FAQs

Who is Austin Pets Alive!

Austin Pets Alive! is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to stopping the killing of Austin’s adoptable dogs and cats.

Led by Emancipet founder, Dr. Ellen Jefferson, we want to see the end of the killing of the homeless pets in Austin, Central Texas, and the entire country. APA! is leading the No-Kill movement in Austin by energizing the public and running innovative life-saving programs designed to save the animals most likely to die in shelters.

What are we doing?

In 2008, APA embarked on a bold and aggressive initiative to make Austin a No Kill City as fast as possible. APA began building the resources needed to create a “safety net” for the pets of Central Texas and their owners. By looking at the reasons why animals are killed in shelters like the Austin Animal Center (AAC), APA was able to create specific lifesaving programs that address those issues head on. These programs are innovative and in some cases the only examples in the US.

From 2008 through 2011, Austin Pets Alive! was focused solely on making Austin a No-Kill city by targeting only those animals at AAC. Since then, we have focused on collaborating with AAC and other area rescue groups to maintain Austin’s No-Kill status, in addition to expanding our reach. We actively rescue pets from surrounding shelters as our space permits, with the goal of creating a No-Kill Central Texas.

In addition, we host an annual No-Kill Conference through our American Pets Alive! arm and regularly meet with other groups from around the country to help them increase live outcomes in their shelters.

The key feature to our work is that we took the initiative to think big and work hard to save ALL the animals at our shelters. That has been our defining characteristic. We are anti-status quo.

Which pets do you save?

Before Austin Pets Alive! began actively rescuing dogs and cats in 2008, the city of Austin was euthanizing over 50% of the animals that came through the shelter each year. In order to not duplicate the work of any other group, APA! began focusing solely on the healthy and treatable pets who had no other options and would be killed the next day. We continue that work today, remaining the safety net for the bottom 50% of animals that were historically killed.

We have created specialized programs for those populations of animals with a great need: puppies with parvovirus, orphaned kittens, cats with ringworm, dogs with behavior challenges, geriatric animals, and more. We will continue building new programs to save all of the healthy and treatable pets.

Is Austin already No-Kill?

The nationally accepted standard for a No-Kill community is a community that has a live outcome rate of over 90% on a month-to-month basis. APA! helped create and lobby for the No-Kill Plan, passed by Austin City Council in March 2010. In February 2011, Austin reached that 90% No-Kill benchmark for the first time ever, and we couldn’t be more proud. Read about Austin’s progress.

It is important that the community continue this urgent lifesaving work, as maintaining No-Kill each month takes just as much passion and dedication as achieving that status in the first place.

How can you help?

Donate: APA! needs donations to cover the cost of medical care, shelter, food, and other necessities for each and every animal. Consider joining the Constant Companion Club, donating online, writing a check, or donating an item from our wish list.

Foster: About two thirds of APA!’s adoptable animals are in foster homes at any given time. Having temporary, loving homes available directly impacts the number of lives APA! is able to save each day. Fill out a foster application online to open your home and save a life.

Volunteer: APA! relies on a dedicated volunteer force to implement our ambitious vision and enrich the lives of animals in our care. Fill out an application online to get started.

Adopt: When you adopt a pet from APA! you are saving not one, but two lives – the life of the animal you’re bringing in to your home, and the life of an animal waiting for a kennel to open up at APA!. Check out our adoptable dogs and cats online to meet the newest member of your family.

What programs does APA! offer?

APA!’s core programs are Rescue, Foster, and Adoption, in addition to our other innovative lifesaving programs including our Medical Triage Clinic, Neonatal Kitten Nursery, Parvo Puppy ICU, Ringworm Ward, Dog Behavior Program, Barn Cat Placement Program, Feline Leukemia Sanctuary, Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender, and American Pets Alive!.

Most of these programs are either the first or the largest of their kind in the United States.  Visit our Programs page for more information on each specific, groundbreaking program.

Where is Austin Pets Alive! located?

APA! is now located at the Town Lake Animal Center, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St., Austin TX 78703. Formerly the City of Austin’s municipal shelter and still owned by the city, APA! has an agreement to operate our programs at this facility through 2015.

In addition, we have a number of off-site adoption sites open daily throughout the community, including our iconic trailer on South Congress, and various PetSmarts and PETCOs.

Is every animal spayed/neutered before adoption?

Yes! APA! provides a complete medical workup including spay/neuter on every animal before adoption. This lessens the financial burden on the adopter, and ensures that placed animals do not contribute to more pets in our community.

What are APA!’s funding sources?

We work partly from fees for service (adoptions) and mostly from public support including grants, sponsorships, and individual contributions. We do not currently receive any funding from government entities or national humane organizations.

Are donations tax-exempt?

Yes, we are a 501(c) (3) recognized charity by the IRS.  Our tax ID is 74-2893360.

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