January 14, 2009 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No Cats Killed a Milestone for Non-Profit Adoption Group,
But Shelter Watchdog Calls Continued Killing
Despite Empty Cages Horrific
Rescues by non-profit Austin Pets Alive means first day of no cat kills in history of Austin's pound, but animal-advocacy group FixAustin.org points to continued killing despite over 100 empty cages.
AUSTIN, TX — June 12, 2009, marked an historic though mostly symbolic day for Austin's lost and homeless pets. On a day within the traditionally low-intake month of January, non-profit adoption group Austin Pets Alive did what previously seemed impossible—it rescued every cat scheduled to be killed at Austin's Town Lake Animal Center.
According to Austin attorney and FixAustin.org founder Ryan Clinton, Austin's citizens should celebrate the efforts of Austin Pets Alive, but demand more from Austin's pound. According to Clinton, "Saving every cat on the kill list at TLAC, even if just for one day, demonstrates the tenacity and vision of the volunteers at Austin Pets Alive. But they could save hundreds more if it weren't for the continued obstinance of the pound's director who orders that killing continue even when dozens and dozens of cages sit empty."
Two recent audits by the State of Texas confirm Clinton's observation that more than 100 empty cages sit empty each day at Austin's Town Lake Animal Center. "I don't think the people of Austin would take kindly to the fact that pound director Dorinda Pulliam orders the killing of healthy and adoptable dogs and cats while 100 cages go unused." Clinton continued, "Killing while cages sit empty is morally indefensible and out of line with the progressive nature of Austin's citizenry."
The City pound has killed more than 100,000 dogs and cats since Pulliam took over in November 2000. The pound killed 13,000 pets in 2007—more than 50 percent of the animals sheltered. Thus far, Acting Assistant City Manager David Lurie, who oversees the pound, has not publicly disavowed TLAC's policy of killing while cages sit empty.