Austin Pets Alive! | Letter from Dr. Jefferson: Along with YOU

Dec 24, 2021

Expensive Pals,

As this 12 months involves a detailed, I’m in awe of the lifesaving love that you’ve for canine and cats who haven’t any different possibilities to outlive. You made certain that pets survived a winter storm. You made certain that Austin remained the most secure metropolis within the US for pets for the tenth 12 months in a row. You obtained APA! one step nearer to holding shelter pets within the coronary heart of Austin. Most significantly, this 12 months, you made certain that greater than 12,000 pets have been saved from pointless loss of life in shelters.

This 12 months additionally marked an enormous shift, on account of COVID, in the way in which that authorities shelters function all around the nation. For the primary time in historical past, governments are banding collectively to deal with the foundation causes of crowded shelters and pointless euthanasia. Though we aren’t a authorities shelter, APA! helps to guide the motion in direction of a extra humane, for people and pets, means of working. The present all animal lovers have wished for 12 months after 12 months lastly feels possible- to remove the killing of shelter pets in America, ceaselessly.

Early in 2022, APA! management can be sharing our full 2021 impression numbers and highlights, however as you have a good time the vacations (should you have a good time them, and nonetheless you safely can this 12 months) we wish to want you and your family members nicely and thanks to your continued function in saving animal lives.

Let’s have a look again on only a few of the milestones from 2021.

February: Winter Storm Uri & the beginning of transport

When Winter Storm Uri hit Texas in mid-February this 12 months, it leftover 4 million individuals out of energy and water for days. Temperatures obtained all the way down to traditionally low single digits, and there was widespread lack of web and cellphone reception.

In our work, lives are on the road on daily basis. When disasters like Uri hit, it takes a village to make sure no companions’ lives are misplaced — regardless of the circumstances. Our devoted employees and volunteers went above and past to maintain the animals on-site protected and heat, with some employees even sleeping on the shelter.

With the assistance of the group, we have been in a position to triage burst pipes and regain energy through donated turbines. We relied on our group greater than ever throughout this time, and our group relied on us. Our P.A.S.S. (Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender) program was in full power, saving group pets from the chilly, offering meals and water to pet homeowners in want and a lot extra.

As we gained management over our personal disaster, the main focus turned to animals who have been shedding their lives in shelters that didn’t have energy as we madly transported greater than 1,000 of them to different cities that might assist. Whereas Austin is the most secure place for pets within the US, solely a tiny fraction of the 150,000 animals shedding their lives every year in Texas can get into Austin. The chilly disaster obtained us to consider Austin as a pit cease within the journey from one very harmful place in TX to a a lot much less harmful place within the north, even when that last vacation spot isn’t at Austin’s stage of No Kill success. In doing so, we began to open the door to creating Texas No Kill. As of immediately, 2,228 lives have been saved in 2021 because of your help of the transport efforts in Texas.

April: Launched partnership with Austin FC

The primary-of-its-kind honorary mascot partnership featured APA! canine obtainable for adoption as Austin FC honorary mascots at every Austin FC regular-season residence match all through the 2021 season. The most effective factor about this partnership is that the main focus was on canine who usually are seemed over within the shelter as a result of they’re too large or too previous. Because the launch of the community-centered partnership, 15 Austin FC mascots have been adopted!

September: Austin tenth No Kill Anniversary

2021 marked Austin’s tenth 12 months as a No Kill metropolis. When APA! was based in 1997 as an all-volunteer advocacy group, Austin Animal Middle’s save fee was 15 %. In June 2008, APA! was reborn as a rescue group and by 2011, the town reached a 90 % dwell launch fee, making Austin the most important No Kill metropolis within the U.S.

Ten years later, our metropolis now has a 97 % dwell launch fee. Along with you, the very best values of the individuals of Austin are represented in the way in which we look after our group’s pets.

October: Shelter Re-opening

By late October, after over a 12 months of adopting APA pets completely on-line, we determined it was time to re-open our doorways — safely. With masking and different security measures in place, our shelter is now open Saturday and Sunday from midday to six p.m. Seeing our group members in particular person in spite of everything this time has been one of many highlights of the 12 months.

November: Metropolis Decision Passes

We pulled off one other season of profitable lifesaving regardless of the challenges with our City Lake facility and restrictions inside our settlement with the town. This November although, we achieved a serious milestone in working in direction of a years-long overdue resolution. Our settlement, because it had not been up to date in over 10 years, didn’t enable us to satisfy our group’s mission. We have been restricted by the places during which we may assist surrounding shelters whereas holding Austin No Kill. And we have been restricted to an arbitrary variety of animals that we should pull from Austin Animal Middle, which has the most important municipal finances within the nation, even when it meant we have been duplicating their work.

With no new settlement, our residence within the coronary heart of the town and our daring imaginative and prescient for the way forward for animal welfare was in jeopardy. On November 4th, Metropolis Council voted to permit us to soak up animals from anyplace and stay at residence in our present location. We nonetheless must finalize an official lease settlement, which ought to mirror the worth of the land use by way of donated {dollars} we spend to undertake out animals of their cost. However we’re thrilled that one of many two main roadblocks to a profitable authorized partnership is now out of the way in which. It will NOT have occurred with out you elevating your voice and telling the council that saving our four-legged, and typically three-legged, relations’ lives, responsibly, issues to you.

In the present day

We’re happy with the progress we’ve made on our new strategic plan we introduced final 12 months. We’ve accomplished and are implementing a wide range of packages to be a sustainable group and to spend money on our individuals. We’ve additionally opened our Human Animal Support Services (HASS) mission so any group could be a accomplice and, in doing so, exponentially grown the work underway to vary the way in which authorities shelters operate- by shifting the main focus from simply animals to families- each human and nonhuman. In the present day now we have 104 HASS partner organizations. Right here at residence in Austin, we’re persevering with to search out higher methods to avoid wasting the lives that we encounter in want, it doesn’t matter what problem or trauma they’ve to beat.

As we are saying goodbye to 2021 and howdy to 2022, we’re nearing 100,000 intakes of animals since 2008. That’s practically 100,000 that will’ve been killed for conduct quirks, medical points and even only a lack of house at partnering shelters. Along with you, APA! continues to be the security internet for pets who’ve nowhere else to show.

In 2021, we by no means may have anticipated the help that you simply gave to animals and we’re so grateful for YOU. Nonetheless, we’re nonetheless in need of our December aim for donations to help the work we have to kick off on January 1, 2022. If you are still in a position to help financially this year, please click here to make a gift because, thanks to generous anonymous donors, it will be doubled up to $100,000 through December 31st. Every bit helps exponentially if given before the year ends.

Thanks for all the things you do for the pets that want you most. Joyful holidays and pleased new 12 months!

-Ellen Jefferson, DVM

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