ASPCA Awards $10,000 Grant to Emancipet in Austin

Funds Will Help Support ‘Spay Street’ Project
April 5, 2010

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it is providing a $10,000 grant to Emancipet, an organization that advocates for and provides free and low-cost spay/neuter services.

The funds will be used to help support Emancipet's "Spay Street" targeted spay/neuter program for impoverished pet owners, which enables at-risk pets to receive sterilization surgeries, microchipping, rabies vaccinations and vaccinations against parvo for puppies under five months of age.

"Spay Street empowers impoverished pet owners to better meet their pets' needs and addresses the animal overpopulation crisis at its source—in the heart of the city's local communities," said Karen Medicus, ASPCA Senior Director of Community Outreach.  "This door-to-door intervention program will help reduce the number of unwanted pets born in Austin's poorest neighborhoods."

Outreach officers employed by Town Lake Animal Center, along with teams of trained volunteers, are being deployed into targeted neighborhoods with high rates of poverty, animal homelessness, cruelty and neglect. These Spay Street teams visit the homes of pet owners, offering free spay/neuter surgery, along with additional services for improving their pets' lives, such as wellness care, fencing assistance, supplies such as collars and leashes, and toys or food.

Since 2006, the ASPCA has partnered with Austin animal welfare agencies (including Emancipet, Town Lake Animal Center, Animal Trustees of Austin and Austin Humane Society), helping save more than two-thirds of Austin's homeless pets (69 percent) by the end of 2009. The collaborative effort, which focuses on sustainable, data-driven programs, has led to a substantial reduction in the intake quantity of unwanted pets, while increasing returns to owner, adoptions and spay/neuter.

"Ending the unnecessary euthanasia of pets is our top priority, and we know that it will be a long and challenging process," said Amy Mills, Emancipet's executive director.  "Help from the ASPCA and collaboration among like-minded animal welfare groups is making a real difference and presents our best hope for making this a reality.  The Spay Street program has taught us that while our focus on reducing shelter intake is critical, we must also reduce the unwanted births that result in animals suffering outside the shelter - in those neighborhoods in our community without access to vet care."