ASPCA Partnership in Austin Increases Adoptions by 21 Percent during the Second Quarter of 2011

October 4, 2011

NEW YORK--Homeless dogs and cats in Austin, Texas have a new leash on life, thanks to a partnership with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), which today announced that its partnership in Austin has increased adoptions by 21 percent during the second quarter of 2011.

The increase in adoptions, returns-to-owner and transfers to shelters where adoption is guaranteed--initiatives all designed to promote positive outcomes for at-risk animals and reduce euthanasia--in relation to the number of animals coming into the shelter, is referred to as the community-wide "Live Release Rate," or LRR.

"There's no question in my mind that Austin has made incredible progress with all of their hard work during our partnership," said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. "In just a year's time, Austin has improved its adoptions by 21 percent for the quarter, which is remarkable. In addition to the increase in adoptions, the decreased intake and admirable spay/neuter efforts is having a positive, sustainable impact in the community."

In addition to increasing its live release rate, Austin partners also increased targeted spay/neuter in the community by five percent in the first six months of 2011, performing 734 more procedures on cats and dogs, totaling 14,336 surgeries so far this year, compared to the first half of 2010.

"Our progress would not be possible without the cooperation and hard work of all the organizations involved in this partnership," said Missy McCullough, executive director of Animal Trustees of Austin, one of the ASPCA's four local partners. "We are grateful to the ASPCA, and the other partners, for providing the means and motivation needed to garner the successes we've achieved," added Frances Jonon, executive director of Austin Humane Society, another partner. "The increase in our spay/neuter numbers is a direct result of the dedication and passion for the cause that the community of Austin has, and we couldn't be prouder," noted Amy Mills, executive director of third partner Emancipet. "What we've achieved is commendable, and we look forward to continuing to improve our numbers in the months to come," concluded Abigail Smith, chief animal services officer for Austin Animal Services at Town Lake Animal Center, the fourth partner organization.

The ASPCA Partnership is a unique collaboration with communities nationwide to increase live release rates by saving those animals most at risk through sustainable data-driven plans and programs. These engage the community to reunite lost animals with their families, increase adoptions, target spay/neuter and support feral cats and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) initiatives.

The community-wide Live Release Rate among Austin partners has increased 16.9 percent over the course of the partnership, from 54.6 percent in January 2007 to 71.5 percent through December 2010.

Since the partnership began in 2007, the ASPCA has provided more than $1 million in grant funding to the partner agencies in Austin. In addition to Austin, Texas, ASPCA partners have provided positive outcomes for homeless animals in many communities around the country, including Buncombe County, N.C., Charleston, S.C.; Cleveland, Ohio; Miami, Fla.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Sacramento, Calif.; Shelby County, Ala.; Spokane, Wash.; and Tallahassee, Fla.