AUSTIN (KXAN) - A special celebration is set for Saturday at the Austin Animal Center to celebrate the first year of operations that facilitated more than 7,000 animal adoptions.
The event begins at 10:30 a.m. with a brief program involving city officials and partners, then continue with behind-the scenes tours every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 7201 Levander Loop.
Adopters from the past year are invited to bring their favorite pet photo. Winners will receive prizes from the Friends of the Austin Animal Center.
A birthday cake will help commemorate the first birthday, and adoption fees will be waived from Saturday to Nov. 18.
All pets adopted from the center will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and will go home with a collar, tag and microchip. These services, valued at more than $200, will help the pets stay healthy and safe.
"The first year has gone by very quickly and has been one with its challenges," Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith said. "Every day we face capacity issues but the one thing we know for sure is that Austin is the most caring city in the country. The city has been able to save more than 90 percent of its homeless pets because of the community."
New senior program: Classic Cats & Canines
The center will also launch a new volunteer run program named "Classic Cats & Canines" which is a program to help place older pets with senior residents. The program is a partnership with AARP and members will be able to adopt pets 5 years of age or older with no adoption fee.
On Saturday, the center will open at 9 a.m. to introduce these older pets to members of AARP.
Also, to help increase the number of pet adoptions the Austin Animal Center conducts offsite adoptions every weekend at PetSmart in Sunset Valley in South Austin and PetCo at Lakeline in North Austin, as well as other businesses who would like to conduct animal adoptions.
"The offsite adoptions have been very helpful to help us manage the high number of kittens and cats entering the shelter," said customer service supervisor Jennifer Smith. "This year has been an extremely busy and record-breaking for the number of cats coming to the shelter. Bringing pets to the community is helping us save their lives."
AAC works with its more than 100 animal rescue partners to help place pets in loving new homes, as well as more than 200 volunteers to help manage the daily tasks of caring for hundreds of homeless pets that enter the shelter.
- Pet adoptions=7,54
- Pet transfers to rescue groups=6,327
- Cat/dog spay/neuter surgeries at Austin Animal Center=5,440
- Pets in foster care=2,611
- Foster care families=1,003
- Volunteer hours=43,785
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