About Us

Helping Shelters Help Pets

An estimated 2 million companion animals are killed in shelters across the United States each year. The purpose of American Pets Alive! (AmPA!), as the nation-wide educational program of Austin Pets Alive! (APA!), is to end this urgent crisis and save as many animals as possible from unnecessary deaths. We do this by empowering individuals, communities and organizations with the proven lifesaving protocols, knowledge, and mindset that made Austin the largest No Kill city in the nation, with the highest save-rate among any city of its size. We’re working to transform the entire animal sheltering system to serve as a true safety-net for animals in need (and the people who love them), and to inspire a culture of compassion where every life is valued.

Our History

American Pets Alive!'s (AmPA!) mission is to urgently save the lives of companion animals from unnecessary deaths in shelters. AmPA! was established by the rescue organization Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) in response to the many inquiries from animal welfare groups asking how Austin managed to become the country’s largest No Kill city. Since that time, AmPA! has transformed into the national program of APA!, overseeing outreach, education and hands-on support to shelters across the country.

AmPA! was born in 2011, when APA! introduced the first American Pets Alive! Conference. AmPA! went on to grow it's educational efforts in 2016 with the piloting of its first Austin-based training program. In 2017, with support of a $4 million grant provided by Maddie's Fund®, Maddie's® University became possible. Maddie's® University now offers over a dozen hands-on apprenticeships. Today, the support AmPA! offers animal advocates goes even beyond this to includes traveling experts who performs site visits to shelters and respond to crises in shelters.

AmPA! is a unique, national program focused on spreading the No Kill movement and increasing lifesaving in shelters across the nation. While we understand our mission to be long-term, communities need to be empowered with proven solutions to help them take action and institute change now. AmPA! believes the needless deaths of shelter animals is a crisis that demands immediate attention and resolution – and that we already have the solutions necessary to do that. Animals deserve a legitimate chance at life and innovation in animal shelters is necessary for providing this basic right.

At AmPA!, we believe in a world in which all shelter animals are valued and given a true chance at life. We believe our role in this movement is to be an innovative and trusted leader in creating a world where shelters have the tools, resources and knowledge necessary to be safe havens for animals until their families are found.

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Thursday March 21st, 2019

What Was Your Match? A Single Spark Can Start a Movement

Fourth-century philosopher St. Augustine once said that hope has two ingredients—anger and courage. Anger at the way things are, and the courage to make a change.