We're in the home stretch of the busy summer when kitten season causes intake at shelters to spike.
So far, we've maintained a 90%+ live outcome rate throughout the summer at the Austin Animal Center, Austin's municipal open-intake shelter, from where we rescue the majority of animals! Thank you, Austin, for your amazing support and compassion for our homeless pets! Read on for more highlights and good news.
May live outcome rate: 90%
June live outcome rate: 92%
July live outcome rate: 93%
The average intake at the Austin Animal Center (AAC) in years past was over 23,000. Last year, our first year at no-kill, the intake was about 18,000. We're very happy to report that even with milder temperatures than last year and more rain, the intake this year is on track to be about 19,000 by the end of the year.
The increase so far at AAC this year, compared to the same period last fiscal year (which runs October through September), is a total of 250. Thanks to our home at the Town Lake Animal Center, which we moved into at the end of May, we've increased our intake from AAC by 728 this fiscal year. In fact, in July, we took in a record 677 animals from them, compared to 256 in the same time period last year!
[caption id="attachment_22103" align="alignleft" width="231" caption="Leopold was found by a good samaritan, who tried to find his owners before taking him to AAC. He reported good behavior from Leopold. But at AAC, Leopold was "stiff and unresponsive" during his behavior evaluation and was placed on the at-risk list. We pulled him into our program and he was adopted 6 days later!"][/caption]
Adoption rates at the Town Lake Animal Center, combined with all of our off-site satellite locations, have been fantastic! Our adoptions have been keeping pace with our intake and so far this year, over 4,200 (averaging to nearly 600 per month) have been adopted into their new homes and we are on track of blowing away our adoption goal of 5,000 by the end of the calendar year. We are now on track to rescue and adopt out 7,500 dogs and cats this year.
In order to keep up with the increased intake, we've doubled our vet staff, expanded our dog behavior program, and kept our incredible foster program running full-speed.
Dog Quality of Care at the Shelter
The dogs who are ready for adoption and do well in a shelter environment, live at the shelter. We have a large team in place to ensure they are receiving the best quality of care possible in a shelter environment, providing love and enrichment until they find their new home.
The highest energy dogs and ones who don't like play groups get out for walks multiple times per day, thanks to our dedicated volunteers and the Jog-a-Dog program, run by Team Spiridon. Our city's dogs are so fortunate to get to go on daily outings at the beautiful Lady Bird Trail.
We have to send a huge shout out to our amazing foster teams! It is because of them that we are able to save the numbers we are saving. By sending animals into foster homes, they are getting the socialization and quality of care they deserve and are much better prepared for adoption.
Our foster program has been so successful that it's become a national model for a large-scale foster program and we are presenting nation-wide at animal welfare conferences to private groups interested in starting their own. Our foster program is so successful that it is the equivalent of having the kennel space of over 2 Town Lake Animal Centers. That is a lot of lives saved!
In the middle of the summer, at the height of kitten season, we have up to 600 animals in foster homes and our very large, mostly volunteer, amazing foster team keeps it all running smoothly.
Once again, thank you, Austin, for helping save our community's homeless dogs and cats! We still need your help, as we have at least another 4 weeks of high intake at AAC. With our increase in staffing, we need donations more than ever to keep up. And we always need great fosters, adopters, and volunteers!