Since 2008, Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) has rescued, treated and adopted out more than 50,000 dogs and cats at risk of needless euthanasia in traditional shelters. APA!’s role in Austin is to provide a vital safety net for homeless pets through programs designed to save the key demographics of animals that previously weren’t making it out of the city shelter alive—unweaned kittens, ringworm kitties, cats with feline leukemia, parvo puppies, other sick and injured pets, pets with behavioral issues, and seniors. Because of APA!’s groundbreaking programs, Austin has been No Kill since 2011 and is now saving virtually all treatable and healthy homeless pets. Over the years, APA!’s capacity has grown to take in around 10,000 at-risk pets yearly from shelters in Austin, surrounding counties, and a growing number of outlying communities. Plus, APA!’s successful lifesaving programs are now being taught to shelter professionals from around the country. Recently, APA! has been experiencing an increase in senior dog intake as it continues to build out services for older pets. Dental disease is one of the most common health problems among APA!’s senior dog population, and often requires time-intensive surgical treatment in the on-site medical clinic.
Funding from Grey Muzzle will provide in-house dental treatment for some 21 senior dogs that were previously at risk of euthanasia before finding safe haven at Austin Pets Alive!. The dental care funded by this grant will not only improve the quality of life for these dogs by supporting good oral health, but also remove a barrier to adoption by eliminating the need for costly post-adoption treatment. The faster these dogs are able to find forever families, the sooner they can start living out their golden years in the comfort of a permanent home. And as they move through APA!’s shelter/foster network into loving homes, this will create space for APA! to save even more lives.