Thank you so much to everyone who came out yesterday for the No Kill City Council Candidate Forum. We had a great turnout and appreciate you all giving up your time on a Sunday to help our City's homeless pets.
The following is a brief summary of yesterday's event:
Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez started off the event by thanking everyone for coming and for getting Austin to where we are now (on Thursday, TLAC was at a 90% save rate for the month of April) and vowing his continued support to keep Austin no-kill.
Then we proceeded to ask candidates questions about no kill. We were pleased that all candidates who appeared vowed to commit to keeping Austin as no kill, defined as getting at least 90% of animals out alive (with the other 10% being too sick/injured or too dangerous to be safely released into the community that they must be humanely euthanized).
The biggest issue of the day was that animal advocates are concerned about of the move of the City's Animal Services from their central location at Town Lake Animal Center to a remote, difficult-to-find location in East Austin and how that is going to affect adoptions. This is scheduled to occur in just 6 months.
All candidates agreed that the existing space at Town Lake Animal Center must be kept open long enough as an adoption center to ensure that the City is able to maintain its no kill status and that partnering with a nonprofit is the ideal solution. They also agreed that the nonprofit should:
Offer high-volume adoptions from the centrally-located space.
Offer only pets transferred from the City of Austin for adoption (as opposed to pets from outlying communities) at that space.
Move into the existing TLAC space immediately when the City moves, allowing no break in adoption services at that location.
And finally, all candidates were willing to work on housing solutions for Austinites so that restrictions on dogs are based on temperament, not breed. However, none were comfortable committing to creating an anti-breed discrimination law.
Candidates were sent a questionnaire last week with 10 questions. Their answers are published on <a href="http://fixaustin.blogspot.com/2011/05/austin-city-council-candidates-answer.html">FixAustin's website</a>. We encourage you to read their answers before voting. Early voting started today and the last day to vote is May 14th.
Thank you so much to the candidates who participated. We encourage you to leave a brief comment on their facebook pages, letting them know that you appreciate them giving up their time to discuss this cause: Laura Morrison, Place 4 Chris Riley, Place 1 Randi Shade, Place 3 Kathie Tovo, Place 3
Max Nofziger, Place 3 (Max does not have a facebook page)