Hot weather causes concerns after A/C unit goes out at Abilene Animal Shelter

The dogs and cats at the Abilene Animal Shelter are dealing with the excessive heat that has been hammering the Big Country lately after an air conditioning unit at the shelter went out and the other air conditioning units at the shelter are struggling to keep the shelter's fuzzy occupants cool.

“It's very frustrating,” said Tabitha Fabrizio of the animal rights organization Homemade Hope. “It's frustrating when you plead to the city to help these animals and not one person at the city level is reaching out and trying to help, not one.”

It is a situation that has made animal lovers such as Darla Bowman of Abilene Animal Advocates extremely upset.

“I went to the car and I cried,” Bowman said. "It's heartbreaking, these animals don't deserve this.”

Bowman was at the Abilene Animal Shelter on Wednesday and took video that she said shows the animals at the shelter suffering greatly because of the heat.

“They looked bad,” Bowman said. “There were two kittens that were breathing so shallow that I couldn't see them breathe, I had to poke them and make sure they were still alive, it's just horrible.”

“It just seems like it's never happened this bad before,” said Mirenda Walden, the animal services director at the Abilene Animal Shelter. “The cat one is working, but in the afternoon, we weren't sure if it was working, but it actually is, it's just doing its best to keep up.”

Walden said that they brought in portable air conditioning units, fans and put ice in the animals' water dishes to keep them cool and she also said that a new air conditioning unit is expected to arrive at the shelter on Friday.

“Part of it is just the way the building is designed and working and the A/C unit is working as robustly as it can, but Mother Nature is showing us her splendor early, and it's already 100 degree temperatures in May, and it's not even summer yet," Walden said.

With the hottest time of the year in the Big Country just beginning, Bowman wants to see the shelter do more to keep their animals safe.

“They were miserable,” Bowman said. “It shows on the video, they were miserable.”

A City of Abilene spokesperson said that a handful of cats who were not handling the heat very well were moved to a different area of the shelter on Wednesday night.

The City of Abilene spokesperson also said that the Abilene Police Department was called to the shelter on Wednesday night and found that the animals inside of the shelter were doing fine.

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