Now more than ever, you are needed to donate your old blankets, towels, and sheets to your local animal shelter. With financial cut-backs, repairs on shelters are often put off, so if it's drafty, the animals suffer. I know my shelter uses rags to stuff under doors. No kidding! Empty out those closets... this is your chance to get rid of stuff and do something useful!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Great Job, Austin Texas!

Remember this story? There's hope (and now accomplishment!) in Austin, Texas.

Abandoned dog adopted from Town Lake Animal Center

Achieving 90% no-kill is doable.  The Town Lake Animal Shelter shows how.
“This is truly an accomplishment and it shows that the hard work of the staff, partners and volunteers is paying off,” said Abigail Smith, chief animal services officer. “Despite the busy season and an influx of kittens and cats, we were able to overcome some serious challenges and continue to lead the nation’s largest cities in live outcomes. It’s a testament to Austin’s commitment to the no-kill goal, and an example of what success looks like when the whole community comes together. We are very grateful that Austin cares about its animals. This is no-kill in action.”

The Animal Center continues to work on the Austin City Council-approved 34-point No-Kill Implementation Plan, which focuses on programs, services and partnerships to reduce animal intake and increase live animal outcomes.

TLAC's rescue partners are a significant contributing factor in reaching the no-kill status, according to Smith. Austin Pets Alive! and the Austin Humane Society, the top two rescue partners, save hundreds of animals from the shelter each month. In June, APA! saved 350 pets and the humane society rescued 90.
The article goes on to mention how fostering has helped. Many times, a dog gets to a shelter and they are stressed and might misbehave. They don't know what's going on, they might have been lost, given up/abandoned, and their world has turned upside down. A foster family gives the dog a sense of security again, which is the main thing they want. They re-learn, or learn for the first time that they are safe, secure, and will be getting regular meals. Dogs are so adaptable and they respond extremely well to a regular routine.   Dogs that have been successfully fostered have a much higher rate of a successful adoption. And it allows the shelter to take in another dog and not have to make room by euthanizing.

It's not as hard as you may think to give up a dog you've fostered, especially when you take the time to get to know his/her new family. It actually gives you a sense of real accomplishment. I say this from experience.

Kudos to Abigail Smith, Town Lake's director, and to the City of Austin, who took very seriously the need for a dedicated, driven, and enthusiastic shelter director, and found the right woman for the job.