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American Pets Alive! (AmPA!), the national education and outreach division of Austin Pets Alive! (APA!), is coordinating rescue right now at a 58-dog property with deplorable living conditions in rural Texas. AmPA! was contacted by a man running a rescue organization with dogs he could no longer care for because of his failing health. After traveling to meet the dogs, AmPA! found the property and living conditions for them are crowded, filthy, and unbearable, and the dogs embraced the team like they knew they were there to help. AmPA! has now connected with its network of rescues and shelters across the nation and is getting dogs out today by coordinating transport to various organizations so their lives can be saved.
The man, who will remain anonymous, lives at the end of a dirt road and because of his rescue sign, many people drop off dogs they found or no longer wanted at his property, sometimes tying them to a nearby tree in hopes that they would be taken in by the rescue. When the man’s health began to fail and his funding for the rescue was depleting, he kept trying to save more dogs anyway because he feared the local animal shelter would kill them; but it became too much. Given Austin’s status as a No Kill city, he reached out to Austin Pets Alive! for support, and the organization didn’t hesitate helping this man and these dogs.
“Typically our work is focused on getting shelters and rescue organizations to learn our lifesaving methods so they can help themselves and empower their communities, but in this case, seeing the dogs in these conditions and this man, so desperate for a solution before he dies, we had to help coordinate the shelter community to get these dogs out,” says Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Executive Director for American Pets Alive!.
“When we arrived on the property and started looking around, we realized the conditions inside were horrific. The ammonia from urine and three inches of feces and debris littered the house and stung our eyes. We found dogs were living in closets with rats crawling on them and they were defecating all over the house,” shares Faith Wright, Shelter Management Advisor for AmPA!. “[These] conditions are completely unlivable. A few of the dogs have sores and infected wounds. We knew we had to get these dogs to safety as quickly as possible.”
AmPA! has been working their network of national shelters and rescue groups to find rescue and shelter placement for these dogs, most of which are going to out-of-state rescue organizations.
“The cost of saving these dogs, getting them food and water, vaccinating them, arranging transport, and more has placed a strain on our organization, but we couldn’t leave them in that condition,” says Dr. Jefferson. “We’re just glad there are other rescues out there willing to save lives too.”
The organization is asking for donations to support its lifesaving work. Your gift will help save vulnerable dogs and cats who need you most. Click here to donate.
AmPA! would also like to thank the organizations that have stepped up to take some of the dogs including Big Sky Ranch/Catnip Foundation in Louisiana, Clermont Animal CARE Humane Society in Ohio, Great Lakes Humane Society in Michigan, Nashville Humane Association in Tennessee, Pflugerville Pets Alive! In Texas, and For the Love of Dog in New Hampshire. Thank you also to Mission: Miracle K9 for helping with transportation of many of the dogs to the northern rescues, and to the local animal shelter for giving paperwork and rabies vaccines to all the dogs so they could leave the state.
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American Pets Alive! (AmPA!) is the national education and outreach division of Austin Pets Alive! AmPA! empowers individuals, organizations and communities to transform animal shelter systems and end unnecessary killing of shelter animals. Utilizing lifesaving best practices born in Austin, AmPA! hosts the Maddie’s® Lifesaving Academy with classes, apprenticeships and fellowships, an annual conference and provides ongoing crisis and operations support to shelters around the country. To learn more about AmPA!, visit americanpetsalive.org.