Dear Austin,

How is it possible that a city like Austin is still killing over 50% of the animals in it’s shelters?  It is unbelievable but true: dogs and cats just like yours and mine are still dying in Austin.  Just today I read about a young husky mix with a wonderful temperament and good behavior, who will likely get euthanized because he won’t be given the opportunity to get adopted.
I am tired of being heartbroken every day for these animals wishing I could do something more for them. Aren’t you?
For those of you that don’t know me, I founded EmanciPET Spay/Neuter Clinic in 1999 because I believed that spay/neuter was the only answer to the problem of too many pets being euthanized in our animal shelters. I still believe that spay/neuter is an integral piece if the No Kill recipe. EmanciPET is doing a great job getting over 80,000 animals fixed in and around Austin. However, I no longer believe that it is the only piece needed to create a No Kill city. One reason is that there are now statistics that show that there are many more homes available for a new pet each year than the number of animals we kill in animal shelters. Spay/neuter is still a cornerstone but there is more that needs to be done.
As I have gotten to know the shelter system better over the years, I have come to realize that a community like Austin could have a shelter that does better in terms of life saving. Does that mean that I think Town Lake Animal Center is bad? No, I actually think that the fact that the city funded shelter is charged with animal control rather than animal welfare makes it impossible for our city to think in terms of “no kill”. Austin is lucky enough to have a Humane Society that saves about 2500 animals a year. While this is definitely admirable, we need more animals saved.

 I recently joined Austin Pets Alive! as President because I don’t want to wait for our city government to change the mission of TLAC. I don’t want to wait the years it will take to build a new city shelter that might be able to save more animals. I am not the only one that doesn’t want to wait- the 13,000+ pets killed each year don’t want to wait either. I believe Austin Pets Alive! is the organization that can make this happen.

Austin Pets Alive!’s mission is to promote and provide the resources, education and programs needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals in Austin. APA! has been creating smaller safety nets for pets for 10 years. With that mission in mind and the massive amount of work that needs to occur to get Austin to No Kill, I am asking you to help Austin Pets Alive! create a facility that can temporarily shelter all the animals that need our care so they don’t have to go to TLAC. Help us create the facility that will implement life saving programs. The Austin Pets Alive! Resource Center will focus on prevention, retention, and adoption with innovative, efficient, and most importantly life-focused procedures.

Please join me in solving this problem NOW.
I am bringing to the table the background and expertise to implement the operations. I need you to help APA! by donating for a building, volunteering to help implement these life saving programs NOW, and spreading the word so that all of Austin knows about our plans. There is hope for these pets, we just have to unite and make it happen. Let’s stop the daily killing of 30+ animals at our shelters.


 Ellen Jefferson, DVM

PS. With as little as a $50 donation, we can save one animal today and find it a new home using our PASS program. With a bigger donation, we can continue to grow our fund to move into a facility where we can actually shelter animals and not rely solely on foster homes.