically starts with upper respiratory symptoms and may progress to neurological symptoms if left untreated. The virus is spread through mucous, respiratory secretions, saliva, and urine. Fortunately, it does not live on surfaces for very long and is susceptible to many disinfectants.

Additional information about distemper can be found here.

More information from Cornell University can be found here.

Can humans or cats get canine distemper?

No, canine distemper cannot be passed to humans or cats. However, ferrets and some wildlife can contract it.

Is my dog at risk for distemper?

Young or unvaccinated dogs are most susceptible. The distemper vaccine is a core vaccination for dogs and is very effective at preventing infection. The best thing to do is consult with your veterinarian.

What are the signs of distemper?
  • Fever
  • Eye discharge
  • Nose discharge
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Thickening or crusting of the nose or paw pads
  • More severe cases will have neurologic signs, including
    • Stumbling or uncoordinated gait
    • Muscle twitches (especially in the face)
    • Seizures
    • Paralysis
Can you test for distemper?

Yes, testing is available for distemper.

What do I do if I think my dog has distemper?

Contact your veterinarian immediately. A PCR test is available to diagnose distemper.

If my dog is showing symptoms of distemper, can I take him to the dog park?

No. Any dog exhibiting symptoms of any illness should be kept away from public places until cleared by a veterinarian.

How does distemper spread?

Dogs are most commonly infected when exposed to air containing droplets of the virus – usually when a nearby infected dog coughs, sneezes, or barks. It can also be transmitted through direct contact with infected dogs or other bodily fluids, such as saliva, urine, or feces.

Is there a cure for distemper?

No, there is no specific cure for distemper. The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms and prevent secondary infections.

What if I have two dogs and one gets distemper?

Infected dogs must be isolated from other dogs to prevent further spread of the virus. Sanitation practices should include good hygiene and thorough cleaning. Caretakers should wear disposable PPE, including gowns, gloves, and booties, when interacting with infected dogs or cleaning their space.

Does anything kill the distemper virus in the environment?

Yes, most household disinfectants, including bleach, easily kill the virus.

What does the Shelter do if a dog tests positive for distemper?

The type of test the Animal Shelter is using shows low positivity or high positivity. All low-positivity dogs will be isolated and symptomatically treated. Currently, because of the first positive test, even presumed positive dogs are started on the two medication regimens suggested by our consulting veterinarian and are being isolated.

Unfortunately, high-positivity dogs need to be euthanized. At this time, no dogs at the Georgetown Animal Shelter have high positivity.

Kittens in the Library Aug. 10

Join the Georgetown Animal Shelter at the Library for a special kitten adoption event on August 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.! For a reduced fee of $35, you can take home a furry friend ready to complete your family.

All kittens are up to date on shots and are spayed or neutered.


One Step Adoption Special

Before you Two Step over to San Gabriel Park next week, make the Georgetown Animal Shelter your first step!  The shelter will be closed on Saturday during the big musical festival so we need to rack up some adoptions ahead of time.

Adult dogs and cats (7 months and up) may be adopted for only $15 from April 1-30.  Adoptions include castration (neutering), branding (tattoo/microchip), shots and some goodies.  Cattle dogs will be free since they work for free anyway.

Come on down!

Return to Sunday Hours

It’s no joke – the shelter is opening up on Sundays again! Beginning April 23, we’ll be open to visitors from 12 to 4. And to celebrate 🎉, we are waiving adoption fees on Sundays through the end of the month.

⭐ April 23 and 30 ⭐

(Puppies and kittens are excluded. Come on, free puppies and kittens? No way!)

Appointments and walk-ins are welcome.

March Adoption Special

Don’t miss out on making a dog’s day & giving them a charmed life! ✨

$17 adoptions, which includes spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations, a registered microchip, a vet voucher for a free wellness exam, a small bag of dog food and various other goodies. (Small dogs and puppies do not qualify.)

Adoptables updated daily 👉 Email, call 512-930-3592, or drop by during open hours.

🕛 Visiting hours: Sat 12-4, M/F 11-5, T/Th 11-6.

Feb. 2023 Newsletter

Our latest eNewsletter is out, with stories on:

🥇 Braggin’ Rights

🐱 Kitten Season

🚒 Microchip Scanners

💝 Community Support

🔗 Quick Links

📣 Donor Highlight

⭐ Featured Pet

✏️Sign up for the quarterly newsletter (bottom left of our home page).

GTX Residents: 2023 Free Spay/Neuter Clinics for Cats


UPDATE: As of January 24, 2023, all of the female spots have been taken for the clinics.  We are still accepting male cats for the February and March clinics.


The Georgetown Animal Shelter has announced the dates of the 2023 spay/neuter clinic for cats – January 28, February 25 and March 25, 2023, all Saturdays. The goal of the clinics is to reduce the cat population in Georgetown.  This is the twelfth year that the shelter has offered free spay/neuter clinics for cats in an effort to curb overpopulation.

Spay and neuter surgeries and a rabies vaccination will be provided at no charge. Other services available at the clinic include a FIV/FeLV test for $20, an FVRCP vaccine for $5, microchip for $10, e-collar for $10, or cat carrier for $5.

Appointments are required for the free clinics, which are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are not necessarily for low-income cat owners. Cats or kittens must be at least three months old. Residents may sign up for two cats per clinic.

The clinic is offered only for cats whose owners live in the Georgetown City Limits, so bring your driver’s license or other form of ID that shows your current address.

Call (512) 930-3592 to schedule your cat for surgery. All spay or neuter surgeries will be done by a licensed veterinarian.

The spay and neuter clinic will be held at the City of Georgetown Animal Shelter at 110 W.L. Walden Drive near the McMaster Athletic Fields. Contact the shelter at (512) 930-3592 or by email at The City of Georgetown Animal Shelter website is

No-Kill Status Achieved

With a save rate of 94.1 percent for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, Georgetown Animal Shelter has been able to maintain its status as a no-kill shelter for the eighth year in a row. Shelters with a live outcome rate above 90 percent are considered no-kill shelters.

Factors in the live outcome rate include a high rate of animal adoptions, the invaluable support of foster families, increased counseling about rehoming, and partnerships with rescues and other shelters.

Other notable milestones for the 2022 fiscal year include:

  • 19.4 percent of animals returned to their owners, including 247 dogs and 16 cats
  • 51.3 percent of animals adopted, including 353 dogs and 341 cats
  • 32 dogs and 23 cats were transferred to other shelters or rescue groups

Closed for Thanksgiving

The shelter will be closed Thursday-Friday for Thanksgiving (and we are always closed on Wednesdays). We will return to our usual schedule on Saturday, November 26. As always, Animal Control may be reached for urgent calls at 512-930-3510 x6 .