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Animal Shelters Take Action

With more volunteers and lower adoption rates, can we stay no-kill?

By Monica Riese, 3:42PM, Thu. Jul. 26, 2012

The new Austin Animal Center on Levander Loop is already packed.
The new Austin Animal Center on Levander Loop is already packed.
Photo by Jana Birchum

The city of Austin this morning announced two initiatives to help alleviate overcrowding at area animal shelters.

In the short term, the Austin Animal Center (7201 Levander Loop) and Austin Pets Alive! (1156 W. Cesar Chavez) are offering a "name your own adoption fee" special from July 28 through July 31. Prospective pet owners can pick a price (minimum $20) for any ready-to-adopt animal through month's end. Both organizations are battling extreme overcrowding in the busy summer months.

The special prices will be available at both permanent locations as well as two new off-site adoption centers, open 11am-5pm: Sunset Valley Petsmart (5207 Brodie, Saturdays) and Lakeline Petco (14010 Hwy. 183 N., Sundays).

In a more long-term initiative, AAC is actively recruiting new volunteers to add to its force of 350 – including cat socialization experts, office assistants, customer greeters, and more. Animal Services volunteer coordinator Sarah Luce said in a statement that most of the center's active volunteers can't work more than six hours a month, so the office "would like to recruit and work with retired residents who have time and a love of animals."

As Josh Rosenblatt reports in this week's issue, Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith is asking for an additional $1 million in the upcoming budget to help fund 18 new positions. "Our unmet needs are all about people," Smith said. "We need people."

Prospective volunteers must be at least 13 years old and will receive training. Hours can be between the hours of 7am and 9pm, depending on the duty. For more information, visit www.austinanimalcenter.org or call 978-0533.

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