Evictions are on track to be the number one reason cats and dogs enter the public shelter in Austin. Based on our Pet Eviction Calculator, in Travis County alone a whopping 37,340 pets are at high risk of eviction.
If these evictions span the course of 60-90 days, as is expected, our shelters will be overwhelmed. The shelters are not able to absorb even a fraction of this number of displaced pets, without invoking mass euthanasia. We need your help to prevent the senseless loss of animals' lives.
People are already giving up their animals in anticipation of being evicted, and with the federal eviction moratorium expiring on October 3 we have a very short window to act and prevent catastrophe.
There are two actions we are asking of Austinites today:
When you reach out, please say or write that we need real solutions for the whole family, including pets, and animal welfare leadership must play a key role in the city's eviction response.
You may have heard Austin Pets Alive! championing the Human Animal Support Services (HASS) model that turns industry-facing, shelter-based Animal Services into outward-facing, community-centered Human Animal Support Services.
This fundamental reimagining of Animal Services addresses the root causes of animal shelter intake, in order to serve more pets in their communities and homes and to reduce the number of pets entering the shelter system. HASS partner shelters across the country are preparing for the eviction crisis by expanding community-based sheltering options, like temporary safety net fostering programs, right now. You can read more about HASS's tools and resources for keeping families together through the eviction crisis here.
We have two choices in the face of this catastrophic looming eviction crisis: let it happen and bemoan the senseless waste of pet life, or do something about it. I hope you will join APA! and do something about it, starting today.