San Antonio Pets Alive! (SAPA!) opened up their doors in 2012 with one goal in mind: to make San Antonio a no-kill city for dogs and cats. At the time, that mission was seen by many as an impossible feat.
San Antonio was struggling with pet overpopulation. The city shelter was constantly at capacity, which led to euthanasia for hundreds of pets on a weekly basis. The shelter was at a 30% live release rate, meaning that 70% of the animals brought to their kennels never made it out alive. Dr. Jefferson from Austin Pets Alive!, who recently led the city to become no-kill, knew that it was time to take the movement to San Antonio.
Three short years later and thanks in large part to the efforts of SAPA!, the live release rate is now at almost 90%, and San Antonio reached the coveted no-kill status for cats in 2014. They have accomplished this primarily by promoting spay/neutering and saving pets directly from the city’s euthanasia list, becoming the last hope for animals that would have otherwise never be given a second chance.
SAPA! has expanded to four locations, with an extensive network of pet fosters and volunteers that work tirelessly to save as many lives as possible. Their mission of rescuing pets slated for euthanasia is always at the heart of what they do, but the innovative programs that focus on saving the classes of animals who have historically been overlooked is what makes them truly unique.
When Moo Moo was surrendered to the city shelter at only a few weeks old, he was diagnosed with Parvovirus, along with a nasty case of ringworm. Parvovirus is a life-threatening and highly contagious viral disease that is a huge danger to puppies in shelters. Carrying both Parvo and ringworm put Moo Moo at risk of euthanasia because of the contagious nature of both illnesses.
SAPA! created a Parvo Puppy Ward to keep puppies like Moo Moo quarantined and under constant care until they are able to clear the virus. The Parvo Puppy Ward is one of only two in the state and has an 80-85% survival rate for a life-threatening virus. SAPA! rescued Moo Moo from euthanasia so that they could administer the proper treatment. He was given extensive care in their Parvo Puppy Ward to help him fight off both his virus and his ringworm, and after a hard-fought battle, Moo Moo was able to make a full recovery. Shortly after his treatments were completed, Moo Moo found his forever home, where he continues to enjoy life as a healthy, happy pup with his SAPA! sister.
SAPA! also created a Neonatal Kitten Nursery to save orphaned, unweaned kittens that would otherwise be euthanized because of the intensive care they require. The nursery saves more than 1,000 kittens per year by providing them with round-the-clock care including bottle-feeding every two hours, stimulation and constant warmth. Like the Parvo Puppy Ward, the Neonatal Kitten Nursery is also the second of its kind in the state of Texas, putting San Antonio well ahead of the curve with their animal rescue efforts.
SAPA! is eager to be a part of The Big Give SA for it’s second consecutive year. The work they are doing in the community saves thousands of lives every year, and their innovative programs are helping keep San Antonio’s current dogs and cats happy and healthy while ensuring that future populations are protected.
Last year, SAPA! raised more than $28,000 during The Big Give and had the most unique donors for a large organization, as well as the most unique donors for an animal welfare organization. SAPA! is looking forward to raising even more this year so that they can continue to grow their organization and reach a 100% live release rate for both cats and dogs.
The funds SAPA! raises this year through The Big Give SA will go toward funding the Parvo Puppy and Neonatal Kitten Wards to continue saving the pet population’s most fragile lives. These two programs are costly, with Parvo treatments exceeding $250 per puppy and neonatal care exceeding $150 per kitten. The donations collected through The Big Give SA will help to spare more lives like Moo Moo’s, so that more dogs and cats will be given the second chances they deserve. Without the efforts SAPA! has put forth in the San Antonio community, countless innocent lives would be lost and the future of San Antonio’s pets wouldn’t look nearly as bright.
*Featured/top image: Moo Moo was diagnosed with Parvovirus and a case of ringworm. Courtesy photo of San Antonio Pets Alive.