Austin Pets Alive! | City of Austin Landscape for Animals

Feb 26, 2024
A few weeks ago, we informed you about the political happenings in Austin around animal welfare, in particular, around the city seeking to pass a resolution allowing the euthanization of dogs with bites on their records. We want to keep you updated on progress and current events on an ongoing basis.
We are happy that the resolution was amended to offer a six month waiting period before immediately taking action; the dogs with extreme bites on their records currently still have the opportunity to receive rehabilitation. As we shared previously, part of our opposition with this resolution comes from inaccuracies in data. We continue to see data issues surrounding the information coming out of Austin Animal Center and so have not yet built up trust that making decisions to euthanize, without letting partners see the information first, will not irresponsibly end the lives of innocent dogs. We will keep you informed on this as we get closer to the 6 month timeline.
If the data is not accurately being used within 4 months, we may need your help to ask for an extension or some other form of intervention. To be extremely clear: we do not intend for dogs who are actually dangerous to be released for adoption. We intend to be sure that if such a process is employed, it is used expertly ,accurately and responsibly.
There are three new major updates worth sharing:
Audit Update: The city of Austin’s Audit Recommendations for Animal Services is being worked on by the city staff. I met with Assistant City Manager Hayden Howard who explained the process for compliance. The two areas that she is specifically working on are building relationships with partners and the strategic plan. To review — the audit said that (pull out titles of the two recommendations that fit here). She believes that both areas will be in compliance by end of the year which gives us hope. We do not have details on how those issues will be resolved just yet.
City of Austin Partner Organization Coalition: A coalition of organizations that are impacted the most by Austin Animal Center’s policies and programs formed in 2023 to work on a shared vision for Austin’s animals and people in the future. Our goal was to help our city leaders see where Austin could be heading if we were all pointed in the same direction. This was truly groundbreaking as it brought together groups that often work independently and even sometimes at odds for example — APA!, Austin Humane Society and TRAPRS]. It also brought together voices of community members who care about animals but aren’t part of organizations through the use of surveys and public forums. Our 2024 plan for this group is to continue the partnership to bring our community together even further. Austin Pets Alive! will continue to have its own voice, as will all the organizations represented, but there is much that we can speak on together as well to keep improving our city.
Animal Sheltering in Austin Survey: We asked the Austin community to give us information on what they were aware of, what they wanted to see happen in Austin and how important pets were in the busy city landscape. The survey closed February 16 and we will share tidbits from it over the next few weeks. This week, the piece that I think is most interesting is the huge support our community has for animal issues from all areas in Austin. We asked which council member district people lived in and were surprised to see every district represented and no one district being overrepresented.

And of the over 1,100 responses, it is clear that the No Kill policy is extremely important to the majority. There are a few who do not believe it is important but the vast majority want it to stay.

As the city moves into strategic planning for animal services, it is more critical than ever to advocate for what pets, and people who love them, need. Our city has long been a place that has prided itself on going above and beyond for pets. We are committed to helping to keep it that way.

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