Austin Pets Alive! and Austin Animal Center

The Maddie's® Executive Leadership Fellowship at Austin Pets Alive! and Austin Animal Center

As the no-kill movement continues to grow there is an urgent and ongoing need for new leadership. Austin, Texas is the largest no-kill community in the United States, saving more than 97% of the 18,000 animals who enter the City. This city achieves historic lifesaving through a unique, collaborative partnership between Austin Animal Center and its largest non-profit partner, Austin Pets Alive!.

Unlike traditional non-profit models, Austin Pets Alive! takes the animals who would be more at-risk of euthanasia in City’s shelter, including sick and un-weaned puppies and kittens, unsocialized cats, geriatric pets, dogs with behavioral challenges and cats and dogs with other specialized needs. In total, Austin Pets Alive! saves approximately 3,500 of the ‘hardest’ animals, allowing the shelter to save the vast majority of the animals left in their care.

How does it work?

Two fellows will be selected to spend 12 months in Austin, Texas. While acting as a deputy director in this groundbreaking community, the selected fellows will receive the tools and training to further their careers and implement this collaborative model in other communities. For emerging no-kill leadership, this fellowship will offer attendees the chance to learn the model of no-kill animal sheltering and community collaboration that has put Austin on the map as the national model in no-kill animal welfare. Fellows will shadow the leaders of both Austin Pets Alive! and Austin Animal Center and will complete a practical project that will focus on creating solutions to a challenge to make Austin’s no-kill community even stronger and more effective.

Fellows will:

  • Spend six months each at Austin Pets Alive and Austin Animal Center
  • Initiate and complete a project for the no-kill community of Austin, Texas
  • Present on learnings at the end of each quarter and participate in evaluation process
  • Pursue a leadership position in the animal welfare field for three years following the fellowship


The fellows will work collaboratively with leadership in Austin to complete projects for the largest no-kill city in the United States. These projects are expected to improve a current program or create a solution to a problem. The fellows will be expected to share learnings and projects with Maddie’s Fund and participate in sharing this information through a webcast.

Qualifications and eligibility

  • Minimum of three years of management or leadership experience
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects, write policies or procedures and lead change in an organization
  • Commitment to saving the lives and providing options for all dogs and cats
  • Demonstrate a strong ability for oral and written communication
  • Ability to articulate a vision for animal welfare in your own community or a community of your choosing
  • Experience working or volunteering in a shelter or rescue
  • A clear understanding and commitment to the values of no-kill and desire to improve the current sheltering system in the United States by ending euthanasia for space and convenience

Award Amount

Fellows will serve one calendar year and receive $65,000 salary, full benefits and $5,000 to cover moving expenses to Austin, Texas.

Applications accepted January 18 - February 10, 2017. The review and hiring process will take four weeks. Start date for the fellowship is April 1.

The application process will be rigorous and competitive and will involve at least two interviews with leadership and management from Austin Pets Alive! and Austin Animal Center. The fellowship is for one calendar year and may not be renewed or postponed.

Email your application to


The Maddie’s® Executive Leadership Fellowship described on this website are subject to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which provide that no citizen of the United States may, on the grounds of race, sex, color, religion, age, national origin, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.