AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin's no-kill animal shelter status could be in jeopardy as the number of pets continues to pour in. City animal officials fears it could eventually run out of room at its new shelter.
Austin has just recently moved into a new shelter with fewer kennels than before. Smart move when you declare "No Kill" - NOT! Now Austin Pets Alive wants to take over the old shelter.
Austin Pets Alive loses the lease at its main headquarters later this spring and wants to take over the entire Town Lake site. The city's animal services staff said they need part of the site for overflow from its new center.
So what has been going on with this move into a new shelter just when you are packing them in, stacking them up, moving them out to questionable foster homes?
"We lost ground since we've moved into the new shelter," said one volunteer from the new Austin Animal Center. "Dogs that could be saved with some amount of training and work are being euthanized."
Does that matter to Austin Pets Alive? Course not, they are seeing dollar signs. Austin Pets Alive has entered into a deal with the City of San Antonio to take 4000 animals and bring them to Austin for adoption. Now wait, how does that figure in when Austin is now having to euthanize for space? APA is taking space away from the Austin pets and getting paid to do so.
Now for the comments which are a story in and of themselves. These are questions that need to be answered.
Why are the other Austin rescues not being given the chance to use the kennels, it was mentioned other groups would like the chance. My other question, what happens when the out of town "quickly adoptable" pets that are being used to fund APA, hit 6-7 months or 18 months and their impulse adopters get tired of them? Does APA have a back up plan for them? Will they take them back in or will they then flood AAC or WCRAS and surrounding shelters to be killed there? Making our kill numbers increase in a few months.
What is the plan for the out of town returns? Are other groups going to have access to the space? WIll AAC be able to house the overflow dogs (who decides the amount) so behavior or long term stay dogs can get help instead of being killed for lack of space?
FACT: The APA is getting from the City of Austin.
FACT: The APA is getting to use TLAC kennels at no cost to house their animals.
FACT: The City of Austin is paying $7,000 to $8,000 a month to cover the utilities at TLAC.
FACT: The APA wants to use all the kennels at TLAC, many of which are deteroriated and they want the City of Austin to pay for repairs.
FACT: APA feels that they can not only take animals from AAC, but they also want to bring animals from San Antonio. That is because the City of San Antonio offered them $200,000/year to take 4,000 of their animals. All will be housed at APA's only location- TLAC.FACT: APA yearly revenue is over 1 Million Dollars, yet, they do not pay for a facility or utilities. 2/3 of their expenses is used for salaries.
FACT: Nowhere in negotiations, there are any considerations to benefit any of the other rescue organizations in Austin. Even though rescue organizations pull a large number of animals from the shelter, those local rescues are not offered kennel space at the shelter and of course, local rescues are not offered any compensation.
SHADES OF BRENDA BARNETTE, LA CITY AND BEST FIENDS!!!
As usual, our favorite in Austin, the man that Whinograd loves to hate, Delwin Goss sums it up.
I just want to register my opposition to the way last night's AAC meeting was held. 9 of the 10 slots for pubic input were allotted to APA supporters because; instead of making it 5 and 5; the chairman allowed first come first serve. Most other rescue groups have to operate rescue in their homes and mostly out of their own pockets. They don't have the luxury of fat budgets and being able to store animals at the taxpayers expense.
Our current "No Kill" plan just continues to gobble up more and more tax dollars while we cut back on public safety, the parks, the arts, programs for our at risk kids, programs for our disabled and programs for the homeless. Then again? This is Austin and it's a City with a lot of people who never felt the sting of poverty growing up.
I think the conclusion was forgone and the meeting was basically a dog and pony show to meet the requirements of taking public input. Still hoping the other rescue groups will organize and sue the City for allowing to occur " conflict of interest" on the animal advisory commission
I doubt it matters. We can all see where this is going. The outsourcing of shelter operations to a nongovernmental ; i.e. private entity. No surprise since the City Council and the Animal Advisory Commission is dancing to the tune played by FIX Austin; a Republican lead organization.
Keep Austin Weird!
So there you have it folks. Austin ain't quite working the way Natan Whinograd wants it to go. Then again, does anything ever go the way he wants?