American Pets Alive Conference 2015

The Austin, TX community has made huge strides in the no-kill movement, becoming the largest no-kill city in the country. A Maddie’s Fund grantee, Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) played a critical role in achieving this status by developing innovative and comprehensive programs that serve key demographics of animals typically euthanized in a shelter setting. With a mission to lead by example, APA! Created the American Pets Alive! Conference (AmPA!) in order to show other communities how to apply and manage the same lifesaving programs that helped make Austin No-Kill.

Maddie’s Institute® recorded these conference presentations that focus on the nuts and bolts of how to reach the no-kill nation goal. Learn how to implement No-Kill in your own community and get practical training in setting up programs that focus on increasing lifesaving, presented by leading experts in the field of animal welfare.

The views expressed here are those of the individuals presenting them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Maddie's Fund.

Achieving and Sustaining No-Kill

February 2015

Learn how Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Texas, an open admission shelter, started on their path to no-kill and how they continue to achieve a high save rate every month. Learn More

Austin Animal Services Stray Cat Return Program

February 2015

Learn about the Austin's progressive program that returns community cats who enter the city shelter as strays back to their environment after spay/neuter.  This workshop will give you the details of the program from intake to release.   Learn More

Beyond Labels: Advocating for all Dogs - Part 1

February 2015

Take a look into the ways that advocacy on individual and community levels can have a positive impact on treating all dogs equally, eliminating breed-related stigmas, abolishing outdated policies and improving the chances for targeted breeds to find homes and their families access to resources. Learn More

Beyond Labels: Advocating for all Dogs - Part 2

February 2015

Take a look into the ways that advocacy on individual and community levels can have a positive impact on treating all dogs equally, eliminating breed-related stigmas, abolishing outdated policies and improving the chances for targeted breeds to find homes and their families access to resources. Learn More

Beyond Labels: Advocating for all Dogs - Part 3

February 2015

Take a look into the ways that advocacy on individual and community levels can have a positive impact on treating all dogs equally, eliminating breed-related stigmas, abolishing outdated policies and improving the chances for targeted breeds to find homes and their families access to resources. Learn More

Building a Nice Cattery on a Shoestring

February 2015

Desperate for cat adoption facilities but not enough funds to get a building?  Build out "habitats” in your local pet store or vet clinic! Learn More

Cat Marketing

February 2015

There is no more powerful way to get cats adopted than through good marketing.  Austin Pets Alive! Cat Marketing Team discusses how to save cats by increasing their chances of adoption.  Learn More

Companion Animal Legislation

February 2015

Passing well-crafted legislation can be a key way to change the world for companion animals.  This session covers municipal and state-focused legislative topics including rescue-access laws, city No Kill mandates, banning the gas chambers and regulating puppy mills. Learn More

Creating and Growing a Successful Cat Foster Program

February 2015

Fosters often mean the difference between life and death for cats in the shelter. They are essential in addressing overcrowding issues, shelter behavior problems and providing personalized care for medical conditions. Learn More

Creating and Keeping a Stellar Lifesaving Team

February 2015

Working together is the only way to achieve our lifesaving goals. This seminar concentrates on how to build and maintain a successful team focused on the techniques that result in successful high-volume adoptions. Learn More

Creating and Sustaining a Dog Foster Network

February 2015

With a viable foster program it's possible to begin transforming your community to no-kill, even if you don't have a shelter. Learn how a one person position grew into a dog foster team of more than 35 volunteers. This team supports a network of over 1,000 approved foster parents. Learn More

Data Why It Is Critical to Success

February 2015

Believe it or not, data is the cornerstone of a healthy organization. Learn how Austin Pets Alive! keeps so many moving pieces in communication through end-of -day reporting, overnight data entry and checks and balances. Learn More

Effective Dog Marketing for Adoption

February 2015

Marketing dogs, especially hard-to-place dogs, is an art form as well as a systematic process. Learn how to create a winning system utilizing a volunteer force, as well as how to write effectively about those dogs to get adoption applications coming in. Learn More

Engaging the Community and Increasing Quality of Life

February 2015

Learn how a local running group teamed up with a local sportswear store to encourage people to get shelter dogs out on the trail for some fresh air and exercise. The result has seen better-adjusted and healthier dogs who are that much more ready for adoption. Learn More

Exceeding Customer Service Expectations

February 2015

Are doing all you can to help increase the number of animal lives saved? This seminar focuses on the impact of exceptional customer service. Learn More

Facebook for Beginners

February 2015

This session focuses on the basic concepts of Facebook and how you can best use the social media channel to save more animals in your shelter or rescue.  Learn More

FeLV Without Fear

February 2015

Too often, routine euthanasia is the prescription for cats with the Feline Leukemia Virus. That’s changing. Learn More

Fighting Fungus in Cats

February 2015

Tens of thousands of cats are euthanized each year solely because they have been diagnosed with ringworm, a highly contagious but highly treatable skin infection about as serious as Athlete’s Foot. Learn how to set up a ward where affected kitties can be isolated from other animal populations and treated until they are cleared of the disease and ready for adoption.  Learn More

Foster Faster: Growing Your Dog Foster Program

February 2015

Learn how to expand your foster program to save the even harder to place big dogs, often considered "the last 10%". Learn More

Fundraising 1: Grass Roots Fundraising

February 2015

San Antonio Pets Alive! started in 2012 with some financial help, but the organization had to quickly get on its feet to raise the rest of the funds needed to save 5,000 animals.  The presenters share what they did to hit the ground running, what worked, what didn’t work as well as expected and how to divide and conquer.   Learn More

Fundraising 2: From Grass Roots to a Multi-Million Dollar Organization

February 2015

Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) started off as a very grassroots organization, raising every dollar through word of mouth.  Five years later, APA! has grown and the needs of fundraising have, too.  This presentation addresses how to plan for bigger funds. Learn More

Getting Big Dogs Out of the Shelter

February 2015

Through a partnership with Best Friends Animal Society, Austin Pets Alive! embarked on a six-month pilot program to test the effectiveness of Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Training on adoption rates.  The results have been very good and show a clear adoption rate difference between dogs who undergo training and those who don’t.  Learn More

High Volume Cat Adoptions

February 2015

Too many cats, not enough adopters? Supersize your cat adoption program! In this Level 2 seminar, you'll learn how to manage a population of hundreds of cats in varying stages of your organization. Learn More

High Volume Dog Adoptions 1

February 2015

Discover everything there is to know about organizing an offsite adoption program including set-up, site preparation to prevent disease, handling the dogs with one person manning the site and breakdown - all in one day. Learn More

High Volume Dog Adoptions 2

February 2015

As an organization grows, the complexity of operations grows too.  Adoptions are the #1 objective in a no-kill city and Austin Pets Alive! (APA) still saves the dogs most at risk for euthanasia. As more and more dogs are saved by the city shelter and the community, the pool of dogs still in need gets more and more narrow and eventually is mostly comprised of adult (or teenager) large breed dogs with generally poor manners and a lot of energy. Learn More

Holding Out for a Hero

February 2015

The movement to save cats has been gaining steam for 25 years and while TNR and other no-kill initiatives are in the news every day, it can still feel like your community isn’t changing at all. You’re angry and frustrated that your local shelter or animal control impounds and kills healthy animals and you wish someone would step in and fix it. After all, you’re only one person, right? Learn More

How to Create a Successful Barn Cat Program

February 2015

Often overlooked for rescue, feral and fractious cats can be saved through a progressive Barn Placement Program and given a new lease on life as working cats. Learn how to start a barn program from scratch. Learn More

How to Keep Your Newsletters Out of the Spam Folder

February 2015

Email management and marketing is much more than simply opening a free Gmail account. You need a strategy and an email marketing platform.  Learn More

How to Start and Grow a Large Bottle Baby Program Part 1

February 2015

In this is a two-part presentation, you’ll learn how to start and build a bottle baby nursery, plus how to create a foster network for neonates. In Part 1, Casandra Mensing will share her experience running APA!’s Nursery, from its meager beginnings to the groundbreaking phenomenon that it is today. Learn More

How to Start and Grow a Large Bottle Baby Program Part 2

February 2015

In this is a two-part presentation, you’ll learn how to start and build a bottle baby nursery, plus how to create a foster network for neonates. In Part 2, Rachel Sherinian will focus In finding, training, and retaining specialized foster families for kittens, whether you have a nursery or not.  Learn More

Marketing 2.0

February 2015

How do you get name recognition on a limited budget? What image do you want to create? What puts you on the map? What is the purpose of your marketing materials? Learn More

Medical Treatment for Cats

February 2015

Austin Pets Alive! Medical Clinic treats thousands of cats a year, many who are straight off of the euthanasia list because of medical conditions such as feline leukemia, FIV, renal disease, hepatic lipidosis, skin problems, viral diseases, and trauma. They save them all and this session is about how they do it.
Learn More

Medical Treatment for Dogs on a Shoestring Budget

February 2015

Since Austin Pets Alive! takes almost any animal from the open intake city shelter, regardless of medical issue, we see many diseases in dogs.  We will talk through the worst one, Distemper, as well as others like broken bones, mange, upper respiratory infections, orthopedic issues and much more. Learn More

No-Kill Kansas City

February 2015

In 2011, the city of Kansas City, MO put out an RFP for private organizations to run the city shelter; a shelter with a long history of being a high-kill shelter. When the deadline for bids passed, there were no bidders to take on the project. So a small group of advocates used the city's 3-week extension to build a business plan to successfully bid on, and take over, the city shelter contract. Learn More

No-Kill Political Advocacy

February 2015

Learn how animal advocates in Austin, Texas, put no-kill on the City's public-policy agenda, and how you can do the same for your community.  Topics include writing press releases, strategies for communicating with public officials, learning how to handle opposition and spreading your lifesaving message. Learn More

Rescuing Cats from the Euthanasia List

February 2015

Learn how to create a sustainable rescue program that relies solely on volunteers to assess cats on the euthanasia list and save the most lives it can that are out of other options for a live outcome.  Learn More

Rescuing Dogs from the Euthanasia List

February 2015

Fifty percent of the dogs in Austin, Texas were dying in 2008 when Austin Pets Alive! began saving lives. The rescue team had merely one- to two-hours to go through the euthanasia list, choose animals and save them before their time was up. Learn how the rescue team evaluated and chose dogs. Learn More

Revolution Relay: Passing the Baton

February 2015

As Alley Cat Allies celebrates its 25th anniversary, Ms. Robinson reflects on the past quarter of a century. Where we were, what we have accomplished and what is yet to be achieved by the next generation! Come celebrate the rescued animals and advocacy accomplishments of the past while we also set our sights on the future. Learn More

Saving All the Little Dogs

February 2015

Do you know how many small breed dogs are euthanized in your community shelter?  In Austin, Texas in 2008, it was many more than would have been expected (roughly 500).   Do you know that nearly ALL of them can be saved and although many are marked "aggressive”, they rarely are? Learn More

Saving Parvo Positive Pups

February 2015

Parvovirus is a major killer of dogs and puppies in shelters.  Austin Pets Alive! built the first parvo ward that actively takes parvo-positive dogs from the community and other shelters for treatment and then placement. Learn More

Taking Different Paths to No-Kill

February 2015

Learn how Rockwall Pets has taken two municipal open-admission shelters to no-kill status in Rockwall County, TX. Each shelter required a different tactic. There's more than one way to get it done! Learn More

Taking Troubled Tabbies from Naughty to Nice

February 2015

Every rescue encounters troubled cats with issues that go beyond tortitude. The Austin Pet’s Alive! Cat Behavior Team will teach you how to prevent behavior problems before they start. Learn More

The Adoptline Team: Virtual Frontline of Austin Pets Alive

February 2015

Austin Pets Alive!’s (APA) Adoptline Response Team provides email and phone mail responses to inquiries 365 days a year, 14 hours a day and has been critical in increasing APA's adoptions. Learn More

The Bastrop Experience: The Road to Saving More Lives

February 2015

After a rough first year in 2012, the mostly rural Bastrop County Animal Services in Texas was well on the path to significantly increase their save-rate. Take a look at how they did it. Learn More

The Law and Liability for Shelters and Rescues

February 2015

Learn how shelters and rescue groups can implement strategies to limit their liability for saving lives. Learn More

The Little Shelter that Could

February 2015

Discover how Sgt. Karl Bailey, with a small staff and a group of committed volunteers, changed a high kill city shelter to no-kill in just 120 seconds - and with a budget of less than $30,000 per year! Learn More

The Value of Teamwork

February 2015

Volunteers are a necessity for rescue and shelter organizations working to achieve no-kill. Volunteers must be treated as partners, offering meaningful work and appropriate autonomy. But even in an atmosphere of mutual accountability, conflicts with both staff and volunteers can arise. Learn More

Twitter for Beginners

February 2015

This session focuses on the basic concepts of Twitter and how you can best use the social media channel to save more animals in your shelter or rescue.  Learn More

Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement

February 2015

Austin Pets Alive! is well known for its huge volunteer force (over 2,000 hours per week). But in 2008 APA! started with no funds for staff and relied solely on volunteers to do everything related to saving lives and building a huge organization. How did they do it?  Learn More

Why Creative Writing is Essential to Saving Lives

February 2015

Learn how to get more pets adopted through better marketing and advertising using online venues and volunteer photographers. Learn More