Amid COVID-19 fears, Austin Pets Alive! (APA!), is urgently aiming to get 50% of its animals in homes to be prepared for potential spread causing fewer people available and more animals to care for. The shelter is encouraging anyone in and around Austin who is considering adopting a new cat or dog to come to the shelter over the next few days. Both APA!’s Town Lake Animal Center (TLAC) and Tarrytown locations will have normal hours of operation. APA! is also seeking as many new dog and cat fosters as possible. Interested individuals must apply online and receive confirmation from the appropriate foster coordinator before coming to TLAC.
“We need to urgently prepare because a huge concern is that fewer animals will be going out as potential adopters are staying home, but the same regular flow of animals will be coming in to the shelter for our help, leading to a deadly bottleneck,” said APA! Executive Director Dr. Ellen Jefferson. “What will happen if the COVID-19 spread affects our staff members who become exposed and need to stay home? Over the next several days, we want to get as many of our animals in foster homes or adopted so we have space for the inevitable crisis that is unfolding.”
APA! serves as a safety net for Austin animals, regularly taking in many dogs and cats directly from Austin Animal Center (AAC) to increase the city’s capacity for lifesaving. Community support with getting animals from either shelter into homes right now will prepare the shelters to maintain Austin’s high animal save rate when the effects of COVID-19 hit Austinites harder so Austin companion animals won’t be at risk.
APA!’s national outreach and education division, American Pets Alive! (AmPA!) has taken what APA! is doing, along with its proven protocols used to keep Austin the largest No Kill city for animals, and has created a guide for what other shelters should be doing right now for COVID-19 readiness. To see the list of shelters across the country signing on to get prepared with AmPA!, visit americanpetsalive.org/COVID-19.