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Each month we spotlight a local nonprofit that's in need of help. It's a way to connect our listeners with charities that make an impact.

Get Involved Spotlight: Animal Trustees of Austin

From Animal Trustees of Austinthis month's Get Involved Spotlight nonprofit:

For over twenty years, Animal Trustees of Austin (ATA) has dedicated itself to addressing one of our community’s most pressing needs: safe, affordable, high-quality veterinary care for pet owners of all incomes. We have a simple but powerful mission: to serve the animals and people of our community through compassionate, affordable treatment, and respect for all.

In the beginning, we were simply 10 people who shared a deep love and compassion for animals. We came together to create an organization that would make a lasting difference for animals in Austin. Since those first days, we have grown beyond our wildest dreams, and now offer affordable veterinary services to tens of thousands of animals each year.

·      Spay/Neuter Surgery. Since opening our surgery clinic in 1997, we have provided high-quality, affordable spay and neuter surgeries to over 100,000 dogs and cats.

·      Preventative Care. Our Wellness Clinic provides affordable vaccinations, testing for common feline diseases, heartworm testing and prevention, de-worming, and external parasite control. In 2013 alone, we provided treatment or prevention for 31,839 dogs and cats. 

·      Heartworm Treatment. Heartworm disease is epidemic in Central Texas, and if left untreated, will almost always lead to the death of an infected dog.  The high-cost of treatment for heartworm disease results in many dogs being surrendered to shelters or dying a slow painful death. To save the lives of heartworm-positive dogs, Animal Trustees of Austin offers high-quality heartworm treatment at a price approximately one-third of a full-service clinic.

·      Specialty Surgery. Many owners of injured or ill animals cannot afford the high-cost of specialty hospitals. Some of these pets are surrendered to already overburdened and under-funded shelters by their owners in the hope they will receive treatment there, which, unfortunately, is sometimes not possible. With the help of our highly skilled surgeons, we are able to provide excellent, affordable care for many conditions or injuries.

In 2012, Austin became the largest “No-Kill” city in the country! That accomplishment comes with challenges: to keep pets out of the shelter, and maintain the targeted 90 percent “save-rate” for abandoned or surrendered animals, new pet owners must be able to open their homes. This is where Animal Trustees of Austin fills the greatest need. Because some of these adopters will not have resources for private veterinary care, especially in times of emergency, Animal Trustees must serve as a “safety net” for these animals, so that they can receive the care they need to stay  healthy and in their homes.

At Animal Trustees, we are especially proud of our For People and Animals Without Shelter (4PAWS) program, which provides free sterilization services, vaccinations, and veterinary services to the pets of homeless and indigent citizens of Central Texas. The homeless rely on their pets for many things, but most importantly, companionship. We believe all people, regardless of their situation, should have access to care for their companion animals.

Animal Trustees of Austin was founded by volunteers, and continues to depend on these dedicated people to support important services and programs. Each year, more than 150 active volunteers support virtually every area of the organization, and we literally could not do what we do without them!

At ATA, there’s a place for everyone who wants to help:

·      Answering our very busy phones

·      Helping our clients check in for services, or helping discharge patients after surgery

·      Translating for our Spanish-speaking clients, both by phone and in the clinic

·      Helping the surgery day run smoothly by sterilizing instruments and keeping up with laundry

·      Being our ambassador at community events and fundraisers

·      Assisting our medical staff by helping our patients recover smoothly and safely from surgery

For more information about how you can support Animal Trustees of Austin contact

Mike is the production director at KUT, where he’s been working since his days as an English major at the University of Texas. He produces Arts Eclectic, Get Involved, and the Sonic ID project, and also produces videos and cartoons for When pressed to do so, he’ll write short paragraphs about himself in the third person, but usually prefers not to.
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