I introduced myself to development manager Tanya Gripton, and explained that I’m a pretty big deal in the cat community. She laughed and started listing off a dozen of the cats they have at their facility (on a first name basis), and the personality of each individual one.
I began to realize that Austin Pets Alive isn’t just a normal shelter. Tanya’s enthusiasm and passion for helping animals was through the roof. The non-profit, no-kill shelter goes to great lengths to ensure all animals they receive are cared for, including top quality foods and products.
But with that, comes some major obstacles. Tanya explained a few head spinning statistics of their day-to-day and why it’s a struggle to provide such care to so many animals,
“The animals at Austin Pets Alive go through over 5,400 lbs of food each MONTH, and the cats use up about 3,700 lbs of litter a month as well! This no-kill shelter has a service that provides good quality food but it’s just not enough to feed all the animals that are housed there, and unfortunately they cannot use the less-than-quality food to save some skrill because it gives the animals gastrointestinal problems. With the spike in animals coming to the shelter they are relying on donations of all kinds to cover all of the pets’ needs. “
After hearing this, Tanya showed some of us the dogs available for adoption…
Hearing how much the animals there go through in just a MONTH, and that summer is their highest intake of animals in need, it was shocking to say the least. RAKit week or not, it was time to act…
I asked John for an advance on my allowance, and left to run a train on Costco.
Pictured above, doggy jackpot
We decided to pack my Jeep up with as much as we could. We hit Costco for the bulk stuff, and a local Austin pet store for the specialty things.
During checkout, the clerks had some serious questions and suspicions of my Costco business account name. I told them to watch the news later and moonwalked out.
Trying to push the cart was a task in itself. The weight of everything snapped one of the wheels.
Getting the right quality food was big on the list, but we all know that food is just to power up playtime! So we hit a local Austin pet store for toys and specialty items…
Just dump it in
If she only knew I’m president of the Hannah Montana Fan Club…
Tanya was pumped when we showed up with a Jeep full of goodies! I was pumped she had a handcart.
Off to Austin Pets Alive!
I asked the staff if I could pass some of the toys out to the animals. July is basically half-Christmas anyway, why not make some dog’s and kitty’s day!
This is Moe. Moe made this face for over a minute when he got his new toys. He’s a cheeser!
After trying to coax him in, he got a little camera shy. Off camera, Spanky just wanted cuddles and I’m told he is a heat-seeking missile for laps and snuggles. He is a very sweet boy, and you can check out his profile right here!
Savannah came out for a visit, and was an instant snuggler. Although I had my suspicions she was only doing it to get to her new toy.
Savannah you trickster! I knew it!
The ol’ shake of death.
SURPRISE DOUBLE TOY!!
Check out more about Savannah on her profile here!
And then it was on to the kitties…
The Cat Sanctuary at Austin Pets Alive is amazing. Tanya wasn’t lying about the all their personalities. This place was like the Comic-Con of cats. Cat Coachella. It was amazing.
Callen may have just one eye, but he is pretty frisky, and also a very well behaved little sir miss…
Their senior citizens weren’t sure what the toys were all about. Shadow is pushing 10 years old and was more interested in the snuggling side of things.
You did it sir. You killed it.
Tanya then took us over to the Feline Leukemia Sanctuary. She explained that Feline Leukemia or FeLV is a retrovirus that causes immunodeficiency much like HIV in humans. Because they are a no-kill shelter, they take in many cats that have FeLV and give them a chance at life. A majority of them actually go on to live normal lives, and run no risk to people. In the FeLV Sanctuary, the cats have free reign to roam around and say hello to visors. Tanya went on to say that if there’s one place the cats are the friendliest and the most deserving of homes, it’s through this door…
Better double up on toys.
This is Whisper, and she could hands down win Prettiest Kitty at the Prettiest Kitty Kontest. She needs a good home, and purrs louder than any cat.
Many of the other cats in the FeLV Sanctuary were curious, and just as frisky as the others.
This particular sir wasn’t going to let something like Feline Leukemia get in the way of his hunting skills.
He took down the catnip banana with ease.
After we left the FeLV Sanctuary, we moved on to the teeniest tiniest little poofs of concentrated cuteness…
Quick stretch after a 22 hour nap
Austin Pets Alive also has a high intake of kittens every week. Walking in to a room of two-three week old kittens is like hitting internet gold. It was cuteness overload.
Mastering his roar.
We were blown away by how much Austin Pets Alive! goes above and beyond to take extra care of animals in severe need. I made a promise to Tanya that fellow Chivery employee Justina and I will be volunteering there starting in September.
Visiting a shelter is something everyone should do. It’s a real eye-opener how many loving and caring animals need good homes. While there are reputable breeders out there, there are millions of animals that are in desperate need of adoption. If you can’t adopt and don’t have the monetary means to donate, there are still tons of ways to donate your time to a local shelter.
There is no better feeling in the world than adopting an animal and bringing a new best friend into your life that loves you unconditionally.
For more information about adopting, volunteering, and donating to Austin Pets Alive, check out http://www.austinpetsalive.org/, or simply stop by the shelter and RAK a well-deserving cat or dog.