On September 30, the City of Austin closed Fiscal Year 2009. It is important that the hard work of the volunteers of Austin Pets Alive! is shouted out loud and clear. Austin, as a whole, has made huge strides over the last year in increasing the save rate of animals at Town Lake Animal Center and thanks to an amazing group of individuals, APA! has been the largest measurable part of the reduction in euthanasia.
Even more inspiring is the fact that this is our first full year of impacting TLAC. Our community needs to understand the critical role we play in reducing euthanasia.
TLAC Euthanasia of dogs/cats Fiscal Year 2009 Compared to 2008 (numbers are dog/cat only):
- FY09 Euthanasia 6,161 dogs/cats
- FY08 Euthanasia 9,946 dogs/cats
- Decrease of 3,785
There are only 2 major factors affecting this reduction:
1. 1,938 dogs/cats saved by APA! (1,783 animals were rescued by APA! and an additional 155 dogs/cats were adopted straight from TLAC due to APA!’s marketing)
2. 1,985 fewer dogs/cats came into TLAC (most likely and hopefully due to spay/neuter efforts but this number is not directly measurable against changes in the human population, drought conditions affecting animal populations, etc…)
APA!’s impact is the only measurable large-scale success factor in the decrease in euthanasia at Town Lake Animal Center.
APA! is a grass roots group with no external support from the City or national animal welfare organizations. It is astounding that your hard work has made such a tremendous impact on shelter animals’ lives. I cannot emphasize enough that 1,938 animals would not be alive if APA! had not come into existence this year. We are in no way implying that the critical efforts of other rescue groups was not important, it is just that APA! is the only increase. There were no other major changes this year in the saving of animals who are scheduled to die at TLAC.
Austin Pets Alive! deserves to be recognized for the hard work for which we all toil away day in and day out. The recognition is not to stroke our human egos but to shine a light on what a group of motivated individuals can do and to urge our city to embrace this trend and let APA! help the city to save the rest of the animals at the shelter.
As more statistics are released, you need to know that your work is recognized by me, our Board of Directors, and from now on, the public.
Ellen Jefferson, DVM
Austin Pets Alive!