This weekend, as we head into the American Pets Alive! conference and celebrating the 3rd year as the largest No Kill City in the US, I wanted to take a second to share with you something that knocked my socks off.....
Did you know that in 2013, hundreds of extremely dedicated volunteers donated their skills, expertise, and love to APA! – to the tune of more than 2,000 hours EACH WEEK or the equivalent of 50 full-time staff members. According to the current valuation of volunteer time of $22.14 per hour (2012), determined annually by the Independent Sector, APA! volunteers contributed the equivalent of $2,334,109 during 2013. And that doesn't even count the monetary donations that also came from our volunteers and fosters during the year.
Looking at those numbers, it is no wonder that Austin is leading the country in No Kill. We are a force to be reckoned with of volunteers, fosters, and staff. It hardly seems possible anymore, but it was only 6 years ago that our city had a terrible death rate for dogs and cats. And you know what? It seems impossible now because you and the volunteers before you made it stop and, every day, keep preventing it from reverting back. Don't ever forget that.
This weekend is such an exciting time because it is our chance to show the world what we did and what we keep doing. And hopefully the AmPA conference attendees will leave Austin, inspired by the work you do, and go save animals in their own communities. I know it seems crazy, but saving lives in the proportion that Austin does, is extremely difficult for most cities. But as hard as this work is, we have a lot to celebrate and I hope everyone takes a second to high five the next APA! volunteer (and the next one after that) that they see.
Thank you so much for making Austin Pets Alive! the place that you spend your time. energy and love. The animals of Austin, now living in homes all over this city and beyond as well as those in our care, are so grateful for you. You truly are making a big difference every day.