Target: Austin City Council
Goal: Retain city funding to keep Austin’s No Kill status intact
After a routine inspection of an animal shelter last week and loss of funding from the city, Austin, Texas’ No Kill status might be revoked in 2013. Austin is the largest city in the country to boast No Kill status, meaning that 90 percent of Austin’s homeless animals are rescued from euthanasia. The city became No Kill after years of grassroots efforts from organizations, especially the local nonprofit Austin Pets Alive. Support Austin Pets Alive as the organization gears up to raise funds to save the city’s No Kill status.
Austin became a No Kill city in 2011. That means the city does not condone euthanizing animals that are adoptable or when shelters are full. Millions of pets are killed each year because they end up in shelters – pets that could be saved and loved by adoptive families. Organizations like Austin Pets Alive are saving pets by increasing knowledge about pet adoption, making adoption a viable first option for people who want a pet, spaying and neutering pets to reduce the number of homeless pets, and offering price-reduction spay and neuter services to low-income pet owners.
A contractual agreement between the city of Austin and Austin Pets Alive stipulates that Austin Pets Alive could move its headquarters to the Town Lake Animal Center if at least 3,000 pets are saved each year. This move helped Austin Pets Alive shelter more animals than would have been possible before. Since January 2012, Austin Pets Alive has saved more than 4,000 animals. Despite their great performance, the organization faces challenges that could take away Austin’s No Kill status.
First, the city of Austin is removing funding from the organization’s rescue services. The city supported the organization by providing funds to care for an additional 480 animals. While that is only one-tenth of the total number of animals saved so far this year, it is an imperative financial contribution that helps Austin Pets Alive shelter, treat, and feed pets. Now the nonprofit is faced with raising funds to maintain care for these additional animals and to keep rescuing and sheltering homeless or abused animals.
Next, Austin Pets Alive’s new headquarters, the Town Lake Animal Center, was issued a probation notice stating that all kennels need to be resurfaced by October 2013. After passing inspections this summer, the organization was hit by surprise. Resurfacing all the kennels will cost around $100,000. This is another huge cost that the nonprofit will have to find a way to finance.
These two obstacles put the organization and the city at risk of not meeting the 90 percent rescue rate throughout the year. The city of Austin needs to keep helping the organization until the kennels are resurfaced so the No Kill status that was fought so hard for for years can be maintained. Support Austin Pets Alive and Austin’s No Kill status by urging city of Austin council members to keep funding the organization until enough money has been made to cover all costs of running the shelter and keeping a 90 percent rescue rate.
Dear Council Member,
I am writing as a supporter of Austin Pets Alive! (APA) and the No Kill initiative. Please continue to provide and increase the contributing funds to APA, so that there are no lapses in Austin’s coveted 90 percent status. Also, I respectfully ask that you act immediately during this emergency.
There are three reasons why I believe APA deserves the City of Austin’s financial support:
1. APA received a surprise inspection stating the TLAC kennels must be resurfaced by October 2013, and costs will most likely be in the $100,000 range.
2. After this month, APA will no longer receive the contributing funds from the city per the contract. APA is contracted to save at least 3,000 animals this year, but has outperformed in order to sustain 90 percent each month. APA has already saved 4,000 with two more months of the year still to go. The city’s funding is critical to APA’s larger-than-expected number of rescues, and without it, APA’s operations and ability to help the city keep up with the number of animals needing their lives saved will diminish by as much as 30 percent.
3. The city contracts with other non-profits such as Emancipet for hundreds of thousands of dollars. APA provides an extremely valuable service to the city that I believe is worth similar city funding.
[Your Name Here]