February 2020 by Don Bland, Ryan Clinton and Dr. Ellen Jefferson

Audience: Executive Leadership, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Video Length: 40:00

In 2019, Austin passed the most comprehensive set of lifesaving laws in the country. A decade of work drove Austin to be the safest city in the country for homeless pets. How will these reporting requirements help to ensure lifesaving continues to progress? Have these reports impacted the municipal shelter and its major partners? Can Austin be a model for communities all over the country to implement reporting requirements?

This presentation was recorded by Maddie's Fund® at the 2020 American Pets Alive! Conference.

About Don Bland

Don was named Chief Animal Services Officer at Austin Animal Services in 2019. He formerly served as the Executive Director of the Humane Society of Central Texas, a position he had held since 2012. Before that, he was the Major Gifts Officer at Scott and White Healthcare Foundation from 2010-2012 and Development Director at Providence Hospice from 2006-2009. Don was the Major Gifts Development Officer at Methodist Children's Home from 2003-2006 and Vice-President of Operations for Red River Solutions, LLC/Medtech Insurance Services, Ltd. from 1998-2003. From 1983-1998, he was a Manager at Olan Mills. Don has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management degree from Baylor University.


About Ryan Clinton

Ryan Clinton is a Texas appellate attorney, a shareholder at the law firm Davis, Gerald & Cremer PC, and a former Texas Assistant Solicitor General. In 2005, Ryan founded FixAustin.org, an animal-advocacy organization aimed at making Austin a "no-kill" community. Ryan has been repeatedly named a Texas "Super Lawyer" in Texas Monthly magazine and, when he qualified, was named one of the top 25 attorneys in Texas under the age of 40 by Texas Lawyer. He was also a 2009 recipient of the no-kill Advocacy Center's Henry Bergh Leadership Award and a 2018 recipient of Maddie's Fund's Maddie Hero award.


About Dr. Ellen Jefferson

Dr. Jefferson graduated veterinary school in 1997 and started her career in private practice. In 1999, in response to an 85% death rate at the city shelter, she started Emancipet, a low cost and free spay/neuter clinic in an effort to decrease the number of homeless animals. In 2008, still not satisfied with how fast the city of Austin was moving towards no-kill status, she stepped in as Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive! Since 2008, Austin Pets Alive! has been the driving force to bring the entire city of Austin to a greater than 90% save rate and the largest no-kill city in the US, and to redefine what no-kill means, as Austin's save rate now approaches 98%.

Dr. Jefferson was unanimously chosen as the first recipient of the Avanzino Leadership award, named for the father of no-kill and given for her outstanding contribution to the no-kill movement.