Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Something So Simple Can Change the World for Shelter Dogs....

Each month, the Williamson County Regional Animal
Shelter posts their save rate statistics. Since 2010,
each month, more than 90% of the animals in
their care have found their happy endings. 
Working within the Animal Shelter system has brought both tears of happiness and sadness. Sadness because those animals are each amazing in their own way and seeing them pining for the loss of their former families, scared being locked in a kennel for the first time after living their lives on the streets or simply unknowing because they have grown up at the shelter since they were overlooked as a puppy. Of course, living in a city that cares so much for the animals has brought a tremendous amount of happiness as well. I have watched Austin transform from a city that killed nearly 50% of the animals at our city shelter to becoming one of the safest cities in the country for stray animals.

I personally volunteer for a rural shelter, the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Georgetown, TX, just north of Austin. Even after moving to South Austin earlier this year, I am dedicated to continuing my volunteer work with this shelter. I have also watched them transform from a typical county shelter to a No Kill open admission shelter. Open admission means that we take in any animal within our jurisdiction, regardless of the situation. This means we don't close our doors when we are full, we don't turn away strays and put them back out on the streets. We don't hide numbers or transfer animals to kill shelters to meet our quota. We step up and when the shelter kennels are full, we work with other local rescue organizations, we reach out to foster families and we host huge adoption events (like the Just One Day adoption event last month) to get the animals out of our shelter alive and healthy. Simply, we find them homes.

Unfortunately, it can take awhile for some animals to find homes, those are the animals we get to know and fall deeply in love with on a personal level. Of course, as much as every volunteer and staff member would like to, we can't simply take them all home ourselves. So, while they are in our care and waiting, we want to make their time comforting and make them feel as loved as we possibly can.

This video really struck me. What a beautiful sight to see - each shelter dog feeling comfort and finding a safe spot to call their own. It brought me to tears!

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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Grace the Pit Bull was saved by a local rescue, Love-A-Bull.
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