The hospital said it will seek an additional $3 million in emergency cash as part of an emergency fund to pay for more veterinarians to take care of patients in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The hospital has requested $3,826,000 in cash from the Texas Emergency Management Agency for its emergency operations.
In a statement Friday, the hospital said the funds will be used for an initial three veterinarians and a full staff to care for the most critically ill patients, including nursing, primary care and veterinary services.
“We are in desperate need of additional funds to help us meet our initial staffing needs,” the hospital’s statement said.
“This is a time of extreme hardship for the Austin Animal Services Department and our veterinary staff.
We have been working hard to secure funding to ensure our emergency operations can continue, but we cannot wait for the hurricane to pass to respond to the needs of our patients.”
The Austin Animal Care and Control Authority said in a statement that the $3 billion in cash will be allocated to the agency for a total of $11.8 billion in funds that will be needed in order to meet the needs and services of the nearly 11,000 animals in the shelter, including a veterinarian, at the shelter.
The agency said it also would need to help pay for other emergency services, such as the replacement of electrical power, water, food and medication for animal caretakers, as well as other needs such as paying for temporary housing, shelter and supplies.
The shelter’s emergency operations are also at risk due to the hurricane, the agency said.
The Austin Fire Department is also preparing for a potential influx of animals after the storm, according to a news release from the department Friday.
The department is looking to open a shelter in Austin’s West End neighborhood on Tuesday as soon as the hurricane passes.
The new shelter will be located in an existing building in the area, said Austin Fire and Rescue Director Mike O’Leary.