Oct 07, 2023
Austin Pets Alive! is a private nonprofit dedicated to eliminating the needless killing of shelter pets. We have been extremely successful because of the strategy we employ to make Austin, and now other cities, No Kill.
Our No Kill strategy is simple and two fold:
We save lives by drawing attention to, and taking pets off, the daily euthanasia list while
Allowing that attention to apply pressure on the city to get the proper resources they need to decrease the euthanasia list themselves.
In 2021, we worked with the city council on an amendment to our city contract that has caused some community and government staff confusion that we hope to dispel with these three points:
1. Foundational to APA! is to pull only from the euthanasia list to have a measurable effect on the kill rate which ultimately helped the city achieve No Kill status in 2011. It is important to note that critical to this strategy, and implied by the creation and use of a euthanasia list to eliminate pets that they do not have the resources to care for, is that the city can manage and care for all the animals not on the euthanasia list.
2. Our long term contract was extraordinarily overdue and in need of an update. The old contract created in 2011 was built on a guesstimate of the size of future years’ euthanasia lists; this contract stayed in effect for years past its expiration date with extension after extension after extension which ultimately led to operational misalignment between AAC and APA!. This was resolved in contract negotiations in 2018, when it was mutually agreed that APA! would continue to focus on the euthanasia list, but always have a 12% minimum, as long as we used TLAC. Even though that was documented in 2018, land issues prevented it being signed and so in 2021, APA! worked with city council to bring the extension-riddled contract in line operationally to match the agreement from 2018. The current contract wasn’t finalized until 2023 due to TLAC land issues.
3. In response to the community demand that AAC do better for the pets that are not on the euthanasia list, the city council has more than doubled the AAC budget between 2008-2023 to allow AAC to reduce the euthanasia list, provide in house medical and behavioral care, as well as community support to meet their stated mission.