AAC recommendations and APA’s proposal

by austinpetsalive • Posted in: Awareness/ PR

After 3 months of public meetings and more research of best practices nationally, the Animal Advisory Commission submitted their plan of recommendations to City Council last week.

Part of that plan is APA’s proposal to increase our partnership with the City and run their adoption program.

We believe we can leverage our huge volunteer team, foster program, off-site adoption program, and expertise in low-cost, high-volume  spay/neuter to move more animals through the program to adoption – 3,754 more animals (in addition to the 10,000 the city is already processing), to be exact.  And all for a lower cost than the City could.

Specifically, we are proposing to increase the live outcomes without increasing the city’s budget at all. Because we are a nonprofit and can actively fundraise, we plan to bring $1.5 million yearly in private donations to the partnership to cover the increase in costs.

This would, in turn,  free up the City’s resources to continue focusing on what they do well – animal control and prevention.

We believe we can increase adoptions by expanding our off-site adoptions, increasing hours to the public, increasing public relations, implementing a dog behavior program to help all of the untrained adolescent dogs that are currently being euthanized, and improving efficiencies with getting the animals ready for adoption.

In addition to our proposal, the AAC’s plan contains a lot of exciting recommendations and we encourage you to check it out.

City Council will be meeting to discuss the AAC’s plan the first week of March.

Thank you, KVUE, for running a story on this tonight!

See video of APA’s president, Dr. Ellen Jefferson, discussing our proposal with the AAC:

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11 Responses to "AAC recommendations and APA’s proposal"

  1. Sallysays: February 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    But important work — the adoption program — would be transformed from paid work to volunteer labor, that kind of de-professionalization gives me pause.

  2. Saritasays: February 13, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I believe that the adoptions are carried out mostly by paid staff and the implementation of a dog behavior program would probably be volunteered time from studied behaviorists, it’s worth a shot! Too many animals are being killed.

  3. austinpetsalivesays: February 13, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Thanks for your comment! We would likely have as many paid staff as TLAC currently has – but we’d supplement with a lot more volunteers. We think we can do it more cheaply than TLAC because we can actively fundraise, which TLAC cannot do as a city agency.

  4. Sallysays: February 13, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Thanks for the reply! That makes me feel better, adoption assessment, animal assessment, animal care, chasing all the paperwork, are real WORK! Work that deserves pay. So the cost savings would come not from the transformation of paid labor to free labor but in the ability to fund raise, that makes sense!

  5. Brandysays: February 14, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I am so glad to hear that someone is working on a viable solution to this horrible problem! I hope that, if APA succeeds in gaining control of TLAC, they will foster a more welcoming atmosphere for adopting animals than TLAC currently fosters. My husband and I looked into adopting a pet from Town Lake recently, and it was a very unpleasant experience. We ended up adopting a pet elsewhere. I understand the necessity to ensure that pets are going to responsible, permanent homes, but do potential adoptive families need to be treated with suspicion and hostility, as if our very presence is an imposition on shelter staff? This hardly seems to be the best way to encourage adoption!
    I think if an attitude that embraces adoption as an exciting and positive experience for all parties was adopted at Town Lake, then people would be more inclined to pursue adoption of an animal from that facility. BEST OF LUCK TO APA!

  6. Cindysays: February 14, 2010 at 12:31 am

    My husband and I converted our guest suite into a kitty condo and have adopted 4 cats from Town Lake Animal Shelter since November that were within a day of being killed. They are loving, beautiful, healthy cats. It breaks my heart to think these wonderful little souls would not be here simply because someone with no animal behavioral experience at Town Lake said they were “too sick” or “they hissed at someone” or they “had a cold.” This heartless killing has to stop – I am ashamed of Austin. Austin Pet’s Alive you are AMAZING! I see all the cats you foster and am learning of all the enormous efforts you are doing to make Austin a no-kill city. What can I do to help the cause?

  7. austinpetsalivesays: February 15, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Thanks Cindy! First, you can email city council and let them know that you support the AAC recommendations and APA’s proposal. (Or even if you don’t, you can just let them know that you want to see a no-kill Austin).
    And we’re having a volunteer orientation next Sunday. We have them about every three weeks. You can sign up here. Once you submit your volunteer app, you’ll be emailed an invite to orientation.

  8. Camsays: February 17, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I read the recommendations document linked above. It references several appendices that aren’t attached. Are those available for public review also?

  9. austinpetsalivesays: February 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    I had the same question, Cam. That’s what the AAC published electronically. I will see if I can find the other pieces and will publish them too. Suspect the AAC does not have them in electronic format, which is why they’ve been left out.

  10. austinpetsalivesays: February 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I just spoke with the chair of the AAC. He said that 70% of those appendixes were in paper form. Everything has been given to the city, who is supposedly scanning it all and will post it all online. We’ll post a link to that as soon as it’s up.

  11. Judysays: March 9, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    The letter I sent to the Mayor and City Council members, in case anyone wishes to use all/part of it for their own letters:

    On Thursday, March 11, please vote to implement the Animal Advisory Commission’s Plan for significant improvements to our City’s Animal Services – a plan that reflects the Council’s directive to reduce the killing of lost and homeless pets by increasing live outcomes and reducing shelter intake.

    A particularly important part of the Plan is the proposal for Austin Pets Alive! to operate a Comprehensive Adoption Program at Town Lake Animal Center. This proposed adoption program will result in the saving of 3,750 lives that are currently dying year after year at TLAC. Further, if the Plan is voted through without APA!’s Comprehensive Adoption Program, it is likely that our city will NOT reach the goal of becoming “No Kill” (90% save rate).

    Austin Pets Alive! has a proven track record, having saved the lives of 3,500 cats and dogs in just the last 18 months. For the Comprehensive Adoption Program at TLAC, it can leverage its huge volunteer team, foster program, off-site adoption program, and expertise in low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter to move more animals through the program to adoption. And, this can be done without increasing the city’s budget, as APA! is a nonprofit organization and can actively fundraise.

    Again, please vote to implement the AAC’s Plan, including APA!’s Comprehensive Adoption Program, to make Austin a No-Kill City!