AUSTIN, August 24, 2012 – Austin Pets Alive!, a nonprofit dedicated to making Austin a “no-kill” city, announced this morning that five separate air conditioning units at the Town Lake Animal Center are failing or on the verge of failing during the hottest time of year.
APA! President Dr. Ellen Jefferson said the group is waiting on an estimate but expects new industrial air conditioners to cost approximately $10,000 per unit, or $50,000.
The group, which relies almost exclusively on volunteers and donations from the community, does not currently have the funds for the air conditioners.
Jefferson said the bottle-fed kittens are housed in a large building with functioning air conditioning units that are on the brink of failing, and four other areas are in near-critical condition, including the kitten nursery, the cattery and the ward where dogs with Parvo are housed. Administrative offices also lack proper air conditioning.
“We are fortunate in that no animals are currently dying or suffering from the heat, but we cannot afford to wait until that happens, so we are putting out a plea now, today, for funds to replace these units and for fosters to take in animals temporarily,” she said. “Although we have not yet reached a state of emergency, we have decided to call on the community now to ask for help.”
Jefferson said the most critical unit, the kitten nursery, is the top priority. She said aside from monetary donations, fosters who can temporarily house kittens until new air conditioning units are installed is among the most urgent need.
The group still awaits an exact estimate, but Jefferson repeated that they can not wait for the final figures to put out a plea.
“We cannot wait for life-threatening temperatures to ask the community for help; we need to raise funds before things get worse.”