When Austin Pets Alive! started rescuing animals in 2008, Austin was somewhat rich in resources that prevented births. For almost ten years, more and more resources were put into spay and neuter programs, but the live outcome rate at our city shelter was stuck around 50%. Of course, the population of Austin was quickly growing, so it’s likely that the spay and neuter resources were helping our live outcome rate from getting worse.
While several resources were going into prevention and reducing intake, there was no effort to increase live outcomes from the shelter. Austin Pets Alive! saw that gap and created programs to save the key demographics of pets that hadn’t been making it out of our municipal shelter alive. These key groups of animals included puppies with parvovirus, unweaned kittens, cats with ringworm, dogs and cats in need of additional behavioral support and/or additional medical attention.
By developing comprehensive, innovative programs that targeted these key groups of animals and pulling directly from euthanasia lists, Austin Pets Alive! has saved more than 25,000 dogs and cats since 2008.
These programs include:
- Parvo Puppy ICU: for the treatment of dogs and puppies stricken with parvovirus
- Neonatal Kitten Nursery: for the feeding and treatment of orphaned, unweaned kittens
- Dog Behavior Program: to support dogs that require additional behavioral attention
- Dazey’s Ward: designed to treat cats with ringworm and contain the fungus within a quarantined space
- Barn Cat Program: to find alternative homes for undersocialized or feral cats
- FeLV Sanctuary: to house and find homes for cats diagnosed with Feline Leukemia
- Medical Triage Clinic: designed to provide routine and emergency care on an open admissions basis
- PASS: for animals that could avoid shelter surrender altogether with a little assistance
The success of our programs and the excellent work of other local animal welfare organizations has led Austin to save more than 90% of animals since 2011.