San Antonio is progressing steadily towards no-kill status. It is thanks to the people of San Antonio and San Antonio Pets Alive!’s supporters that we’re so close to saving all the dogs and cats in San Antonio. But our jobs are far from over.
It’s important to note that even with the great strides towards reaching no-kill, we have not stemmed the flow of homeless animals. In fact, 2016 saw San Antonio’s Animal Care Services picking up over 2,000 more animals than in 2015. This year, the number continues to increase, with a 3% growth in animals picked up year-to-date.
Last year, SAPA! saved 6,922 cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens from euthanasia at the city shelter. Despite that huge number, healthy dogs are still being euthanized. Without SAPA!, over 10,000 animals could have lost their lives at the city shelter last year.
Like you, SAPA! and its team of dedicated professionals are passionately committed to ending pet homelessness. In the coming posts, we’d like to tell you a little bit about our organizational leaders. It takes vision, optimism, and enthusiasm to guide others to take up the cause and join in the fight every day. In 2016-2017, our leadership team was made possible by a generous grant from Maddie’s Fund®. Thanks to Maddie, we are continuing to make a difference.
SAPA!’s leadership team includes the Executive Director, Development Director, and Operations Director. Last time, we introduced you to Operations Director Clare. Now, we introduce you to our Development Director, Krystal Mathis.
The animals can only be saved by keeping SAPA!’s doors open, and SAPA!’s doors can only be open if there are funds to keep them open. As SAPA!’s Development Director, Krystal’s goal is to keep those doors open. She has been working for animals all her life. Growing up on a ranch in the Hill Country before gaining a degree in zoology and working at the San Antonio Zoo and other wildlife nonprofits, Krystal focused on animals throughout her early life and career. Through a lifelong process of study and experience, Krystal has become an activist for animals.
The Development Department is a complex department within any organization, and it can mean different things at different nonprofits. Development often encompasses communications, public relations, marketing, community relationship-building, and more. No matter what the individual tasks are, Development is the part of the organization tasked with bringing in the funds to keep the organization in operation.
Krystal says, “If there is one thing I want donors to know, it’s that we want to be good stewards of their dollars. We take seriously both the honor and responsibility of using their contribution wisely. People want to give to save animals lives, and that’s what we do. We don’t spend money frivolously. We function with a lean top-tier administrative department, and we get amazing things done with as little as possible. While I don’t think it’s necessary for nonprofits to always function in this way, still, it’s what SAPA! does. And it’s impressive.”
“Before I started with San Antonio Pets Alive!, the majority of my career had been wildlife-focused. When I applied for a position to work with SAPA!, I thought it was an organization that did a lot of good for animals in the community in the way a typical dog and cat shelter might. I didn’t know at the time that SAPA! does so much more. As I’ve learned about saving the lives of domesticated animals, I’ve come to understand that SAPA! is a unique and necessary part of the equation. Every city with an animal overpopulation issue needs to adopt this sort of model to get ahead of the curve. Otherwise, animals will continue to lose their lives unnecessarily, and that’s unacceptable.”
Krystal feels strongly that donors need to be appreciated and thanked for their efforts. She says, “The biggest supporter of SAPA! isn’t any one person, it’s a whole lot of individual persons! SAPA!’s community has stepped up again and again, giving to help animals in the city. They are making an investment in the type of community they want to live in, and we are working hard to bring that investment to fruition.”
Krystal is especially grateful to the members of SAPA!’s monthly giving circle, the Guardians. She explains, “While all gifts are important and valued, I marvel at SAPA!’s amazing Guardians, who so believe in saving animals’ lives that they give each and every month. While signing up to become a Guardian is simple, can be set to occur automatically, and can be for any amount no matter how big or small, Guardians demonstrate a level of steady commitment to the cause that is inspiring. Our Guardians are our backbone.” Anyone can sign up by visiting us at www.sanantoniopetsalive.org and clicking on the Guardians button.
As SAPA! moves forward in our life-saving goals, our leadership team helps mold that effort. It is Thanks to Maddie® that the leadership team at SAPA! is so strong.