Austin Goes No-Kill!

by Hilary Bentley • Posted in: General

Three years ago, Austin Pets Alive! set a goal of making Austin a no-kill city and we never once doubted that, of all cities, Austin would be able to do it. Yesterday, TLAC announced that in the month of February their Live Outcome rate was 92%. The No-Kill goal is 90% so not only did Austin reach No-Kill, we passed it! We have been so impressed by the efforts of TLAC staff to increase adoptions, improve their capabilities, and decrease intake since the no-kill ordinance was passed. This achievement is a sign that a no-kill city IS possible, but we must remain persistent to ensure that it remains no matter the month or year.

One month of No-Kill doesn’t mean we’ve finished the race but we’re sure glad to see a no-kill shelter director, Abigail Smith, come to TLAC to continue working on making sure that Austin STAYS No-Kill.

We’re also proud to have been such a major part of this incredible achievement. APA! received the breakdown of transfer to rescues today and we transferred 149 pets into our program from TLAC. 102 were transferred to all other rescues combined. Our hard work and innovative approach to adoption is clearly making a huge difference in the lives of Austin’s homeless pets!

Congratulations are owed to everyone. Every volunteer, foster, donor, every other rescue group and anyone who simply supported the No-Kill goal. All of you made this happen!

18 Responses to "Austin Goes No-Kill!"

  1. Madisays: March 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    I think the no kill idea is GREAT! I love the idea! Keep going!

  2. Davesays: April 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Congratulations!! You should be very proud of this accomplishment. Good job, APA!

  3. Ingesays: April 18, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I love that you reached your goal and hope it will continue to be successful every month, because animals are so precious. Please don’t put CLEO to sleep, she looks like such a nice cat and I’m sure her issues can be resolved with love and compassion. Unfortunately I can’t adopt or rescue her since I’m in California but I’m begging you to reconsider and give her a little more time to find a home.
    Thank you

  4. austinpetsalivesays: April 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Cleo is at the City of Austin’s Town Lake Animal Center. She is not in our program. APA is a network of mostly volunteers, a little staff, and little funding doing what we can to save as many of the pets as possible from Town Lake Animal Center and outlying shelters. We are doing all we can, volunteering around the clock, to get out as many pets as possible, but unfortunately, we’re not in a place yet where we can pull every single healthy/treatable dog and cat from the shelters. We’re working toward that goal, and we are so close, but we are simply not there yet.

  5. blucatsays: May 5, 2011 at 11:16 am

    going no-kill seems like a good thing, but what are you going to do with all of those animals? it seems good, until you overflow, and can’t feed them all. also, austin banished petstores because of that. but, if people want a certain pet, they will not go check the shelter first, they will go to a breeder, or a place out of town. they will check pounds and rescue centers last. this, to me, is NOT a good thing!

  6. austinpetsalivesays: May 5, 2011 at 11:37 am

    No-kill is about increasing marketing so that people who would normally buy a pet would adopt instead. 75,000 new pets are acquired in Austin every year, yet only about 23,000 are going through our shelter system. There are plenty of homes out there who want a new pet – it’s our job to find them.

  7. blucatsays: May 9, 2011 at 11:22 am

    still, i think that this was a bad idea. you are being very optimistic, but i still don’t agree. and, what about the money that petstores were contributing to the economy. now, it is down.

  8. blucatsays: May 9, 2011 at 11:24 am

    think, people!

  9. blucatsays: May 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

    do you charge people; do they have to pay to adopt an animal? if not, where does your money come from? if it comes from the government, that isbad seeing as obama spends a lot, and people don’t like more and more taxes being taken away from them. you have to understand this! i don’t want the animals to be hurt if you lose money or have an overflow and can’t take care of them any more.

  10. blucatsays: May 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

    i have 25 animals, i know what i mean, and i know that i love them

  11. blucatsays: May 9, 2011 at 11:33 am

    i am studying to be a vetrinarian
    i would not harm an animal.

  12. blucatsays: May 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

    i want to help you by having you understand what i am conveying

  13. blucatsays: May 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    why are mai comments not still on this page? are you embarrassed that i comment mai views, that are slightly different from yours?

  14. blucatsays: May 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    any way, you will find mai comments in other places too. i am high in politics
    ~~~~blucat =^-^=~~~~

  15. Karoly Molinarisays: May 19, 2011 at 9:42 am

    No kill is the best new I heard today. Hope it could happen all over the world, so that way the humans would be blessed and the world would be better. God protects all animals in the world, they do have the right to live happy and safe also. Congratulations for NO KILL!!!!!!!!

  16. Danielasays: May 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    As a person who has been working hard for animals in need for over eight years, I am pleased to hear about any situation where animals are saved.

    That being said, I think there are still a lot of things we need to look at when we say “no-kill.” First of all, did becoming a no-kill facility mean limiting the admission of animals into the shelter? If so, are the excess animals that you were taking in going to a facility that does euthanize? Is their funding decreasing because people are drawn to donating to a “no-kill” facility?

    Also, is the 90% save rate for ALL incoming animals, or just for the healthy/adoptable? If it is for all incoming animals, how do you deal with animals that people bring in specifically to euthanize (or do you, unlike government shelters, not offer this service) and feral cats? Do you encourage people who have brought ferals in to re-release them?

    This questions are genuine, and I would love to hear the answer as no-kill has started to be debated in my community, far away from Austin.

    I wanted to also say to blu cat: pet stores who sell animals (especially ones that are unhealthy or badly bred) actually make the economy worse–people relinquish those animals to shelters, and THEN we have to pay for them through taxes. Also, almost every shelter does require an adoption fee, and those that are government funded are performing public safety for the community. The percent of money going to those shelters is small compared to the rest of the budget, and it keeps us from having dogs running wild on the street or rabies outbreaks happening. In other countries, that does happen.

    Thank you.

  17. austinpetsalivesays: May 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

    The announcement was about the entire City of Austin becoming no-kill. Austin has one open intake facility (Town Lake Animal Center, or TLAC), which had a kill rate of 50% over about a 10 year span, until 2008, when APA started rescuing pets from their list of pets to be euthanized the next day. (While APA, along with another local group, FixAustin, provided the final push to make Austin a no-kill city, lots of other groups in town were already doing some amazing work. The City shelter has over 90 rescue group partners and Austin has a structure in place for low-cost and free sterilization services, including TNR.)

    The 90% save rate is for all incoming animals to TLAC and is the standard definition of a no-kill community. The other 10% are too sick/injured/aggressive to be adopted out. Unfortunately, the term “adoptable” can be grossly manipulated, so part of the no-kill plan that the City Council voted to implement last year was very specific about having a 90% live outcome rate of all incoming animals.

    There was no limiting of intake. Austin is not the only community with open-intake shelters to go no-kill. Reno NV, Charlottesvile VA, and Ithaca NY are all no-kill communities as well. In fact, our city’s new shelter director came from Ithaca.

    TLAC does take in pets that people bring in specifically to be euthanized, but the number of those is low. The city is still working on our feral cat releasement programs, but yes, we are working toward sterilizing and returning them. Our animal control officers do not trap and bring in feral cats, they only come in through the public dropping them off.