It’s Monday morning in February, six days before our official 6th Annual No Kill Anniversary Party, we have a half-empty shelter and it looks like every other shelter in Austin does too. Over the last three days, more than 270 dogs and cats were adopted from Austin Pets Alive! alone, and more than 600 from our network of Austin animal shelters (Austin Animal Center and Austin Humane Society) after a blowout adoption event sponsored by Petco Foundation.
This adoption success is unprecedented and I believe is an indication of what is to come as we both celebrate a huge No Kill milestone (SIX years!) and look toward a future where pets are never killed just because they are homeless. Most people in Austin don’t realize just how unique our No Kill mantra is compared to other cities around the US. We are unique because we, as a community, believe that pets are valuable and, more importantly, that they are family. This community not only has high ideals but also takes the actions necessary to ensure that these family members are not left behind and forgotten (see the line of people waiting to adopt and imagine the diligent work that went into meeting all those people, matching them up with dogs and cats both onsite and virtually, and processing more than five times our normal adoption applications!).
America is watching Austin for many reasons but one is particularly important to us – No Kill. We not only save more and more animals each year, and even have the luxury of helping other communities save lives, but our city partnership and our infrastructure gets stronger and stronger every year too. That means that No Kill is becoming cemented as a way of life here in Austin and we ALL (adopters, volunteers, staff, fosters, donors, supporters) play a part in that.
There is no time like the present to celebrate all the lives saved over the last three days, and past six years and we have the party already planned: please join us this Sunday, Feb 19 from 6-10 p.m. at the Palm Door on Sixth for our Sixth Annual No Kill Anniversary Party. The great news is that there are still some tickets available. This is seriously one of the best parties of the year – I mean what is better than celebrating six years of NOT killing puppies, kittens, dogs and cats?!? You will not want to miss it!
Ellen Jefferson, DVM
Austin Pets Alive!