Animal Services Center Update by Amy
February 19, 2010, 1:00 am
Filed under: Executive Director | Tags: ,

As you may have seen recently on the news or online, there has been concern about a possible delay in the approval process for the construction bid that would allow the City to finally break ground on a new Animal Services Center.  We wanted to give you the latest facts and news on this issue as we understand them:

•    At the January 28 City Council meeting, in the introductory statements, Mayor Lee Leffingwell announced that item 20, which was the approval of the construction contract for the new shelter, was postponed “indefinitely.”  Click here for video of that.

•    This caused great concern in the animal welfare community, because this particular construction bid expires on April 9, 2010, and this facility is desperately needed as soon as possible.  The current TLAC facility, with its 1950’s design, is far below the modern standard for humane and healthy housing for homeless pets.

•    Since hearing this, concerned citizens have contacted Council and staff encouraging them to get the item back on the agenda.  Responses from some Council members indicate that the removal of the item was to allow more time to first consider some of the other important animal welfare issues currently in development, namely the use of the Davenport building for adoptions, and was not intended to delay the construction process.

•    Further, several City Council Members have indicated in their responses to citizens that the item WILL be voted on in March and that the construction will continue will continue without delay.

We are relieved to hear that the item will be back on the agenda in March.  While we certainly understand that the shelter is not the only animal welfare issue facing the City Council, we do believe that it is one of the single most important things we can do to improve the welfare of animals in our community.  It is so important that it should move forward as planned, regardless of any other issues that may also be considered.

We are also very excited about the City’s commitment to utilizing the Davenport Building for adoptions, and partnering with the community to save more animal lives.  While those plans may not yet be finalized, we are confident that the City Council and staff will continue to make progress on this front, and we hope the construction of the shelter can begin without delay as these plans are fully developed and evaluated.

Background and more info:

In November of 2006, Austin voters approved $12 million for a new animal services facility. The design process occurred in 2008 and 2009, and the facility, which will be state-of-the-art and Silver LEED certified will finally allow us to house our community’s most at-risk animals in safety and health.  The new Center will be located with Emancipet at the 7201 Levander Loop site.  You can click here to see the plans.


Spay Day 2010 by Amy

PetsMart Charities has just released the results of a study about the causes of pet overpopulation and homelessness, and the barriers to spay/neuter.  We weren’t surprised to hear that much of the nation’s pet overpopulation problem is caused by the one or two “accidental” litters born each year before a pet is spayed or neutered.  Most people just don’t know when to spay or neuter their pet, thinking they have to wait until they are six months or a year old, or until they go through a first “heat cycle.”  There is a lot of misinformation out there about this topic, and combined with information that is just out of date compared to current veterinary expertise, it’s no wonder pet guardians are confused.

Dr. Laura Helmueller, Emancipet’s Medical Director, is eager to get the word out while your own vet should help you determine the optimal age to spay or neuter your own pet, in general, “5 Saves Lives!”  “Spaying or neutering your pet before the age of 5 months is the best way to prevent an unwanted litter,” she says, “and it makes the procedure much easier on your pet.”

To help get the word out, and to celebrate Spay Day 2010, Emancipet is offering a special price on spay/neuter surgery for pets aged five months and under on February 23, 2010 – National Spay Day.  To book your appointment now, please call 512-587-7729 or go online by clicking here.

Click here to read our prior blog post on this topic with more medical information.