Since last Thursday, in addition to our day-to-day operations, Austin Pets Alive! has experienced two unexpected expenses.
The first, was being asked to take in Tiny Tim, a seven-month-old puppy with severely malformed legs from being kept in a crate that was too small. The surgery that might return his ability to walk must be performed by a specialist, and we needed funds to pay for this, and for his rehabilitation and aftercare. We put out a plea for funds, and within 24 hours, all of the money to pay for his procedure had been raised by donations from people in the community.
Then, as an arctic cold front blew in on Saturday evening, one of the decades-old heaters in our kennels failed to keep up. We knew from a similar experience two years ago in a different kennel that replacement of the heater is the only option because these units are so old they don’t even make parts for them anymore. There are 12 heaters total on our property and we are asking the older ones, through repairs and maintenance, to limp along until we build our own shelter. This one could not make it, the ones adjacent to it couldn’t compensate for the loss, and space heaters simply blow all the fuses. Again we put out a call for help and again it was answered within 24 hours. Radiant Air Conditioning and Plumbing offered a generous discount on equipment and, combined with the donations raised from the public, we were able to fund the new unit. We expect it to be installed within the week, as soon as Radiant can get permits drawn and cranes in to install it (and remove the old one).
And, the $10,000 matching challenge issued by the Riseman Foundation, at the beginning of this month, was met through general donations.
I am in awe of the generosity of our community and of the support you give our shelter pets. Austin leads the nation as the model of a No Kill city. What we have done here is unprecedented and is beginning to have an impact across the country as communities look to Austin to learn how to save their own dogs and cats.
Not one of these pets would be saved without humans. Take a look at this video featuring some of our APA! Family. You are a person who helps pets. Every time you donate, volunteer, foster or adopt you are making a difference - and you do it because it’s the right thing to do. I want to thank you for being a part of this amazing thing we’ve done here in Austin.
That being said, these two events draw focus to the fact that we need funding for our day-to-day operations just as much as we do for emergencies. During the winter, our animal intake goes up and our fosters and volunteers are often not as available because of the holidays. We also see a spike in utilities, use of laundry, and paid staff time.
Today, APA! has 863 animals in the care of its staff, fosters and volunteers. Every one of those animals was at risk of being killed someplace else but here they are safe. It is easy to forget that that’s 863 mouths to feed, 863 sets of vaccines to be given, 863 visits to the clinic and so on. To keep serving those 863, and the 7,500+ we will see in 2017, we will continue to need your support.
Thank you for all you have done. And thank you for allowing me to continue to ask for your help. These animals rely on us to ask the community for help to save them. Thank you for being part of the beautiful answer.