Life Is Ruff: A Look Into Austin Pets Alive!

Published: Multimedia Newsroom – Apr 10, 2014

Austin is on the heels (or paws, if you will), of celebrating its three-year anniversary as a No-Kill city. Being a No-Kill city means that regardless of shelter overcrowding, having lots of mouths to feed and wounds to heal, Austin hasn’t given up on us.

My name is Shasta and I’m a youngin’. At a little over one-year-old, I’m a rambunctious pup that wants to play fetch and have my belly rubbed at all times of the day. I don’t really know what I am, but the folks at Austin Pets Alive! say that I’m a terrier, pit bull mix. What that means, I don’t know! What I do know is that I’m one of more than 200 dogs at the shelter and that doesn’t include my feline friends. That’s a lot of fur to clean up!

Located off of Cesar Chavez Street, Austin Pets Alive! has lots of room for us to run around and play with our two-legged friends. We even have Lady Bird Lake next door if we want to take a dip in Austin’s cool waters.

The volunteers who take care of us pack our days with lots of events. Our mornings off start with play group, where my pup friends and I chase tennis balls and roll around in the dirt. Meanwhile, my other human friends are getting my kibble ready. Breakfast is the most important meal, right? After I chomp on my kibble, another volunteer gets my bandages and medication ready.

You see, I have Happy Tail Syndrome. Dogs get in their feelings often and whenever we’re really excited, we wag our tails profusely. Oftentimes, we wag our tails against hard surfaces like coffee tables and kennel walls. Whacking our tails against these hard surfaces causes cuts and bruises that really hurt. As a result, they have to put medicine on ours tails and wrap ‘em up to keep them from getting infected.

After getting my tail fixed, it’s playtime again! I can’t get enough of my canine friends! After a few more hours of roughhousing, walks along the property and dinner, it’s time for bed. Volunteers like Cassie Olivio feed us dinner and stay with us until it’s time for bed. I walk on over to my kennel to lay my head down and dream of bones and treats.

Throughout the day, many people come and visit us. In the past couple of months that I have been at Austin Pets Alive!, many of my friends have found loving homes and warm beds to sleep on. “Austin Pets Alive! thrives on saving dogs and cats that we think deserve another chance,” says volunteer Cassie Olivio. Between 2008 and 2012, 17,624 pets were adopted from Austin Pets Alive!.

“Some of the challenges that we go through are that people stereotype dogs. There’s so much inbreeding going on these days and anything with a blocky head and short hair is automatically stamped the label pit bull, which may not be true,” says Olivio. Austin Pets Alive! educates the public in understanding that every single dog and cat deserves a chance, medically and behaviorally.

The streets of Austin are ruff, so adopt me!