A Note from Ellen Jefferson

by Rebecca Reid • Posted in: Awareness/ PR

Hello Everyone!

As you may have recently learned, APA! received $1.26M from Maddie’s Fund as part of the $3M total award to Austin Humane Society (AHS), Austin Animal Center (AAC), and Austin Pets Alive! This was the largest LifeSavings Award Maddie’s Fund has ever made, and we are truly honored.

APA! will dedicate these funds to building a new shelter – once we find a site.  Our agreement with the City of Austin to operate at Town Lake Animal Center (TLAC) ends May, 2015. I want you to know about all of the effort we have put into finding a new site.  I, along with our Campaign Chair Rusty Tally, have spent countless hours over the past year looking for land to purchase for a new facility.

We are searching mostly in the Central and Southwest areas of town to assure equal distribution of adoptions facilities along with the AAC and AHS facility.  Additionally, we are seeking a very visible and easily accessible site for adopters and volunteers.  We must assure easy access to our pets because we represent the population of dogs and cats least likely to be adopted. And our operation relies on 2,000 hours of volunteerism each week and hundreds of foster families – so we want to be sure everyone can help easily.

The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) came to us with an option for a piece of land near Travis Country, the Oak Hill Park.  We are in the process of a feasibility study to determine if this site is viable for our needs as well as a fit for the neighborhoods and Parks & Recreation Department.  We are very appreciative of PARD for their commitment to help us find a site.

We are in the early stages of exploration of this site.  There is still a lot of homework and investigation to be done to determine if this site may or may not be a fit.  We are debriefing the Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday, April 22nd about our investigation into this site.  We began the conversation with the neighborhood early on and have remained available to communicate with the neighborhood about their concerns. We have tried to address all neighborhood and environmental concerns.  Short story – we are operating on good faith and will continue to explore all options brought to us to determine whether or not they would work for all interested parties.

We would love to have some support at this meeting, which starts at 6pm at City Hall.  If you come, please wear an APA! shirt and remember to bring your parking ticket upstairs with you for validation. This would be a good opportunity to listen and hear about what we’ve done so far and our next steps.  It is also a good opportunity to show PARD that there a lot of people in Austin that do care where APA! goes next.

Thank you again for your support.  Every single person at APA! is so important and Austin wouldn’t be No-Kill without you! Let me know if you have any questions about tomorrow and I will continue to keep everyone informed of our progress.



Ellen Jefferson, DVM
Executive Director
Austin Pets Alive!