How Do You Measure a Year?
In the middle of 2011 the City of San Antonio had to make a decision about whether or not to continue to pursue the city’s No Kill mission. City leaders have struggled with the urgent and difficult problem of high euthanasia rates for years. In some ways, it might have been easier to drop the initiative and avoid criticism, but leaders took the courageous route and decided to soldier on rather than give up on achieving No Kill status. In late 2011 the city agreed to work with the newly formed San Antonio Pets Alive! to implement the Austin Pets Alive! model here in San Antonio. Bringing the proven and successful programs of APA! to San Antonio ,SAPA! began our life-saving efforts on January 19, 2012.
One Year, Over 6,000 Lives
We have just passed our one year anniversary and our success has gone far beyond expectations! In our first 9 months, we saved over 5,900 pets!) Each and every one an individual, an animal capable of providing and receiving comfort and love, each one deserving of life. From our early saves like Eudora, a distemper survivor and Pumpkin who had an injured leg that required amputation, to the hundreds of larger breeds that are traditionally hard to place, we have tried to save every one we had the resources to save. There has been a broad variety of cats and kittens. We have had polydactyls, purebreds and mixes, “tinies” and adults – all unique and lovable. With the help of all of you, we have tried to save them all, and while we haven’t been able to save every one, SAPA! played a central role in increasing San Antonio’s Live Release Rate from 30% in 2011 to a record 61% in 2012. We are now well past 6,000. January’s Live Release Rate was a whopping 83% (January is typically a lower-volume month, but this number is still astounding!
We are committed to achieving a 90% Live Release Rate – the threshold for a city to be truly No Kill. Together we will.
There are several reasons why we have been so successful: the people of San Antonio who have fostered, adopted, volunteered, and donated, our hardworking, pet-loving staff, our large crew of volunteers, the city’s willingness to work with us. Our staff has worked very hard to save as many lives as possible, putting in long hours that are filled with the highs of saving thousands of lives and the lows of seeing suffering animals and not being able – yet – to save all of the adoptable animals we see at our shelter. There have been bumps along the way, but we have learned so much in the first year and our programs have been refined, and continue to be, as we embrace adaptive learning. We have been moved and impressed by the people of San Antonio (residents, businesses, foundations). Together we have taken San Antonio from the “worst” in the country for live release, to literally the talk of the country. (Maybe the world! We have gotten donations from other countries including Germany and Ireland!!) The bottom line is we can only achieve No Kill with the involvement of people – you!
We Want and Need YOU!
Each and every one of you can do something to help save lives. We need even more active committed volunteers who can take on responsibility for specific tasks such as twitter, helping at adoption sites, fostering, walking dogs, holding fundraising events, collecting supplies, and virtually anything you have the skill or desire to do as it relates to our mission, we want you to do! Just attend a volunteer orientation and then follow up with a team you want to work on: adoption, foster, marketing, fundraising, on site help with PASS or dog walking, and more! All of us can “like” our Facebook page, share the page, share pictures. You can sign up for volunteer orientation on our website www.sanantoniopetsalive.org. Please follow up after orientation and know that we are all working hard, and while we don’t always get it right, we want to! And we want you! Here is a general breakdown of areas you can volunteer:
Adoption: We need people to train on how to volunteer at adoption events such as set up, working with potential adopters, and with additional training, Adoption Counseling.
Foster: The Foster team recruits, advises, and generally works with fosters on all aspects of fostering.
Marketing: The marketing team handles all aspects of marketing such as Facebook and other social media, marketing materials, direct mail, blogging and more.
Fundraising: Fundraising activities are broad and we welcome all suggestions for fundraising events. In addition, we need volunteers to help with our fundraising events such as planning and managing the events themselves.
P.A.S.S. (Positive Alternatives to Owner Surrender): PASS works to help pets that are brought in “over the counter” either be retained by owners, placed in foster, adopted, or sent to other rescues. Volunteers would work on site to help the PASS employee in his/her daily, urgent life saving work.
On-Site at SAPA! on Campus of ACS: Volunteers on site help care and place on site dogs. Volunteers can walk dogs, clean kennels, provide enrichment, and can be trained to work directly with the public.
On-Site at SAPA! Marbach Cat Facility: Kitten season is coming. It is a very demanding time and we need dedicated, motivated, team-oriented volunteers to clean, feed, socialize cats and to bottle feed kittens.
Volunteer: we need volunteers to help volunteers! Help with orientation, recruiting, scheduling, communicating with volunteers. A lot of this can be done from home.
Transportation: We desperately need people to transport cats and dogs from the shelter to adoption events, especially on Saturdays right now. We also occasionally need transport to fosters or rescues.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know where you want to participate. The volunteer team will connect you with that team!
Thank you San Antonio! Here’s to 90%!!!!