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I was just watching the 5:00 news and there was a story about a raid on a house full of cats in Austin today. Apparently this gentleman had taken in 57 cats and they were living in an abandonded house. Neighbors complained about the smell and you guessed it....all 57 cats were taken to Town Lake Animal Center, Austin's biggest kill shelter

I understand that the neighbors had good reason for reporting the incident but I'm incredibly sad that all of these cats have been sent to an almost certain death. Perhaps if more people in his neighborhood had been willing to help with the local cat population this whole situation could have been avoided.

Yesterday while I was at the vet with Lola a woman was in with her dog and mentioned that she had seen a couple of stray dogs on her property. None of the local animal control orgs were willing to help because there apparently are no leash laws out here in the country (sounds like a convenient excuse for not taking in strays). The best advice that the secretary could offer her was a call to Town Lake.

Luckily the woman already knew about their kill policy so she's going to try looking elsewhere but it still burns me up that so many people keep recommending that animals be taken to that place. There are lots of animal rescue groups in the area that should be consulted first. They don't always have the rescources to help but they usually have other contacts or ideas.

There is one website run out of Austin that absolutely breaks my heart. It's called Broken Lives (Broken Lives Website) and it's basically a listing of all of the animals that were previously adopted from Town Lake and then returned for some reason or another. Most of these animals are put down because they've already gone through the adoption process once and Town Lake's policy usually only provides them with a few days in a holding cell as a second chance for adoption.

It honestly makes me wonder just how many of these owners realize what futures the animals have when they are dropped back off at that place. I know it's not Town Lake's fault that they have to euthanize unwanted animals but I find no excuse for the people that return their newly adopted pets because "the cat gets on the bed at night and wakes owner" or the "dog looked bigger when we got it home".

I've always been an animal lover but it's stories like these that make me realize what an advocate I've become. There wasn't a very big stray population back home in NY. The winters tend to thin the stray populations. Moving down here to the South where the winters are milder and the strays more abundant has truly opened my eyes.

Sorry to vent! I just needed to get this off my chest. Sometimes it seems like we'll never be able to conquer the stray population and that so many people are working against us. If only everyone did just a little to help, we'd be so much closer to our goal.

Thanks for listening