EMANCIPE+ Blog


Lesson From San Antonio by Amy
August 12, 2010, 6:10 pm
Filed under: Executive Director | Tags: , , , , , ,

I just read this interesting, but not entirely surprising article from our neighbors down in San Antonio.  SA has had a mighty struggle with animal issues (formerly the highest per capita euthanasia rates in the nation).  Recently the SA City Council, area foundations and animal welfare groups have come together to try to transform SA into a no kill community.  They have started investing seriously in programs to increase live outcomes for their homeless pets.

But they quickly realized an inescapable truth – their efforts have not been as successful as they hoped because there are far too many homeless pets to begin with.  They have learned that without significantly bolstering their prevention efforts, they cannot end the killing of homeless pets.  Specifically, they cited the need for more spay/neuter.

It’s a lesson that many communities have to learn the hard way.  The road towards ending euthanasia often starts with a focus on increasing adoptions, and then dead-ends with a realization of the need for a whole more spay/neuter.  Though a balanced approach (between prevention and management of the homeless pet population) is critical, failing to adequately prioritize prevention efforts can be a death knell for humane efforts, and the animals they are supposed to save.

Thankfully, it sounds like SA is getting on the right track and is ready to fully invest in prevention efforts.  Good luck, SA – everyone is rooting for you!

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Pet of the Week by Asha
July 7, 2010, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Outreach | Tags: , , , , , ,

There is so much cuteness at Emancipet that I feel bad keeping it all to myself, so I’m sharing it with you! The debate over what makes the cutest pet is a heated one that happens almost daily inside the walls of Emancipet. Since I have the password to the blog, I win this time with a sweet puppy that visited yesterday named, Princess Charlie.

When I tell people what I do, they always say, “Oh, I couldn’t work there.  I would want to take all of them home.”  Well, the vast majority of our patients only visit us for the day for services, and go back to their loving families at night, which makes taking them home with me a real no-no. Princess Charlie was here visiting Amber, our wellness technician extraordinaire, for her first round of puppy shots and will be back soon to be spayed.



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.



Power of Ten by Amy

We’re officially into holiday mode here at Emancipet.  That means a higher than average percentage of clients in need of free services for their pets.  We always need the community’s help and donations to get through this season, and this year is no exception.  If anything, we expect to need more donations than ever before to ensure that we can meet the needs of the 2,000 dogs and cats we expect to help in the next 6 weeks alone.

We also know, however, that it’s been a tough year for everyone in our community, and that we are all hoping our dollars go far enough this holiday season.  So, in honor of our tenth anniversary this year, and in recognition of what a tough year its been for everyone, we are launching our “Power of Ten” holiday fundraiser.  It’s our way of saying – “You don’t have to give a lot to make a big difference for animals.”  The Power of Ten allows you give at a level that’s comfortable for you, while ensuring the power of your gift is maximized to help the greatest number of animals.

If you give to the Power of Ten, you’ll choose a gift of $10, $100, or $1,000 – and your gift will be automatically matched by two generous donors who will both donate one dollar to Emancipet for each dollar you donate.  Then, you’ll have a chance to make your gift go even further by picking ten of your friends, colleagues, or family members to receive a personalized Power of Ten request to match your donation as well.

With this campaign, you could give as little as $10 out of your own pocket, but Emancipet and the animals we serve would get $130 total from you, your friends and our automatic match. And the best part?  The money you donate goes directly to providing free and very low cost spay/neuter, which reduces our homeless pet population.  It’s wonderful to know that your gift can actually help more animals get a home for the holidays by reducing the number of homeless pets in the shelter, waiting for a happy ending.

I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to these donors who have already contributed to the Power of Ten in the first few days of the campaign: David Gunn, Karina Hernandez, Deanna Burger, Kim Rabago, Lorrie Meyer, Randy Martin, Scott Bonilla, Asha Thune, Amanda Myers, Nick Weynand, Debra Ellerman, Piret Sari-Tate, Kimberly Edmondson, Wendy Murphy, Nicole Tumlinson, Farhaneh Shirazee, Lara Gale, Whitney Lawson, Susan Culp, Denise Maryanski, Lisa Iguchi, and James Flaggert.



Counting Down to 100,000 by Amy

It’s almost here.  As of last Friday, EMANCIPE+’s veterinary team had safely completed 99,536 spay or neuter surgeries in Central Texas.  We are counting down to our 100,000th surgery, which we expect could happen later this week or early next week.  This is a huge milestone for us – it has been just ten years since we started providing spay/neuter services in Austin via our mobile clinic.  We are honored with the trust that Austin’s pet owners have placed in us over the years and we have some great programs planned for our tenth anniversary year that kicks off in June.

I will try to keep you updated on where we are in our countdown.  I can tell you that the day we reach the 100,oooth surgery will be a day of celebration at our clinic, and we have some fun surprises up our sleeve for the pet who actually becomes number 100,ooo.  This is a great week to come in to the clinic, because you never know who might be the one!



Cat Euthanasia Rate Reduced by Amy

In the past, a cat that had the misfortune of ending up in Austin’s city’s shelter had a slim chance of making it out alive.  As recently as last year, the euthanasia rate for cats at Town Lake Animal Center was 60%, meaning the majority of cats that ended up at that shelter were killed.   But things are finally starting to turn around.  The year-to-date cat euthanasia rate at TLAC has now reached an all time low of 35% – and THAT is cause for celebration!

This inspiring turn of events is due to a focus on reducing the intake of cats at the shelter.  The folks over at Austin Humane Society’s Feral Fix program are on track to sterilize 6,000 feral cats this year alone.  At EMANCIPE+ and Animal Trustees of Austin, we focused on sterilizing owned cats for free with our Valentine’s Week and Spring Break Specials, which we are repeating for our Summer of Love special – offering free spay/neuter, microchips, ID tags and rabies shots to pet cats in the first week of June and July this summer (all funded by the City of Austin).

These efforts are working.  While they are seeing kittens come in to the shelter now, the number coming in this year is much less than it has been in the past.  Another major factor in reducing euthanasia rates has been the network of foster homes for these kittens that are coming in.  The foster care programs at Austin Humane Society, Town Lake Animal Center, and Austin Pets Alive! are all pitching in to ensure that no tiny kittens are euthanized this year.  As the season gets going, they’ll need more foster families to sign up to help.

I encourage you to get involved with one of the organizations mentioned here.  Even though these numbers are exciting, we still have a whole lot of work to do to ensure no cat is ever killed in Austin just for being homeless.  We’d love to have you join us!