improve kill rates Austin Travis County TX
Note: Town Lake Animal Center is the municipal shelter providing animal control sevices for Austin and Travis County Texas; it's the largest animal shelter in Central Texas.
Non-profit group works with local shelter to help improve kill rates
KVUE (subscription), Texas - July 18, 2006
By Kevin Peters / KVUE News
Over each of the past four years, the Town Lake Animal Center has been forced to euthanize more and more dogs and cats.
Now, one group wants to hire a consultant to see how the city can do a better job. A non-profit, called the Central Texas Animal Alliance is offering up $20,000 to pay a consultant called No Kill Solutions to do a study on how to improve kill rates at the shelter.
In 2002, the center was forced to euthanize 10,722 pets - or 52 percent of the animals taken in. In 2005, that number climbed to 14,304 - or 56 percent of the total animals, marking the peak of a discouraging increase.
Pat Valls-Trelles, the chair of the Animal Advisory Commission, is supporting a push to hire the independent consultant.
“We need to look at where we went wrong, why we didn't keep moving forward and why we've been moving backward,” Valls-Trelles said.
The company has had success in lowering kill rates in other cities through new ideas, increased marketing and streamlining the overall process.
But will it work here?
Dorinda Plliam, of the Town Lake Animal Center, agrees more must be done but says for now there are more pressing needs.
“If someone walked in the door with $100,000 and said, ‘I want to spend that on a consultant to help you,’ I would say, ‘spend that $100,000 on spaying and neutering cats because we know that needs to be done,’” Plliam said.
Lowering kill rates is a goal of both sides, though they can't agree on how to get there.
The Animal Advisory Commission delayed voting on the issue until next month, to allow more time for review.
It's made up of volunteers. They serve to recommend policies at the shelter, but have no authority to change it.