Last week, I got my start in nonprofit, and it was like coming home. I am someone who aspires to be very transparent, do more with less, stay humble, produce results, and provide real value to the world around me. I’ve always loved animals, felt personally pained by the thought or sight of an animal struggling, and passionately rival senseless killing. I just started at APA!, and I can already tell the organization and people a part of it are all of these things and so much more.
Last week was my first week at APA! and I immediately saw that this is not your average animal shelter. With staff and volunteers uniquely skilled for running specialty programs for at-risk dogs and cats, the animals that come and stay here are the ones who need us most. They are cats with Feline Leukemia Virus which we welcome to a shared, open space to meet potential adopters while our team conducts groundbreaking research on this retrovirus – discovering in the process that it doesn’t deserve a death sentence. They are dogs with complicated pasts we can’t know the extent of, but our behavior team members embrace, listen to, and guide them to better choices. They aren’t just adopted to any families but the right families through our matchmakers, because they aren’t just any pets. And “they” aren’t just the hundreds at Town Lake Animal Center, they are the hundreds more under our care in Tarrytown and with our network of foster homes.
This organization helped the Austin community achieve what seemed like the unachievable in 2011 with the city becoming No Kill, and we now know Austin can achieve a more than 97 percent live release – but the work has far from ended there. These highlights are just a few which impacted me in the less than five days of me being a part of this cause. Every minute I’m on the APA! campus I’m surrounded by animals on journeys – resilient animals that are now under the care of resilient people who help other people help these animals too. I’m so excited to help share more and more of their stories with our community. Know a story I should start with? Let me know here!
– Sarah Collica, APA! Marketing and Communications Director