As you may have read in this letter from our Executive Director, Dr. Ellen Jefferson, a core team of staff from APA!, in addition to Lee Ann Shenefiel from Austin Animal Center, are traveling to Palm Valley Animal Center (PVAC) this coming Sunday. This effort is both part of and a perfect example of the work that is being done through our new Maddie’s® Lifesaving Academy. Aimed at helping communities across the country build or bolster their own No Kill communities through apprenticeships (hosted at APA! and AAC) and hands-on mentorship, we’re hitting the ground running with Palm Valley.
Many of you have likely seen pieces about Palm Valley Animal Center in the news or on social media lately. It’s incredibly important to know that instead of putting their heads in the sand, PVAC is working hard to make the changes necessary to save thousands of lives a year. They are welcoming us to their shelter with open arms, and we are excited to be a part of this critical transition.
Here are the details:
Over the course of the coming week, our team will be on the ground, working hand-in-hand with the staff at PVAC. During that time and in addition to helping them get their legs up under them to stand up crucial No Kill programs, we will also be pulling animals to save them immediately by either transporting them to other shelters or directly into APA!’s care in Austin. We’re expecting around 150 animals this coming week to be transferred into APA!’s care. After this week, we’ll stay in touch with PVAC and mentor them through this period of transition.
Are you interested in getting involved with this initiative? Here’s where you come in.
- Most urgently, we need foster homes. Specifically for our current and incoming dog population, but also for our cats. The application process is quick, simple and straightforward – and your home will quite literally save two lives (the pet you take and the pet who can be saved because you freed space at our shelter). Click here for the dog foster application and here for the cat foster application.
- For those in the Palm Valley area, please know that you can easily save a life through fostering! PVAC and APA! staff will be on the ground there, ready and waiting to help make a wonderful foster match for you. Click HERE for more information.
- Transport volunteers. This may sound similar to what happened during Hurricane Harvey, and it is – though we have slightly more time to organize it now! We need people willing and ready to head down to Palm Valley (~4.5h drive one way), load up their vehicles with pets, and truck them back up to Austin during the coming week.
- These transports will likely be hard to plan in advance, so we’re looking for people who will be able to leave on short notice and have larger vehicles.
- For all interested, please complete a quick volunteer application HERE and follow the instructions on the auto-response email. Please note that we will require the pets travel in individual crates in a climate-controlled vehicle.
- Neonatal Kitten Volunteers. While we will likely need more volunteers for the coming couple of weeks across the board, we are estimating a huge number of incoming bottle baby kittens, right before our traditional kitten season. If you’ve ever thought about volunteering in our amazing Neonatal Clinic, please head HERE to fill out an online APA! volunteer application.
- Donations. The only way Palm Valley will truly be able to continue its journey to No Kill and change its status as one of the most dangerous areas for cats and dogs in Texas to one of the safest, it has to have funding. Please consider donating by clicking HERE to help them on this incredible and, literally, lifesaving mission. Austin Pets Alive! is also estimating that it will cost at least $5,000-$10,000 to send our staff and supplies to PVAC for the week, as well as care for an influx of up to 150 pets. To help ensure we can work together to move PVAC forward, donate using the form below.
- In-Kind Donations. Our team on the ground has identified a few key items that are needed right away: Babycat Dry Cat Food, Babycat Canned Cat Food, Exam Gloves, Medical Gowns, and Shoe Covers. These items can be ordered through our Amazon Wish List and be sent directly to Austin Pets Alive!. These items will help our team on the ground and our team in Austin to continue care for and help these most vulnerable lives.
Together, we can try to stop the needless killing of over 300,000 animals in Texas every year. There are communities who are ready to make big changes, and there are people who want to help. Thank you, so much, for your support in saving these most vulnerable lives.