What are APA! Constant Companions?

by Lindsey Picard • Posted in: General

Constant Companions are generous monthly donors who support Austin’s most vulnerable pets! These consistent and planned gifts directly support APA!’s groundbreaking programs that save over 10,000 cats and dogs every year. We recently reached out to one of our Constant Companions, Shaina Singh, to see why she enjoys being a Constant Companion and why she chooses to support Austin Pets Alive!’s lifesaving work.

Why are you a Constant Companion?  

Shaina: I became a Constant Companion because I believe in APA! and Dr. Ellen Jefferson’s mission to keep Austin No Kill. My decision to become a Constant Companion came about a year after I decided to start fostering. My second foster, Otto, had been with us for one full year and I was unable to take more foster dogs so my way of staying dedicated to APA!’s mission was to become a Constant Companion. This was in 2014 and I haven’t looked back since!

What’s your favorite thing about APA!?

Shaina: Most people (volunteers/staff) I meet at APA! are there because they are driven by their love for the dogs and cats and are fueled to do their part. Imagine being surrounded by this kind of driving force of love and advocacy. It is truly remarkable and it’s my favorite part about APA!. Not to mention all the amazing doggies. I guess you could say I am partial to all the dogs. :)

Why are you passionate about animals?

Shaina: Animals speak to my soul. I know it sounds corny but you will see me with the widest grin on my face when I see a dog. I smile at them, say hello, and I like to believe they smile back at me. I have always grown up with dogs. The love for animals was instilled in me by my grandfather who raised me. As an adult, I adopted my first rescue dog from a shelter in Fort Worth, TX and his breed said “pit bull-type.” I noticed that people were often scared of him and there was a stigma around pittie-type dogs. Well, that added advocacy for pit bull-type dogs and love to the mix and you get me. I am one fierce loving animal person.

Feel free to share a story about an APA! animal!

Shaina: So, I have two dogs from APA! whom my spouse and I adopted. I want to share Otto’s story because I think it is extra-special. We started fostering Otto on September 11th, 2013; he had been on the foster list and was known for being a resource guarder. I remembering meeting Otto for the first time and being very apprehensive. He immediately bonded with my spouse and became his shadow. We worked with Otto around his resource guarding, jumpiness, reactivity, and barking and lunging at strangers. He showed tremendous improvement and became a calmer, confident dog. He learned commands such as drop it, sit, get back, and out of the kitchen (which meant that we could get the toy/ball away from him, move his food bowl if we wanted to, etc.). We fostered Otto for TWO full years. During that time, there was never a hit on his adoption. We would barely get any inquiries. Otto was making his way into our family photos, etc. Around the two year mark, we started getting inquiries out of the blue from potential adopters. He even had someone meet him in person and show great interest in adopting him, but we never heard back from them. As the inquires grew, so did our grief around no longer having him around. I remember sitting down with my spouse and saying to him that Otto was part of our pack and I could not imagine it any other way. My spouse hugged me and said he was worried about it too and knew this was the right decision. So, here is a photo of my Otto whom I love dearly. He has been a part of our pack from day one. I guess you could say it took us two years to admit it. ;) This photo is from Halloween 2015 right before we officially adopted him.

This September, we are celebrating 10 “human years” of APA! as an animal rescue organization, and the over 60,000 lives we’ve saved with the help of the APA! community. Our community is made up of amazing fosters, adopters, and donors, like Shaina, who help us continue to save more and more lives each year. We could not do the work we do without the support of our Constant Companions, and we look forward to the next decade of saving lives together!

If you are interested in becoming a monthly donor, you can sign up and learn more here: austinpetsalive.org/constantcompanions