While we are thrilled that the kill rate has dropped to 30% this year, Austin's rescue efforts are still leaving behind way too many great pets. Based on our volunteers' in-depth knowledge of Austin's animal shelter (TLAC) and best practices in the industry, we approached city council with a proposal to help accelerate the reduction in our kill rate.
We will be discussing the proposal at the Animal Issues Forum this month, which happens to be tonight and Thursday afternoon. Please visit their website to get more details about times and the Forum itself.
The details in our proposal are still tentative - we are currently in discussions with city staff and city council. The current draft that we have released has three major pieces:
1. APA! will be present daily, working as TLAC trained personnel, to eliminate bottlenecks in customer service, behavior evaluations, and medical make ready.
Did you know that TLAC has a bottleneck with getting animals ready for adoption (vet checks, sterilization, behavior evaluations etc.) and processing adoptions? Sadly, cages sit empty while pets are euthanized, because they don't have the staff to get the pets ready for adoption. We propose to provide assistance to get more animals through the system and ready for adoption.
2. APA! provides trained volunteers through Coalition for a No Kill Austin to augment Customer Service for Rescue and Reclaim.
As we mentioned in an earlier post, TLAC cut one of their two rescue coordinator positions this year, and transfers to rescue groups have decreased by 281 (excluding APA!'s rescues) so far this year. Since we have multiple rescue coordinators at TLAC every day, we propose to help coordinate efforts with other rescue groups.
3. APA! will provide the workforce to maximize customer interactions resulting in fewer owner surrendered animals and increasing returns of lost pets to owners.
Most pets are surrendered because of behavior problems. We'd like to counsel people who are giving up their pets to see if we can help them work through their problems and keep their pets in their homes.
Also, many owners do not or cannot understand what they need to do to get their lost pet back home safely. We would like to help people navigate the city system and the animal community to result in higher rate of return to owner.
We hope that you will join us at one of the meetings this week. We will post details about our final agreement with the city once we have them.