City Council passes resolution that allows Austin Pets Alive! to take in animals from outside Central Texas

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the last decade, Austin Pets Alive! has called the old Town Lake Animal Center (TLAC) in downtown Austin home. During this time, the nonprofit has worked in aiding the city with its efforts of implementing and maintaining its “no kill” status.

However, for the last several months, the nonprofit has been working with the city under a short-term agreement. This has allowed APA! to continue occupying TLAC. The agreement is set to expire on Nov. 23, and if they cannot reach a deal, the nonprofit’s president Dr. Ellen Jefferson said they may have to move operations outside the city limits.

At present, Jefferson said they are exploring other options and looking at sites where APA! could move its operations.

Thursday, the Austin City Council voted to pass a resolution that could allow APA! to take in at-risk animals from outside the five-county Central Texas region it is currently restricted to. This is one of the terms APA! wants to resolve before moving forward with a land-use agreement with the city. Those at the nonprofit added this would allow them to fulfill the organization’s mission.

“Our mission is to eliminate the killing of pets in shelters and we need to be able to help an animal, no matter where it’s located,” Jefferson said.

Right now, APA is required to take in around 3,000 animals from the Austin Animal Center each year. The nonprofit wants to review this requirement with the city. The resolution also addressed that term as it would direct the city manager to negotiate new animal intake requirements with APA! based on a specific percentage of how many animals the city takes in.

It would also require the nonprofit to take in animals that are considered at “high risk for euthanasia” including treatable “parvo puppies” and “bottle kittens” as well as small dogs and at least five behaviorally challenged large dogs each month.

In a statement, a City of Austin spokesperson said, “The City values its partnership with APA! and at the same time wants to ensure that the City’s investment of taxpayer dollars is focused on supporting animals found in the City’s jurisdiction. We hope that an agreement can be reached, but no matter where the negotiations take us, the City is committed to maintaining its No Kill status.”

When asked what would become of the building and location if an agreement cannot be reached, the city said, “If an agreement is not reached, the City would continue to use the Town Lake Animal Center site as an adoption venue. AAC would either work the site with their current staff or find another organization to run it for them. Carrying forward the City’s mission in using City taxpayer investments to support animals found in the City’s jurisdiction is a top priority for the City of Austin.”

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