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[2022 Austin Community Input Meeting for Animal Services Department Audit ]

[00:00:05]

WHILE WE WERE WAITING FOR THE LAST COUPLE PEOPLE, UM, ON THE PRESENTATION, WE HAVE A QR CODE THAT'S FOR THE SURVEY THAT WE'VE BEEN ASKING PEOPLE TO TAKE.

SO WE DO HAVE A, I'M NOT SURE IF WE HAVE ANY LEFT, BUT WE HAD A FEW PAPER COPIES.

UM, I KNOW MYSELF AND OUR AUDIT TEAM WOULD PREFER IF YOU DID IT ON, UM, ONLINE IF YOU WERE ABLE TO, JUST BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO BE MUCH EASIER FOR US TO ACTUALLY COMPILE THE DATA.

UM, DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HANDWRITING, ANY OF THAT TYPE OF STUFF.

SO IF YOU'RE ABLE TO PLEASE DO THAT.

UM, IT'S ALSO AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE AND OUR POSTS ABOUT THIS.

SO HOWEVER YOU FIND IT, WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FEEDBACK FROM ALL OF YOU REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU'RE SPEAKING TONIGHT.

UM, AND THAT SURVEY'S GOING TO BE THE BEST WAY TO DO IT RIGHT TIME.

ALL RIGHT, I THINK WE'RE GOING TO GET STARTED.

UM, SO I'LL JUST LEAVE THIS UP FOR ANOTHER COUPLE SECONDS IF ANYBODY WANTS TO USE THEIR PHONES TO GET THIS QR CODE.

I ALSO HAVE THIS AT THE END OF THE PRESENTATION, UM, BUT SEEING NOBODY ELSE TAKING PICTURES.

ALL RIGHT, LET'S BEGIN.

DOES THIS WORK? OH, I'M SO SORRY.

SORRY.

TERRIBLE TIMING.

OKAY, GOOD.

THANK YOU.

PERFECT.

ALL RIGHT.

SO FIRST OF ALL, I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE FOR BEING HERE TONIGHT.

I KNOW THAT IT'S A THURSDAY NIGHT BEFORE A HOLIDAY FOR HOPEFULLY ALL OF US.

AND, UM, I'M REALLY GLAD THAT PEOPLE ARE TAKING OUT TIME FROM THEIR BUSY SCHEDULES TO COME SHARE THEIR FEEDBACK AND PERSPECTIVES WITH US.

WE REALLY APPRECIATE THAT AND VALUE WHAT YOU ALL HAVE TO SAY.

UM, I ALSO WANNA THANK CTM FOR BEING HERE TO RECORD THIS AND MAKE SURE THAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO, UH, HEAR THIS AND SEE THE FEEDBACK THAT WE'RE RECEIVING AS WELL.

OKAY, SO LET ME INTRODUCE MYSELF.

MY NAME IS KEITH SALAS.

I AM THE ASSISTANT CITY AUDITOR WHO IS MANAGING THIS PROJECT.

AND WITH ME, I HAVE HEN KATUA AND HE'S GOING TO BE LEADING THE DAY TO DAY, UH, ACTIVITIES OF THIS AUDIT.

WE HAVE MARIO STER.

HELLO.

UM, I HAVE, UH, PATRICIA OVER HERE.

SHE'S NOT ACTUALLY AN AUDITOR.

SHE IS, UH, HELPING US WITH ALL OF OUR, UH, PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT.

SO SHE'S THE REASON THAT WE'RE HERE TONIGHT.

SHE'S THE REASON THAT YOU GUYS FOUND OUT THAT WE'RE GONNA BE HERE TONIGHT.

UM, SO SHE'S A BIG ROLE BUT NOT ACTUALLY DOING THE AUDITS.

AND THEN OVER HERE WE HAVE JASON AHA, WHO'S OUR DEPUTY CITY AUDITOR.

OKAY, SO LET'S GET INTO THIS.

SO THE REASON THAT WE'RE DOING THIS AUDIT IS BECAUSE COUNCIL ASKED US TO, UM, AND I'M NOT GONNA GET INTO THEIR HEADS WHY THEY ASKED US TO, BUT THEY GAVE US A VERY BROAD MANDATE.

SO THEY HAVE TOLD US TO LOOK INTO PRETTY MUCH EVERY ASPECT OF THE ANIMAL SERVICES OFFICE, UM, WHICH INCLUDES THE ANIMAL INTAKE.

SO HOW WE GET OUR ANIMALS, UM, WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM WHILE THEY'RE IN THE SHELTERS, WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM WHEN THEY LEAVE THE SHELTERS? SO DO THEY GET ADOPTED? DO THEY GET RESCUED? DOES SOMETHING ELSE HAPPEN TO THEM? UM, TO LOOK INTO OUR NO-KILL POLICIES, OUR CONTRACTS WITH EXTERNAL PARTNERS, THAT INCLUDES OTHER, UH, RESCUE ORGANIZATIONS AS WELL AS OTHER SHELTERS THAT WE PARTNER WITH.

AND AS A PART OF THIS, THEY ASKED US TO HIRE AN EXTERNAL EXPERT TO HELP US IDENTIFY STRATEGIES AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS.

UM, THIS PROBABLY DOESN'T NEED TO BE SAID, BUT YOU KNOW, AS AUDITORS, WE ARE NOT EXPERTS IN ANIMAL SERVICES IN THEIR OPERATIONS.

WE'RE VERY GOOD AT UNDERSTANDING POLICIES, PROCEDURES, HOW THINGS WORK, BUT, UM, THE ACTUAL NITTY GRITTY OF HOW TO RUN ANIMAL SHELTER IS NOT SOMETHING THAT WE ARE EXPERTS AT.

OKAY, SO WHAT IS AN AUDIT SHOP THEN? SO WHAT WE ARE IS AN INDEPENDENT AND OBJECTIVE OFFICE IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN THAT HELPS MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ABOUT VARIOUS PROGRAMS AND DEPARTMENTS THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

UM, I WANT TO STRESS HERE THAT WE REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL.

WE HAVE MONTHLY AUDIT AND FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETINGS WHERE WE GET TO PRESENT OUR FINANCES DIRECTLY TO THEM.

AND THE REASON THAT I'M TAKING A SECOND TO MENTION THIS IS THAT WE ARE NOT PART OF THE NORMAL CITY MANAGEMENT CHAIN OF COMMAND.

SO THE WAY IT WORKS FOR MOST DEPARTMENTS IS THEY HAVE THEIR DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR, THEY REPORT TO ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER, CITY MANAGER, AND THEN MAYOR AND COUNCIL, WE'RE COMPLETELY SEPARATE OF THAT.

AND THE REASON THAT'S IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF YOU TO BE HERE IS THAT WHATEVER WE SAY IS STUFF THAT WE BELIEVE IN AND WANNA BE SAID.

IF ANIMAL SERVICES OR THE CITY MANAGEMENT OR YOU KNOW, ANY OTHER AUDIT THAT WE'RE CONDUCTING.

IF THEIR MANAGEMENT DOESN'T LIKE WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY, BUT WE BELIEVE IT'S TRUE AND WE BELIEVE IT NEEDS TO BE SAID, THEN WE GET TO SAY IT.

SO THEY CAN'T TELL US TO CHANGE OUR MESSAGES OR ANY OF THAT TYPE OF STUFF.

AND THAT'S SO IMPORTANT FOR HAVING AN INDEPENDENT AND OBJECTIVE SHOT.

UM, AUDIT WORK.

IF YOU'VE SEEN ANY OF MY PREVIOUS PRESENTATIONS, I ALWAYS HAD THREE BLOCKS, BUT, UM, REALLY IT HAS FOUR THINGS.

SO THE FIRST PART IS THE AREA THAT WE'RE IN RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS OUR INITIAL INFORMATION GATHERING SECTION.

THIS IS WHERE WE'RE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE ENVIRONMENT.

SO LIKE, WHAT IS ANIMAL SERVICES? WHAT DO THEY DO? WHAT ARE ALL THEIR DIFFERENT OPERATIONS? WHAT AREAS ARE GOING WELL, WHAT AREAS MIGHT BE MORE CHALLENGING? AND THOSE MORE CHALLENGING AREAS ARE PROBABLY GOING TO BE THE ONES THAT WE LOOK AT.

UM, WE DON'T WANNA WASTE OUR TIME LOOKING AT THINGS THAT ARE ALREADY RUNNING WELL, CUZ WE'RE PROBABLY NOT GONNA HAVE A LOT OF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THAT.

UM, ONCE WE'VE NARROWED IT DOWN, WE GO INTO

[00:05:01]

OUR NEXT SECTION, WHICH IS WHAT WE CALL OUR DETAILED TEST WORK OR OUR FIELD WORK.

AND THAT'S WHERE WE HAVE A SMALL NUMBER OF ISSUES THAT WE'RE REALLY GOING TO DRILL DOWN INTO AND TRY TO SAY, OKAY, IS THIS WORKING? IS THERE A WAY THAT IT COULD BE DONE BETTER? AND WE CONDUCT OUR WORK.

AND THEN OUR FINAL PHASE OF THE NORMAL PROCESS IS REPORTING.

ALL OF OUR AUDITS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE ON OUR WEBSITES, AND WE ALSO PRESENT ALL OF THEM AT THE AUDIT AND FINANCE COMMITTEE.

SO THIS WILL BE ONE OF THOSE THAT YOU GET TO SEE US PRESENT.

YOU'LL GET TO READ THE AUDIT REPORT.

AND UM, AND THERE YOU GO.

AND THEN THE SECTION THAT I ADDED, PEOPLE WERE ASKING ABOUT THIS, WE DO CONDUCT WHAT WE CALL FOLLOW UP WORK.

SO WE'VE BEEN ASKED, YOU KNOW, HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY MAKE SURE THAT YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS GET ENACTED? WELL, YOU KNOW, WE DON'T ACTUALLY GET TO GO OUT AND MAKE THE DECISIONS AND SAY LIKE, YOU HAVE TO DO THIS, YOU HAVE TO DO THAT.

BUT WHAT WE DO GET TO DO IS, YOU KNOW, A FEW MONTHS OR SOMETIMES A FEW YEARS AFTER THE AUDIT GOES INTO EFFECT, WE'LL GO BACK AND WE'LL SAY, OKAY, DID YOU ACTUALLY MAKE THE CHANGES THAT WE ASKED YOU TO MAKE, MAKE OR SUGGESTED THAT YOU MAKE? AND IF YOU DID, HAVE THINGS IMPROVED.

AND SO THAT IS A STEP IN OUR AUDIT WORK, BUT THAT'S GOING TO BE A BIT DOWN THE ROAD FOR US.

LET'S SEE.

ALL RIGHT, SO WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM THIS, UM, THE AUDIT PROCESS IS LONG.

SO THE FOLLOW UP, LIKE I SAID, TAKES PLACE, YOU KNOW, MONTHS OR EVEN YEARS AFTER THE FACT.

BUT EVEN THE ACT OF CONDUCTING AN AUDIT, UH, TO MEET OUR STANDARDS OF, UM, YOU KNOW, ACCURACY AND MAKING SURE THAT WE'VE REALLY COVERED OUR BASES TAKES A LONG TIME.

UM, RIGHT NOW WE'RE CONDUCTING OBVIOUSLY OUR, UM, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.

WE'VE ALSO DONE SOME EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT WHERE WE'RE TRYING TO SOLICIT THE SAME, UH, FEEDBACK FROM EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ACTUALLY THERE DAY TO DAY.

UM, WE'RE GOING TO BE HIRING THAT EXTERNAL EXPERT THAT I MENTIONED, AND WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE UNDERSTAND LEARNING AS MUCH AS WE CAN ABOUT, UH, THE ANIMAL SERVICES OFFICE SOMETIME IN EARLY 2023.

WE'RE GOING TO BE DONE WITH THAT.

AND WE'RE GOING TO GET INTO OUR DETAIL OF TEST WORK.

UM, I DON'T KNOW WHAT AREAS WE'RE GOING TO BE FOCUSING ON.

THAT'S WHAT WE'RE HERE TO HELP, UH, NARROW DOWN TO.

BUT WE HOPE TO HAVE THAT DONE AROUND THE SPRING OF NEXT YEAR.

AND THEN BY SUMMER OF NEXT YEAR, WE PLAN ON HAVING OUR REPORT, PRESENTING IT AND UH, AND SHARING THOSE FINDINGS FOR COUNCIL.

OKAY.

I KNOW THERE'S A TON OF TEXTS HERE.

UM, I'M GOING TO LEAVE THIS UP AND TURN IT OVER TO PATRICIA IN JUST A SECOND.

BUT THAT COUNCIL RESOLUTION, UM, WE DO HAVE A COUPLE PAPER COPIES OF IT.

YOU WANT TO APPROVE THAT.

IT'S ALSO WHEN YOU CLICK ON OUR SURVEY, YOU'LL BE ABLE TO SEE A LINK TO THE RESOLUTION.

THE RESOLUTION, LIKE I SAID, IS VERY LONG AND VERY BROAD.

IT COVERS A LOT OF ASPECTS.

WE'VE NARROWED IT DOWN TO KIND OF 10 MAJOR BUCKETS, UM, THAT COUNCIL HAS ASKED US TO LOOK AT.

AND WHAT WE'RE GOING TO BE DOING TONIGHT IS HOPEFULLY GETTING FEEDBACK FROM ALL OF YOU ON WHAT OF THESE AREAS, UM, SHOULD WE BE FOCUSING ON.

SO IF YOU THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, THE FIRST ONE, ANIMAL BEHAVIORAL SERVICES IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

THERE'S THE BIGGEST, UH, ISSUES GOING ON AND WE REALLY NEED TO DEVOTE A LOT OF TIME.

WE NEED TO HEAR THAT.

YOU KNOW, LIKEWISE, IF YOU THINK THAT THE ANIMAL TRANSPORT PROGRAM IS WORKING GREAT AND IT'S PROBABLY NOT A GOOD USE OF OUR TIME, LET US KNOW THAT AS WELL.

CAUSE IT'LL HELP US MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE NOT SPENDING OUR TIME LOOKING AT THAT WHEN WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT BEHAVIORAL SERVICES OR SOMETHING ELSE.

UM, SO WITH THAT, I'M GONNA TURN IT OVER TO PATRICIA.

GREAT, THANK YOU KEITH.

SO A FEW PEOPLE JUST WALKED IN, IF YOU'D LIKE TO SIGN UP TO SPEAK, UH, THERE'S A SIGNUP SHEET, UH, AS YOU WALK IN THE DOOR OVER THERE.

SO IF YOU CAME IN A LITTLE BIT LATE AND WANNA SIGN UP, PLEASE, PLEASE DO SO OVER THERE.

SO WHAT WE'RE GONNA DO, UH, BASED ON THE PEOPLE THAT I'VE SIGNED UP TO SPEAK, IT LOOKS LIKE WE'VE GOT ABOUT FIVE MINUTES PER PERSON.

SO, UM, WITH THAT, I WANT YOU TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT'S ON THE SCREEN, OUR AREAS OF FOCUS FOR THE AUDIT, AND SPEAK TO THOSE OR SPEAK TO ANY OTHER ISSUES YOU'D LIKE TO GIVE FEEDBACK FOR THIS AUDIT.

SO WITH THAT, UH, WE WILL ASK ROCHELLE, VIC, ROCHELLE, IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAYBE SIT RIGHT THERE AND YOU CAN AND JUST, UH, TURN ON THE MICROPHONE.

THANK YOU.

I LIKE THE CHAIRS.

HARD, HARD MY FEET.

SO, ROCHELLE, UH, FIVE MINUTES IF YOU COULD.

OKAY.

UM, THAT GENTLEMAN KNOWS, AND SOME OF THE OTHER PEOPLE KNOW THAT I HAVE BEEN VOLUNTEERING FOR THIS CITY FOR MANY YEARS.

I'M A TNR.

I DID 35 CATS LAST MONTH.

I DO AN AVERAGE OF 30 A MONTH.

I HAVE BEEN GOING TO THE CITY AND I WENT THERE THE THE OTHER DAY TO SPEAK TO JEN AND I WALKED DOWN THE CAT HALL.

I HAVE SOME PICTURES THAT I WANT Y'ALL TO SEE CUZ IT MAKES ME WANNA CRY BECAUSE APA IS NOT PULLING THE DOGS.

THE DOGS ARE IN THE CRATES IN THE CARPORT, AND IT'S GONNA FREEZE THIS WEEKEND.

AND THAT'S NOT FAIR TO

[00:10:01]

OUR DOGS.

OUR TAX DOLLARS, THE HUMANE SOCIETY WILL BE THERE 70 YEARS ON THE 18TH OF THIS MONTH.

THEY GET ZERO MONEY FROM OUR CITY.

AND IT UPSETS ME THAT OUR CITY PAYS FOR THEIR PLACE.

THE HUMANE SOCIETY PAYS FOR THEIRS, BUT THEY DON'T PAY FOR THEIRS.

AND OUR ANIMALS ARE SUFFERING FOR IT.

AND I WOULD LIKE FOR Y'ALL TO LOOK AT THESE PICTURES AND PASS THEM AROUND BECAUSE THERE ARE DOGS IN THE CAT HALL THAT THE, THE THE CAGES ARE, ARE, ARE NOT BIG ENOUGH.

THEY WERE MEANT FOR CATS.

THEY'RE NOT MEANT FOR LARGE DOGS.

AND THE DOGS BARELY HAVE ROOM TO STAND UP AND MUCH LESS LAY DOWN.

AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S FAIR THAT OUR TAX DOLLARS IS PAYING FOR THIS.

AND WE, WE HAD TO MOVE FROM THAT PLACE, UH, T L A C.

AND WE SPENT 12 MILLION TO BUILD THIS SHELTER.

AND, AND WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH ROOM BECAUSE THERE'S TOO MANY PEOPLE NOW, I I THINK OF LOTS OF DR.

JEFFERSON, SHE HAS A BIG HEART.

I REMEMBER AT EPA SHE WAS WORKING ON A LITTLE BIRD.

SHE KNOWS SHE REMEMBERS THE LITTLE BIRD.

AND I KNOW SHE, SHE DOESN'T DO THIS INTENTIONALLY, BUT SHE PULLS FROM OUTTA COUNTY.

SHE'S ADMITTED IT, SHE'S DONE SURVEYS AND SAID ALL, THERE'S ENOUGH OF PEOPLE IN THIS TOWN, THIS COUNTY THAT CAN COVER FOR THAT.

THERE IS NOT.

WHEN WE GOT DOGS SITTING IN THE CARPORT IN A 36 BY 48 ROLLAWAY, THAT'S WHAT THE DOGS ARE SITTING IN.

I COULDN'T GET IN THERE TO TAKE PICTURES.

I VOLUNTEERED FOR THE CITY WHEN I WORKED IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM, I SAW IT.

SO I KNOW WHAT GOES ON OVER THERE.

AND I JUST, I JUST THINK IT'S PATHETIC THAT, THAT WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH ROOM FOR OUR OWN ANIMALS, BUT YET SHE WILL PULL FROM OTHER, OTHER PLACES.

AND IT'S, IT'S JUST NOT FAIR FOR, I'M NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE CATS, I'M WORRIED ABOUT THE DOGS.

SO CAN I PASS, CAN WE PASS THESE PICTURES DOWN AND YOU SEE HE'S GONNA COME GET THEM.

COME, GET, COME.

YEAH.

OKAY.

I MEAN, THIS IS PATHETIC TO SEE THIS OF A LARGER DOGS IN, IN A, IN A KENNEL THAT'S NO BIGGER THAN THIS.

AND IT'S THE GLASS THING.

AND THAT HALLWAY WAS MEANT FOR DOG, THE CAT'S ONLY, BUT THEY HAVE DOGS IN THERE, TWO DOGS TO A, TO A LITTLE CUBICLE.

AND THEN, AND SO THAT, THAT IS, YOU CAN HAVE THOSE PICTURES IF YOU WANT 'EM.

I MEAN, IT'S, IT'S, IT'S JUST, TO ME, IT'S SAD.

IT HURTS MY HEART.

WHEN I WENT THERE, I WENT TO SEE GIN ABOUT SOME CATS, SOME PAPERS FOR CATS, AND IT'S, AND EVERYTHING.

AND I JUST, YOU KNOW, I JUST, UH, SAW THAT AND I SAID, I GOTTA COME BACK WITH MY CAMERA.

AND I TOOK PICTURES IN THEIR TIME AND DATED.

SO, SO IT'S VERIFIED EXACTLY WHEN THEY WAS DONE AND THE TIME OF DAY IT WAS DONE.

I MEAN, TWO IN A TWO IN A, A LITTLE CUBICLE LIKE THAT.

IT'S, IT'S NOT FAIR.

I JUST, YOU KNOW, I'M, I'M SORRY.

SHE CAN PULL ALL SHE WANTS.

IF WE HAVE OPEN, OPEN KENNELS AT OUR CITY SHELTER, I DON'T CARE.

IT DON'T BOTHER ME.

BUT WHEN YOU'RE PULLING, WHEN OUR ANIMALS ARE SITTING IN SITUATIONS LIKE THAT AND SITTING IN THOSE CARTS AND IN THE, IN THE HALL, IN THE BREEZEWAY OF THE, THE SHELTER, THE CARPORT AS THEY CALL IT, AND THERE'S NO HEAT THERE, THERE'S THE WINDS BLOWING AND IT'S GONNA BE COLD.

AND I'M SAYING SHAME ON THE CITY, LETTING HER GET AWAY WITH IT AND SHAME ON THEM FOR NOT PULLING.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

UH, SHELLY.

LIAM.

SO SHELLY, UM, FIVE MINUTES.

THANK YOU.

AGAIN, MY NAME IS SHELLY LIAM.

I'M A CURRENT CAT VOLUNTEER AT AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER.

I'M ALSO A CAT MENTOR FOR NEW VOLUNTEERS AND THE CAT VOLUNTEER LIAISON.

I WAS GONNA START MY SPEECH BY SAYING, EVERYBODY ALWAYS TALKS ABOUT THE DOGS BECAUSE THAT'S USUALLY WHAT IT IS.

BUT ROCHELLE, I KNOW IS A, A VOLUNTEER TRAPPER NOT COMPENSATED, AND SHE'S WORRIED ABOUT THE DOGS.

SO I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE HERE WILL TALK ABOUT THAT LATER.

BUT I'M HERE TO TALK FROM THE CAT PERSPECTIVE AND TO TALK ABOUT NO KILL IN GENERAL.

SO, SO FAR THIS YEAR I'VE BEEN THERE.

I VOLUNTEERED ALMOST ABOUT 500 HOURS.

SO I SEE FIRSTHAND ISSUES WITH FLOWS OF OPERATION AND STAFFING.

AND SO HERE ARE MY SUGGESTIONS THAT I HOPE YOU GUYS CONSIDER.

I THINK WE NEED A CAT PROGRAM MANAGER.

AS I SAID, WE TALK ABOUT THE DOGS AND I UNDERSTAND THEY'RE, THEY'RE THE PRIORITY, BUT IF WE HAD A BETTER RUN CAT PROGRAM, WE CAN REDUCE THE NUMBER OF STAFF HOURS SPENT DOING AD HOC CAT PROGRAM MANAGEMENT.

SO RIGHT NOW, OTHER THAN OUR AWESOME CAT VOLUNTEER

[00:15:01]

COORDINATOR, WE HAVE ONE FULL-TIME PERSON DEVOTED TO CATS, AND THAT'S FOR OUR COMMUNITY CATS PROGRAM.

AND IT'S A GREAT PROGRAM.

UM, WE TN R A LOT OF CATS KEEPING DOWN, TRYING TO KEEP DOWN THE OUTDOOR POPULATION.

BUT THAT'S HER FOCUS.

THE FOCUS IS NOT FOR THE CATS THAT ARE IN THE SHELTER, OWNER SURRENDERS OR STRAYS THAT ARE THERE TO GET ADOPTED.

UM, AND SO I THINK THAT THE CAT PROGRAM MANAGER, IT COULD MANAGE ALL ASPECTS OF CATS FROM THE INTAKE TO ADOPTION.

HAVING ONE PERSON ASSIGNED WOULD NOT ONLY RESULT IN BETTER CARE FOR THE CATS, BUT WOULD LEAD TO HIGHER FOSTER AND ADOPTION WEIGHTS AND GETTING THEM IN HOMES QUICKER.

RIGHT NOW IT'S AD HOC.

SOMEBODY REALIZES WHY IS THAT CAT IN THE BACK FOR TWO WEEKS? IT'S FRIENDLY.

IT'S BECAUSE NOBODY'S IN CHARGE OF THAT.

YOU HAVE ANIMAL CARE, YOU HAVE VET SERVICES, YOU HAVE, UH, THE VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR, AND WE NEED SOMEBODY IN CHARGE.

I KNOW WHEN I RESEARCH THAT AUSTIN PETS ALIVE HAS SEVERAL CAT POSITIONS THAT ARE FOCUSED ON THAT.

AND AGAIN, I KNOW THE DOGS ARE THE BIG ISSUE, BUT TAKING AND FOCUSING ON THAT PROGRAM WILL ALLOW THE OTHERS TO FOCUS ON THE OVERPOPULATION OF DOGS.

AND THEN MY SECOND POINT, OUR SECOND SUGGESTION IS TO ADD TO THE FOSTER PROGRAM.

WE'VE HAD ONE AND A HALF FOSTER STAFF FOR YEARS.

THEY'VE RECENTLY ADDED A COUPLE OF TEMP FOLKS.

I HOPE THAT THAT WILL CONTINUE TO BE A PERMANENT SOLUTION BECAUSE ONE AND A HALF PEOPLE IS NOT ENOUGH TO SUPPORT A MORE ROBUST FOSTER PROGRAM, WHICH IS OUR GOAL.

AND THEN I JUST WANTED TO TALK ABOUT NO KILL IN GENERAL.

I AM A LIFELONG ANIMAL LOVER.

BEFORE I BECAME INVOLVED VOLUNTEERING AT THE SHELTER, NO KILL SOUNDED SO AWESOME TO ME.

IT'S SUCH A FEEL GOOD TERM.

BUT I USE IT WITH CAUTION BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE THAT PROMOTE IT SAY IT'S NOT ABOUT THE NUMBERS, IT'S ABOUT THE NUMBERS.

IT WAS 90% WHEN WE INSTITUTED IT ALMOST OVER 10 YEARS AGO, IT WENT UP TO 95%.

BUT WHAT MATTERS IS HOW WE ARE TREATING THESE LIVING BREATHING ANIMALS WHO ARE RELYING ON US TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

SO I KNOW THE ORDINANCE SAYS TO, TO HIRE AN EXPERT IN NO KILL, BUT I SUGGEST YOU HIRE AN EXPERT IN THE HUMANE TREATMENT OF ANIMALS, DOESN'T FOCUS ON THE NUMBERS.

YOU MIGHT WANNA CHECK OUT THE SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS ANIMAL SHELTERING AS A GUIDE.

AND FINALLY, I THINK I'VE HEARD THIS FROM OTHER PEOPLE WHO'VE GONE TO OTHER MEETINGS, BUT THAT EXPERT THAT YOU HIRE SHOULD HAVE ZERO AFFILIATION TO THE SHELTER, TO AUSTIN PETS ALIVE AND TO ANY ORGANIZATION THAT GIVES MONEY TO THAT SHELTER OR TO AUSTIN PETS ALIVE LIKE MATTIE'S FUND.

I WANT THIS TO BE, WE WANT THIS TO BE TRULY OBJECTIVE.

AND I WAS SO GLAD TO HEAR THAT.

WE ALL KNOW THAT AUDITORS SHOULD BE OBJECTIVE, BUT YOU REINFORCING THAT MAKES A LOT OF US FEEL BETTER ABOUT THE CHANCES THAT THIS AUDIT MAY CHURN INTO SOME REALLY POSITIVE CHANGE.

I'M INVESTED IN MAKING THAT SHELTER THE BEST I CAN.

I'M THERE AS MUCH AS I CAN, AND I HOPE YOUR FINDINGS HELP GET US TO A BETTER POINT.

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING.

UM, I JUST WANNA JUMP IN REALLY QUICK.

UM, THANK YOU SO MUCH TO BOTH OF YOU WHO'VE ALREADY SPOKEN.

UM, LIKE I MENTIONED, WE'RE NOT EXPERTS, SO PLEASE DON'T, UH, IF YOU CAN DEFINE SOME OF THE ACRONYMS. LIKE I, I DO EMBARRASSED.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT TNR STANDS FOR.

OH, SURE.

UM, SO JUST HELPING US OUT A LITTLE BIT.

SO TNR IS TRAP NEUTER RELEASE.

YEAH.

WHERE'S WHERE SHOW ARE YOU HERE? RAPTER RELEASE RELEASE.

IT'S FOR, UH, FOR FERAL UN SOCIALIZE CATS.

AND SO YEAH.

AND FRIENDLY ONES SOMETIMES GO THERE TOO.

BUT THE GOAL IS TO STERILIZE THEM, UM, VACCINATE THEM AT LEAST AT THE TIME, AND TIP THEIR LEFT EAR TO NOTE THAT THEY HAD BEEN STERILIZED.

SO THAT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN THEY'RE FERAL CAT, IF THEIR EARS TIPS, IT JUST MEANS, SO IT'S JUST CONTROLLING THE OUTDOOR POPULATION.

SO OUR COMMUNITY CATS PROGRAM RUNS THAT AT THE SHELTER.

THERE'S ANOTHER COMPONENT CALLED SNR SHELTER NEUTER RETURN, WHICH ARE CATS THAT ACTUALLY COME INTO THE SHELTER.

SO ROCHELLE SAID THAT HE MAY, SOCIETY DOESN'T GET PAID ANYTHING FROM THE CITY.

THEY ACTUALLY DO FOR PERFORMING THE SPAY NEUTER SURGERIES FOR THOSE, THOSE PROGRAMS. BUT THEY DID FREE MONEY.

YES.

THEY WORK FOR IT.

YEAH, WORK FOR, NO, I, I APPRECIATE THAT.

AND I ALSO WANNA SAY, UM, I APPRECIATE THAT YOU, UH, ADD A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE EXPERT.

UM, WE DO HAVE, WELL, JUST TO PREVIEW, WE DO HAVE ONE OTHER SLIDE WE'RE GONNA ASK PEOPLE ABOUT.

IF, UH, IF AS PEOPLE COME UP TO SPEAK, YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE CHARACTERISTICS OF QUALIFICATIONS THAT YOU THINK WE SHOULD CONSIDER AN EXTERNAL EXPERT, PLEASE LET US KNOW.

UM, WE WANT TO HEAR THAT AS WELL.

SO THAT CAN EITHER HAPPEN NOW OR ASSUMING THERE'S TIME.

UM, WE CAN HAVE SOME DISCUSSIONS AFTERWARDS, BUT FEEL FREE TO SHARE IT WHILE YOU DO THIS.

AND OUR INTENT IS TO HAVE, UM, TO FIND AN EXPERT WHO IS INDEPENDENT OBJECTIVE.

SO SOMEBODY WHO HAS NOT, UM, EITHER WORKED FOR, HAVE ASSOCIATIONS WITH, UM, OUR SHELTER OR ANY OF OUR PARTNERING ORGANIZATIONS AND SHELTERS.

UM, MAYBE A CHALLENGE, BUT THAT'S OUR GOAL AND INTENT.

AND SHELLY, I JUST WANNA REITERATE, DID YOU FILL OUT THE SURVEY, THE ONLINE SURVEY OR THE I DID.

OH, GOOD.

OKAY.

THE NEXT PERSON WE HAVE IS NEIL HAY AND NEIL.

UH, FIVE MINUTES.

[00:20:09]

SORRY, I'M WAITING ON THE RED LIGHT.

THERE WE GO.

OKAY.

I WAS READY TO SPEAK, BUT, UM, SO MY NAME IS NEIL HAY.

I'M THE SENIOR DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AT AUSTIN PETS ALIVE.

UM, I'VE BEEN AN EMPLOYEE AT APA NOW FOR SEVEN YEARS, AND IN THAT CAPACITY, I HAVE COLLABORATED SUCCESSFULLY WITH TEAM MEMBERS AT AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER TO SAVE THE LIVES OF THE MOST VULNERABLE ANIMALS THAT HAVE COME INTO THE CITY SHELTER.

THROUGHOUT THAT TIME, I'VE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF WORKING ALONGSIDE CITY STAFF MEMBERS WHO ARE COMMITTED TO UPHOLDING THESE HIGH STANDARDS OF NO KILL AND SAVING AS MANY ANIMALS AS POSSIBLE.

THE FRAGILE ANIMALS MY PROGRAMS HAVE DEALT WITH WERE ONCE CONSIDERED DISPOSABLE AND EUTHANIZED.

OUR PROGRAMS HAVE SAVED THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS IN AUSTIN SINCE THE COUNCIL PASSED THE 95% LIVE RELEASE MANDATE.

AFTER BUILDING ON YEARS OF SUCCESS, I HAVE SEEN THE STRONG AND PRODUCTIVE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US AND ANIMAL CENTER AND EPA FALTER.

IN RECENT YEARS, THE CENTER HAS MADE OPERATIONAL, BEHAVIORAL AND MEDICAL DECISIONS THAT IMPACT OUR ABILITY TO HELP THEM WITH NO CONSISTENT EFFORT TO SEEK BETTER OUTCOMES.

TWO RECENT CHANGES HIGHLIGHT THIS PROCESS.

IN THE FIRST EXAMPLE, THE DECISION TO LIMIT INTAKE AT THE CENTER LED TO A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN AUSTIN CITIZENS ATTEMPTING TO SURRENDER OR ABANDON ANIMALS.

I APA IN THE LAST MONTH, REQUESTS OF THIS TYPE OF INCREASE BY OVER 40%, MANY OF WHICH PRESENTED WITH EMERGENCY NEEDS.

IN THESE CASES, RESIDENTS TYPICALLY SHARED THAT THEY'VE BEEN UNAWARE OF THE DECISION BY AUSTINSON ANIMAL CENTER, AND WERE GIVEN LITTLE PRACTICAL ADVICE ON WHAT TO NEXT BY EITHER THREE 11 OR THE CENTER ITSELF.

THE SECOND EXAMPLE I WANT TO HIGHLIGHT CONCERNS THE ATTENTION DEADLINE FOR LARGE BEHAVIORAL DOGS.

AND THAT DEADLINE IS THE AMOUNT OF TIME THAT ANY RESCUE, NOT JUST APA, BUT ANY RESCUE IS GIVEN TO ASSESS THEIR ABILITY TO HELP THE CENTER WITH LARGE BEHAVIORAL DOGS.

AND AFTER THAT DEADLINE, THE DOG IS THEN PROCESSED FOR A EUTHANASIA DEADLINE.

IF NO ONE'S ABLE TO HELP THE RESOURCE THAT ANY RESCUE NEEDS IS IMPACTED BY THE TIME AVAILABLE TO ASSESS THESE DOGS BECAUSE OF THE VOLUME OF THEM.

AND A DEADLINE OF THREE WEEKS WAS IMPOSED ON ALL OF US WITHOUT CONSULTATION.

AS WE WORKED TO ADJUST OUR OWN PROCESSES SO THAT WE COULD WORK WITH THE CENTER AND COULD HELP WITH THESE DOGS, WE WERE NOTIFIED IT WAS BEING SHORTENED TO ONE WEEK.

CONS NOT CONSTANT.

INCIDENTALLY, WHEN WE REACHED OUT TO AAC STAFF THAT WE DEAL WITH ON A DAILY BASIS, THEY HADN'T EVEN BEEN MADE AWARE OF THAT CHANGE.

WE WERE THEN NOTIFIED SOME DAYS LATER THAT AFTER ALL THAT CHANGE WAS BEING ABANDONED AND WE WERE GOING BACK TO THREE WEEKS.

IT'S JUST DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND HOW THESE RAPID CHANGES WERE MADE TO IMPROVE THE POTENTIAL OUTCOMES FOR DOGS IN THE CENTER'S CARE.

WE ALL HAVE ONE SHARED GOAL TO MEET THE COUNCIL'S MANDATE OF 95% NO KILL AND TO SAVE LIVES.

MY SINCERE HOPE IS THAT THE AUDIT WILL EXPOSE THE MOST CRUCIAL PROCESS GAPS THAT WILL ALLOW YOU FOR OUR TEAMS TO WORK TOGETHER PRODUCTIVELY AND EFFECTIVELY.

EACH ANIMAL SERVED BY AAC NEEDS AND DESERVES PROMPT AND APPROPRIATE CARE THAT LEADS TO SUPPORTIVE INTAKE, DIVERSIONS, MINIMAL TIME IN SHELTER, POSITIVE OUTCOMES AND CONSIDERATION OF PUBLIC SAFETY.

I BELIEVE THIS AUDIT SHOULD EVALUATE HOW THE POLICIES, PROCEDURES, BUDGETS, AND STAFFING IS FUNCTIONING WITH THE KEY PROGRAMMING THAT SUPPORTS A NO-KILL CITY.

THIS DEPARTMENT'S FUNCTION RELIES ON LEADERSHIP WHO BELIEVES IN NO KILL IN IMPLEMENTING INNOVATIVE PROGRAMMING TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR THE PEOPLE IN PETS OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

THE COMMUNITY ENCOUNTER ARE LOOKING TO THIS AUDIT FOR AN ASSESSMENT THAT ENSURES AUSTIN REMAINS THE SAFEST PLACE IN AMERICA FOR PETS.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK TO JUST ENSURE OUR CITY IS MOVING IN A DIRECTION THAT WE CAN ALL BE PROUD OF.

THANK YOU, .

THANK YOU.

NOW, UM, ELLEN JEFFERSON, UH, FIVE MINUTES.

OKAY.

UM, I'VE MADE SOME NOTES.

I'M GOING TO SORT OF BE LOOKING AT THIS, BUT, UM, WHILE I'M SPEAKING, MY NAME IS DR.

ELLEN JEFFERSON, AND I AM THE CEO OF AUSTIN PETS ALIVE.

APA IS THE CITY'S CITY OF AUSTIN'S LARGEST RESCUE PARTNER.

WE PULL MANY HUNDREDS MORE ANIMALS THAN ANY OTHER RESCUE PARTNER IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN OR OUTSIDE THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

UM, WE HAVE PRIORITIZED AUSTIN'S NO KILL STATUS FOR THE LAST 11 YEARS.

UM, AND ACTUALLY EVEN BEFORE THAT, STEADILY SUPPORTING AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTERS OPERATIONS THROUGH HALF A DOZEN DIFFERENT SHELTER DIRECTORS.

OUR ORGANIZATION HAS INVESTED SO MUCH INTO THE SUCCESS OF NO KILL IN AUSTIN.

AND IT IS WHY WE ARE SO INVESTED IN MAKING SURE THIS AUDIT PROCESS IS SUCCESSFUL IN GUIDING OUR CITY TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE.

THE GOAL OF THIS AUDIT PER CITY COUNCIL MUST FOCUS ON EXAMINING AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER THROUGH

[00:25:01]

A NO KILL LENS, THE CITY COUNCIL INCREASED THE PREVIOUS NO KILL MANDATE REQUIRING A LIVE OUTCOME OF 90% TO 95% IN 2019.

THAT WAS DONE BECAUSE THE CITY OF AUSTIN ANIMAL SHELTER HAD BEEN ACHIEVING A HIGHER THAN 95% LIVE RELEASE RATE FOR MANY YEARS.

IT WAS SOLIDIFIED WITH THE LAST DIRECTOR CHANGE TO TRY TO HELP KEEP PROCESSES IN PLACE MOVING FORWARD.

UM, AUSTIN'S STATUS AS THE SAFEST CITY IN AMERICA FOR PETS IS NOT ONLY UNIQUE IN TEXAS, BUT ACROSS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.

THEREFORE, LOOKING TO OTHER CITIES FOR BEST PRACTICES WILL NOT BE REFLECTIVE OF THE HIGH OUTCOMES AND GOALS AUSTIN HAS PRIDED ITSELF UPON FOR MORE THAN A DECADE.

OUR CITY'S STATUS AS A LEADER IN ANIMAL SHELTERING HAS LONG BEEN A SOURCE OF PRIDE.

AND AN EXAMPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND WORLD AT AUSTIN PETS LIVE, WE WERE ALARMED BY A LETTER SENT TO COUNCIL BY DIRECTOR BLAND ON AUGUST 25TH, 2021, SUGGESTING EUTHANASIA TO ADDRESS SPACE ISSUES AT AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER.

NOT ONLY WOULD THIS BE IN VIOLATION OF THE COUNCIL MANDATE, BUT IT WAS A PREMATURE SOLUTION THAT WAS ADVANCED TO COUNCIL BEFORE ANY OTHER LIFESAVING MEASURES WERE EVEN ATTEMPTED.

AS A RESULT, SPACE SUGGESTIONS WERE MADE BY THE AUSTIN ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION, SHELTER SPACE ISSUES WORKING GROUP, BUT THEY WERE WHOLLY DISREGARDED.

THESE WERE EXPERT INDIVIDUALS PROVIDING RECOMMENDATIONS WITH LONG HISTORIES IN AUSTIN.

PEOPLE WHO HAD PROVIDED RECOMMENDATIONS TO PREVIOUS DIRECTORS AND HELPED TO, UM, HELPED THEM TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO GET ANIMALS IN AND OUT PRODUCTIVELY OF THE SHELTER ALIVE.

UM, THE, UM, SORRY.

UM, IT IS IMPORTANT TO OUR NO-KILL STATUS THAT WE ARE MIRRORING OTHER SUCCESSFUL INDUSTRIES BY BEING DATA DRIVEN IN OUR DECISION MAKING.

WE'RE ONE OF THE ONLY INDUSTRIES OUT THERE THAT DOESN'T USE DATA TO GUIDE DECISION MAKING.

THAT'S ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIC.

HOWEVER, UM, THERE IS DATA MANDATED BY CITY CODE AND THAT WAS ALL PRO PROCESSES AND PRACTICES IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER.

WHEN THE LAST LEADERSHIP CHANGE TOOK PLACE, UM, IT'S, IT'S IN CHAPTER CITY CODE CHAPTER 3 1 27.

AND IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE PRESENTED MONTHLY TO THE COMMISSION.

HOWEVER, IN THE LAST THREE YEARS, IT HAS BEEN CONTINUOUSLY INCONSISTENT AND LACKING.

THIS PREVENTS THE COMMUNITY AND PARTNERS AND COUNCIL FROM MEANINGFULLY ENGAGING IN PROBLEM SOLVING.

MEANWHILE, THE SHELTER HAS CLOSED INTAKE WITHOUT CLEAR PROCEDURES FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN CRISIS.

APA SEES THIS FIRSTHAND AS WE OPERATE THE EXTERNAL INTAKE DIVERSION PAGE, THE POSITIVE ALTERNATIVES TO SHELTER SURRENDER PROGRAM.

WE GET MESSAGES DAILY REGARDING THE CONFUSION AND FRUSTRATION THAT THIS COMMUNITY FEELS TOWARDS WHAT'S HAPPENING AT AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER.

WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE SHELTER IS FULL AND ANIMALS ARE PROBABLY SUFFERING.

UM, BECAUSE OF, OF THE LACK OF PRACTICES AT AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER, WE HAVE STOOD BY AND WATCHED DECISION AFTER DECISION NOT BE MADE FOR NO KILL.

AND, AND IN THIS LAST YEAR, WE HAVE, UM, HELD TO OUR PERCENTAGE OF REQUIRED INTAKE, EXCUSE ME, WHICH IS 12% BY CONTRACT.

WE ARE ACTUALLY EXCEEDING THAT, UM, ROUTINELY, BUT WE HAD TO BACK UP AS THE ENABLER BECAUSE WE SAW THAT PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES WERE NOT BEING, UM, OWNED BY THE CITY OF AUSTIN ANIMAL SHELTER.

THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE PERFECT TIME FOR AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER TO ENACT NO KILL PRACTICES BECAUSE INTAKE IS DOWN BY MORE ANIMALS THAN WE HAVE EVER PULLED FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS.

YET AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER IS IN THE WORST STATE THAT IT'S EVER BEEN IN.

UM, I WANNA POINT OUT THAT THE CITY HAS THE HIGHEST BUDGET PER CAPITA AND PER INTAKE OF ANY ANIMAL SHELTER IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY, INCLUDING THOSE SHELTERS THAT HAVE OVER 90% LIVE RELEASE RATES WITH NO AUSTIN PETS ALIVE, PULLING 12 TO 15 TO 20% OF THEIR INTAKE.

UM, THAT SHOULD HOPEFULLY CAUSE THE AUDITORS AND YOURSELVES TO ASK WHY AND HOPEFULLY DIG INTO WHAT'S HAPPENING.

WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY WITH THIS AUDIT TO SOLIDIFY NO KILL PRACTICES AND ENSURE THAT AUSTIN IS THE INNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE CITY IT HAS BEEN IN THE PAST.

AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTERS.

AUSTIN ANIMAL SERVICES WILL CONTINUE TO FALL SHORT OF COUNCIL AND THE COMMUNITY'S EXPECTATIONS AND BE STUCK IN THIS CONTINUOUS STATE OF REACTING TO CRISIS.

UNLESS WE CAN LEARN SOMETHING FROM THIS AUDIT PROCESS, WHICH IS WHY WE'RE HAVE A LOT OF HOPE IN Y'ALL.

SPECIFICALLY, WE WANT TO REITERATE THAT THIS AUDIT MUST BE CONDUCTED WITH A LENS ON NO KILL BEST PRACTICES, A ADDRESS, THE LACK OF INCLUSION OF KNOWN SOLUTIONS TO SPACE ISSUES THAT HAVE LED US TO WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW.

AND EXAMINE HOW AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER IS HANDLING DATA AND BUDGET AND MAKE SUGGESTIONS FOR HOW IT CAN, HOW DATA CAN BE RELIABLY MADE AVAILABLE, SO AVAILABLE SO ALL OF US CAN MAKE EDUCATED DECISIONS ABOUT GAPS AND SERVICES THAT ARE TRULY NEEDED.

UM, LAST THING I'LL SAY IS AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER IS CRUCIAL TO THE PEOPLE AND PETS OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY, WHICH MAKES THIS AUDIT PIVOTAL TO HOW AUSTIN SUPPORTS THEIR COMMUNITY.

APPROPRIATELY UPHOLDS COUNCIL MANDATES AND PROPERLY MANAGES THE HEALTHY BUDGET FUNDED BY OUR

[00:30:01]

TAXPAYERS.

THANK YOU.

AND I, I WOULD, I, IS IT OKAY IF I JUST SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE SLIDE? UM, AND IN MY MIND, BULLETS FOUR THROUGH SEVEN ARE ALL THE SAME THING.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PROCESS FROM INTAKE TO OUTCOME, AND THAT YOU CAN'T JUST TAKE ONE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE AND LOOK AT IT ALONE BECAUSE A DECISION MADE AT INTAKE IS GOING TO CAUSE KENNEL ISSUES, AND THAT'S ALSO GOING TO IMPACT THE FLOW OF OPERATIONS TO GETTING ANIMALS AVAILABLE TO OWNERS MORE QUICKLY.

MEDICAL PROCEDURES AFFECT THAT.

SO I WOULD LUMP THOSE IN TOGETHER AS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF WHAT, UM, I HOPE YOU'LL LOOK AT.

AND AS FAR AS AN EXPERT, UM, I HOPE THAT YOU WILL FIND SOMEBODY WHO HAS, UM, EXPERIENCE IN LEAN SIX SIX SIGMA PROCESS MAPPING STAFFING PER TASK, UNDERSTANDING THE RIGHT NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT ARE NEEDED TO DO THE RIGHT NUMBER OF TASKS, UNDERSTANDING MANAGEMENT AND HOW MANAGEMENT FLOWS DOWNWARD, UNDERSTANDING MARKETING AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, AND MOST OF ALL, UNDERSTANDING THE HUMAN CARE OF DOGS AND CATS.

I 100% AGREE THAT THIS IS NOT NO, IT'S, THIS IS NOT REFLECTIVE OF A NO KILL CITY.

HAVING ANIMALS SUFFER IN OUR SHELTER.

UM, AUSTIN SHOULD BE LEADING HERE.

WE SHOULDN'T BE REVISITING THESE PRACTICES YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR.

THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS WE'RE KIND OF FED UP, IS THAT WE JUST KEEP TOUCHING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

AND AUSTIN REALLY SHOULD BE THE PLACE THAT IS NOW FOCUSED ON THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY AND FOCUSED ON THE BEST HUMANE CARE IN THE WORLD.

WE'VE BEEN THE NO KILL CITY.

WE ARE THE NO KILL CITY.

NOW LET'S, LET'S FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO THE REST OF IT.

HOW DO WE MAKE SURE ANIMALS AREN'T DYING ON THE STREETS? HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THERE'S NOT FERAL CATS BEING RELEASED FROM THE SHELTER AND DYING ON THE STREETS? HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY IS GETTING THE HELP THAT THEY NEED WHEN THEY CONTACT THE SHELTER? SO THAT'S ALL OUTSIDE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU DR.

JEFFERSON.

UM, I JUST WANNA ASK, DID YOU FILL OUT THE SURVEY? I, I WILL.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

, YOU JUST, WHAT IS THE DEADLINE? WE PLAN ON HAVING IT THROUGH THE END OF, UH, OF THANKSGIVING.

OKAY.

THANK YOU, UH, RYAN CLINTON.

RYAN, UH, FIVE MINUTES.

THANK YOU.

AND I, I HOPE NOT TO TAKE THEM.

SO, UM, I'LL TRY TO BE AS BRIEF AS I CAN.

UH, MY NAME'S RYAN CLINTON.

SOME OF YOU KNOW ME, SOME OF YOU DON'T.

UM, I AM AN ATTORNEY.

UH, THAT'S WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING.

I HAVE WORKED IN ANIMAL WELFARE, UM, OUTSIDE OF MY LIVING FOR, FOR THE PAST 17 YEARS IN AUSTIN.

I'VE BEEN COMING TO AUSTIN ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION MEETINGS AND, UM, WORKING WITH THE CITY COUNCIL AND WORKING WITH THE AN AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER.

I'VE BEEN ON, UM, TEAMS OF STAKEHOLDERS THAT HAVE, UM, BEEN SELECTED TO HELP HIRE, UM, NEW MANAGERS AT THE SHELTER IN THE PAST.

AND, UM, HAVE BEEN FAIRLY EMBEDDED IN THE PROCESSES HERE FOR A WHILE.

UM, I, SO I HAVE A COUPLE OF, OF, I HAVE THREE KIND OF JUST GENERAL AREAS.

THE FIRST IS WITH RESPECT TO THE CONSULTANT.

UM, IN MY MIND, ANYONE CAN PUT THE NAME, PUT THE WORDS NO KILL CONSULTANT NEXT TO THEIR NAME.

AND IT'S, IT'S LARGELY MEANINGLESS.

UM, IN FACT, MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE CONSULTANTS IN SHELTERS THAT WERE KILLING TONS OF ANIMALS, UH, BECAME NO KILL CONSULTANTS AFTER IT BECAME POPULAR TO, TO, UH, SAVE ANIMALS RATHER THAN KILL THEM AT THE SHELTERS.

AND THEY'RE THE SAME PEOPLE DOING THE SAME WORK.

AND, UM, I PERSONALLY THINK THAT, UH, THE, THE UNNECESSARY QUALIFICATION FOR THE EXPERTS TO BE SOMEONE WHO HAS ACTUALLY ACHIEVED OR OBTAINED NOKI IN AN OPEN ADMISSION SHELTER, UM, OR WITH AN OPEN ADMISSION SHELTER, UH, A SIZEABLE OPEN ADMISSION SHELTER.

UM, I THINK THE LACK OF NOKI MANAGEMENT AND EXPERIENCE SHOULD BE DISQUALIFYING.

I I DO THINK IT'S A SHAME.

I UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE WANT, UM, SOMEONE TO HAVE NO TIES TO ANYTHING IN AUSTIN.

UM, THE, THE PROBLEM WITH THAT, OF COURSE, IS THAT AUSTIN HAS TRADITIONALLY BEEN THE LEADING CITY, UH, IN ACCOMPLISHING ALL THESE THINGS.

AND SO, UM, YOU WOULD, UH, TAKE PEOPLE OFF THE TABLE WHO MIGHT ACTUALLY BE YOUR BEST, UH, PEOPLE TO HELP YOU.

BUT THERE ARE PROBABLY A DOZEN, MAYBE EVEN 20 PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACHIEVED IT IN OTHER CITIES, UM, OR ARE CURRENTLY ACHIEVING IT.

I WOULDN'T, I WOULDN'T ACTUALLY LOOK FOR A CONSULTANT.

I WOULD LOOK FOR SOMEBODY WITH THE MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE AND ASK THEM IF THEY'LL CONSULT.

UM, WITH RESPECT TO WHAT'S GOING ON NOW, UM, AGAIN, I'VE BEEN COMING TO THE, TO AUSTIN, UH, ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION MEETINGS FOR, FOR 17 YEARS.

UM, I'M ON THE ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION NOW, ALTHOUGH I SPEAK ONLY IN MY INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, OF COURSE HERE.

UM, OUTCOMES ARE A PRODUCT OF THE POLICIES AND PROGRAMS, PERIOD.

OUTCOMES ARE NOT PREDETERMINED.

UH, AND,

[00:35:01]

AND AN EXAMPLE OF WHY THAT'S THE, OR HOW THAT'S THE CASE, IS THE FACT THAT WE HAVE THE LOWEST PER CAPITA INTAKE WE'VE EVER HAD IN AUSTIN'S HISTORY BY A WIDE MARGIN.

RIGHT NOW WE HAVE THE LOWEST PER CAPITA INTAKE IN AUSTIN'S HISTORY BY A WIDE, WIDE MARGIN.

WE HAVE MORE PEOPLE THAN WE'VE EVER HAD IN AUSTIN, AND WE HAVE FEWER ANIMALS AT THE SHELTER THAN WE'VE EVER HAD.

YET NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN WE CAN'T GET 'EM OUT OR THE SHELTER'S NOT GETTING THEM OUT.

AND SO YOU HAVE TO ASK YOURSELF, WELL IF ALL OF THE THINGS THAT HELP YOU GET THEM OUT HAVE INCREASED AND THE BUDGET IS VERY, VERY SIZEABLE, WHAT IS IT THAT'S STOPPING THEM FROM GETTING OUT? AND, AND THAT GOES BACK TO MY POINT, OUTCOMES ARE ALWAYS A PRODUCT OF THE POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO LOOK TO THE POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO DETERMINE, UM, HOW TO GET THEM OUT.

UH, THE LAST THING I WOULD SAY IS THAT I WOULD ASK FOR YOU TO, UM, TRY TO EXPERIENCE THE SHELTER AS THE PUBLIC EXPERIENCES IT, BECAUSE I THINK THAT WILL, UM, HELP YOU SEE THE SHELTER AND PERHAPS A DIFFERENTLY AND SEE THE, THE PROBLEMS, UM, WHEN YOU GO, IS IT WELCOMING OR ARE THERE BARRIERS AT THE DOOR TO PREVENT YOU FROM COMING IN? DO YOU SEE A UNIFORMED GUARD STOPPING PEOPLE FROM COMING IN WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO ADOPT? OR IS IT AVAILABLE FOR YOU ON A WEEKEND OR A NIGHT THAT YOU NEED TO BE THERE? UM, IS IT INTIMIDATING TO GO? IS IT EASY TO GET TO, ARE THE GATES CLOSED WHEN YOU WENT AND YOU GOT TURNED AWAY? UH, WHAT TIMES IS IT OPEN? UM, WHEN YOU TRY, WHEN YOU'RE INTERESTED IN ADOPTING AN ANIMAL LIKE I WAS MY FAMILY WAS THIS YEAR, HOW EASY IS IT TO ADOPT? GO TRY, TRY BY, TRY TO CALL, TRY TO DO WHAT THE PUBLIC WOULD DO TO ADOPT AN ANIMAL.

GOOGLE, GOOGLE, UH, ADOPT AN ANIMAL IN AUSTIN.

SEE WHAT COMES UP.

SEE HOW EASY THE PROCESSES ARE TO GET AN ANIMAL THROUGH THE OTHER SOURCES.

SEE HOW EASY THE PROCESS IS TO GET AN ANIMAL THROUGH AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER.

UH, WHAT TIMES CAN YOU, CAN YOU GO, WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU JUST GO, HOW DO YOU FIND OUT WHAT KIND OF ANIMAL YOU WANT? CAN YOU TALK TO SOMEBODY? IS THERE A PHONE NUMBER? SAME THING WITH FOSTERING.

LET'S SAY YOU WANTED TO FOSTER.

HOW EASY IS IT TO DO THAT? THAT'S THE NUMBER ONE WAY TO GET TO, TO DECREASE THE, THE SHELTER POPULATION QUICKLY IS FO THROUGH FOSTERING AND ADOPTIONS.

SO HOW EASY IS IT TO FOSTER? IF YOU CALLED THEM, CAN YOU CALL THEM? CAN YOU CALL AND ASK, HOW CAN I FOSTER TODAY? THE ANSWER IS NO.

OF COURSE THEY DON'T HAVE A PHONE NUMBER.

HOW EASY IS, CAN YOU LOOK ON THEIR WEBSITE? HOW EASY IS IT TO FOSTER LOOKING ON THEIR WEBSITE, HOW EASY IS IT TO ADOPT? HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT ANYTHING ABOUT THE ANIMALS THAT ARE THERE ON THE WEBSITE? HOW EASY IS IT TO FIND OUT WHICH ANIMALS YOU CAN SEE IN PERSON? IF YOU GO IN PERSON, CAN YOU SEE ALL OF THEM OR SOME OF THEM OR NONE OF THEM? ARE YOU TURNED AWAY? ARE YOU INTIMIDATED FROM GOING, THESE ARE ALL THE THINGS THAT WE SEE AND I EXPERIENCE ON THE ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION IS THE, THE LETTERS THAT WE GET FROM PEOPLE SAYING, LOOK, I TRIED, I TRIED HARD AND I STILL COULDN'T.

OR OWNERS TRYING TO RECLAIM THEIR ANIMAL.

HOW EASY IS IT TO RECLAIM YOUR ANIMAL IF YOU WANNA, SORRY, RYAN, UH, TO YEP, THAT'S FINE.

THAT'S MY, THAT'S MY GOAL.

THAT WAS BE MY RECOMMENDATION TO TRY TO EXPERIENCE AS, AS, AS THE PUBLIC DOES.

UM, AND JUST TO REITERATE, IF PLEASE FILL OUT OUR ONLINE SURVEY, UH, IF YOU COULD, CRAIG NASSAR.

FIVE.

YES.

FIVE MINUTES.

THANK YOU.

UH, MY NAME IS CRAIG NASER.

I'M THE CURRENT CHAIR OF THE LOS ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION.

I TALK TO YOU VIRTUALLY AT THE LAST EVENT.

AND I'M OBVIOUSLY VERY CONCERNED AND I'VE BEEN THINKING A LITTLE BIT.

I HAVE SOMEONE ADD TO WHAT I SAID THEN SOME THINGS.

UM, I, I HAVE A LONG HISTORY WITH ANIMALS.

WHEN I WAS A KID, MY PARENTS WOULD LET ME HAVE A CAT OR A DOG.

SO I GOT A PIGEON LOFT OF FREE FLYING PIGEONS.

AND THAT WAS TREMENDOUS.

I STILL LOVE PIGEONS.

PEOPLE HATE PIGEONS.

I LOVE PIGEONS, .

BUT, UH, THE THING, IT, AND THAT'S, THAT'S KIND OF IMPORTANT, YOU KNOW, HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT ANIMALS, BECAUSE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT NO KILL HERE AND PEOPLE TALK ABOUT NO KILL AND TALKING ABOUT A NUMBER AND YOU KNOW, IT GETS DEFINED BY CITIES AND, AND BUREAUCRACIES AND THINGS LIKE THAT.

BUT I HAVE SEEN FOUR DIRECTORS OF THIS NO KILL SHELTER NOW.

AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT IT'S, AND I ALSO HAD A FATHER WHO WAS A LAWYER LIKE RYAN.

UH, AND I WAS ALWAYS TOLD AS A KID IS, THERE'S TWO ASPECTS TO ANY LAW OR RULE ORDINANCE.

THERE'S THE LETTER OF THE LAW AND THERE'S THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW.

AND THE LETTER OF OUR NO-KILL LAW IS 95%.

THAT'S THE LETTER.

THAT'S THE NUMBER.

WHAT IS THE SPIRIT

[00:40:02]

THAT YOU REALLY NEED TO HAVE SOMEONE WHO CAN CHECK THAT OUT IN THE AUDIT? WHAT IS THE SPIRIT OF NO KILL AT AUSTIN? UH, YOU KNOW, AS FAR AS I I, WHEN I FIRST STARTED ON THE, IT WAS ALMOST LIKE I CAME TO THE COMMISSION ABOUT ISSUES, ABOUT COYOTES, .

BUT THEN I GOT INTERESTED IN THE COMMISSION CUZ I LIKE CATS AND DOGS.

SO I GET ON THE COMMISSION AND UM, YOU KNOW, I BEGIN TO, I, I LEARNED NO KILL NOT FROM BEING ADVOCATE OF WHEN IT BECAME NO KILL, BUT I LEARNED NO KILL CUZ OH, WE HAVE A NO KILL SHELTER.

REALLY? WHAT'S THAT? AND YOU WATCH THE DIRECTORS, YOU WATCH THE PEOPLE WHO ARE OPERATING AND YOU GET TO LEARN HOW THEY DO IT.

YOU NEED TO FIND THIS AUDITOR WHO KNOWS THE SPIRIT OF NO KILL.

NOW I'VE HEARD, UH, AND, AND I'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT THIS CUZ YOU KNOW, YOU ASK WHO ARE WE GONNA GET? THAT'S A TOUGH QUESTION.

UM, WILLIAMSON COUNTY.

NOW WHAT I'VE HEARD HAS A NO-KILL SHELTER DIRECTOR.

MISTY, UH, VALENTI BELINDA.

YEAH, I'VE NEVER MET HER PERSONALLY, BUT I SAW HER GIVE A TALK.

AND I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT SHE SEEMS LIKE SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE SPIRIT OF NO KILL.

THAT'S THE KIND OF PERSON YOU NEED TO FIND.

I'M NOT SAYING IT WOULD BE HER, I'M JUST TOSSING THAT OUT THERE.

TWO OTHER THINGS I THINK YOU SHOULD LOOK AT, AND ELLEN JEFFERSON TALKED ABOUT THIS AND IT'S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT IS DATA.

I'M LOOKING AT THOSE THINGS AND WHAT WE'VE ALWAYS KNOWN ON THE COMMISSION IS THE SUCCESSFUL SHELTERS RUN BASED ON DATA.

YOU KNOW, IF YOU, WHEN ARE YOU GONNA BE OPEN? WHEN DO THE MOST PEOPLE COME TO THE SHELTER? YOU KNOW, THAT'S A VERY IMPORTANT THING.

SO HOW ARE YOU COLLECTING DATA? ARE YOU COLLECTING ENOUGH DATA? ARE YOU COLLECTING THE RIGHT KINDS OF DATA? HOW IS IT BEING COMPILED? IS IT BEING ACCESSED WHEN QUESTIONS ARE BEING ASKED? THAT'S ACTUALLY A AND THAT, THAT APPLIES TO A LOT OF THOSE THINGS YOU HAVE UP THERE.

THAT'S LIKE A PART OF A NUMBER OF THEM.

UH, THE OTHER THING IS, UM, OH YEAH, THIS IS ANOTHER THING THAT I GOT MY HEAD AROUND EARLY AROUND IS SOPS.

YOU HAVE A SHELTER WITH A HUNDRED PLUS EMPLOYEES, RIGHT? AND EVERYBODY'S SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT TO DO.

YEAH.

YOU KNOW HOW THAT WORKS IN A BUREAUCRACY.

SO WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU WONDER WHAT TO DO? WHAT PRO, WHAT PROCEDURES WE SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW? CAUSE YOU, YOU CAN GET SOME TENSE SITUATIONS IN A SHELTER WHERE PEOPLE ARE LIKE, OH, WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO? WHAT ARE, UH, YOU KNOW, SO YOU HAVE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES THAT YOU COULD SELL.

GO LOOK AT YOUR STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES, FOLLOW THESE AND THEN CHECK THEM AND UPGRADE 'EM.

THAT'S ANOTHER THING THAT I THINK A GOOD AUDIT SHOULD CHECK.

UH, AND THAT'S A NUMBER OF THESE.

IT WOULD FIT INTO A NUMBER OF THESE.

SO THOSE ARE JUST SOME VARIOUS THINGS I'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT.

AND I WANT THANK YOU FOR DOING YOUR JOB AND I THANK YOU FOR BEING INDEPENDENT AND LISTENING TO US.

THANK YOU GREG.

UH, MIKE TROOP, TROOP.

FIVE, FIVE MINUTES.

MIKE? MY, HEY, UM, MY NAME'S MIKE ROU.

I'M A VOLUNTEER WITH AUSTIN PITS ALIVE SINCE ABOUT 2013.

UM, I HAVE ALSO ADOPTED A DOG FROM APA, UH, BEHAVIOR DOG.

UM, WHICH, UH, BEHAVIOR DOGS ARE, YOU KNOW, THE, THE GENERAL CLASSIFICATION FOR DOGS THAT COME INTO THE SHELTER AND HAVE BEHAVIORAL ISSUES AND MAY BE HARDER TO ADOPT TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

UM, AND THEN I'VE ALSO JUST BEEN A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY SINCE 2013 AND HAVE HAD, UH, HAVE FOUND DOGS MYSELF OUT ON THE STREET AND TRIED TO LOCATE THEIR OWNERS.

WORKED WITH FRIENDS WHO KIND OF ASK ME AS MAYBE THE NEXT MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE PERSON THEY KNOW, TRYING TO FIND OUT RESOURCE, UM, RESOURCES TO HELP FIND THE OWNERS OR GET THEM TO THE SHELTER.

UM, BUT I, UM, IN GENERAL, UH, JUST HAVE BEEN A, A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY AND PROBABLY HAVE A LOT LESS KNOWLEDGE THAN A LOT OF THE PEOPLE IN HERE.

SO I'M JUST IGNORANT ENOUGH TO FEEL LIKE I'M ALSO JUST A NORMAL MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC.

SO WITH THAT PERSPECTIVE, UM, I, I THINK IT CAN BE A FRESH APPROACH FOR JUST, I, I'M IGNORANT ENOUGH TO NOT HAVE ALL THE INSIDE INFORMATION.

MAYBE LIKE YOU ARE WANTING TO HELP AND, AND BEING KNOWLEDGEABLE ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE ISSUES, BUT NOT DEEP DOWN IN THE NUMBERS WITH, WITH ANY ORGANIZATION.

UM, SO, UH, LIKE OTHERS HAVE SAID, I REALLY HOPE THAT WE CAN FOCUS NOT JUST ON THE NUMBER OF NO KILL, BUT HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE ANIMALS.

UM, AND THAT I HOPE IT CAN BE SUSTAINABLE IN THE LONG TERM.

UM, AND WITH THAT IN

[00:45:01]

MIND, AS, AS A GOAL, I, I HAVE THINGS THAT I WORRY ABOUT AS A CITIZEN OF AUSTIN ABOUT HOW WE ACCOMPLISH THAT.

AND I KNOW THAT THE ANIMALS CAN HAVE A LOW QUALITY OF LIFE IN THE SHELTER, ESPECIALLY THE ONES THAT STAY LONGER.

UM, THE SHELTER'S JUST IN GENERAL, A BAD ENVIRONMENT FOR, UM, ANY ANIMAL TO BE IN JUST WITH STRESS AND LESS HUMAN INTERACTION AND NOISES.

IT, IT'S JUST THE LONGER A, A DOG ESPECIALLY.

AND I, I'M JUST SPEAKING FROM WHAT I KNOW WITH DOGS, THE LONGER THEY STAY IN THE SHELTER, THE LOWER THE CHANCE OF HAVING A AN ADOPTER COME BY AND PICKING THEM.

UM, IT'S, IT'S SAD TO SEE THEM DEGRADE OVER TIME.

AND IT, UM, YOU KNOW, YOU SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE BRINGING IN MY OWN FAMILY MEMBERS, YOU, YOU KIND OF BECOME NUMB TO IT AS A VOLUNTEER AND A STAFF AND YOU SAY, OH THESE ARE GOOD DOGS.

YOU KNOW, THEY'RE GOOD DOGS CUZ YOU TAKE THEM OUT EVERY DAY AND YOU GET TO SEE THEIR CHARACTER OUTSIDE OF THE, THE KENNEL.

BUT, UM, FOR ADOPTERS AND TRYING TO GET THEM OUT, ALL THEY SEE IS A DOG THAT LOOKS A LITTLE CRAZY OR HAS ISSUES.

UM, SO FOCUSING ON MEETING A HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE AND REDUCING LENGTH OF STAY IS SUPER IMPORTANT FOR THE DOGS THAT ARE HARDER TO PLACE AND TAKE UP KENNEL SPACE FOR A LOT MORE TIME THAN OTHER DOGS WHO ARE FLUFFY AND CUTE AND GET ADOPTED IN A WEEK.

UM, SO AS FAR AS WHAT I THINK WOULD BE IMPORTANT TO INVESTIGATE ON THAT POINT IS EXPANDING A FOSTER NETWORK TO GET DOGS OUT OF THE SHELTER AND HAVING A PLACE FOR THEM IF THEY DO HAVE MINOR BEHAVIORAL ISSUES.

PEOPLE WHO KNOW HOW TO WORK WITH THE DOGS AND GET THEM THROUGH THAT IN A GOOD ENVIRONMENT IS SUPER VALUABLE IN REACHING OUT TO POTENTIAL ADOPTERS AND SHOWING THEIR GOOD SIDES AND BEING ABLE TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE RATHER THAN HAVING THEM DEGRADE IN A SHELTER ENVIRONMENT.

UM, AND TALKING ABOUT OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR QUALITY OF LIFE.

I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT.

I THINK JUST, YOU KNOW, KNOWING PEOPLE AT APA AND EXTENDING THAT SAME BELIEF THAT PEOPLE AT AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER OR HUMANE SOCIETY HAVE THE SAME DESIRE AND THE SAME GOALS AND WORK ETHIC TO TRY TO GET US TO NO KILL OR TRY TO HELP THE DOGS AND CATS AS BEST THEY CAN.

IT'S REALLY HARD TO DO THAT WHEN YOU'RE OVERWHELMED.

AND I'VE SEEN THAT IN DIFFERENT PLACES.

NOT, NOT JUST AT APA, NOT JUST FROM REPORTS, I HEAR FROM AAC SECONDHAND, BUT I THINK WE HAVE TO SUPPORT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING IN OUR SHELTERS AND WHO ARE VOLUNTEERING AND PEOPLE AS OTHER COMMUNITY WHO ARE TRYING TO, UM, TRYING TO PLUG IN WITH THE SHELTER, HELP FIND LOST DOGS AND FIND OWNERS FOR THEM.

I THINK THE MORE WE SUPPORT THE PEOPLE AND THE PROGRAMS THAT THE CITY CAN OFFER, IT'S GONNA LEAD TO LESS FRUSTRATION FOR THE COMMUNITY THAT ARE TRYING TO PLACE PETS OR TRYING TO ADOPT FROM US.

SO, I'M SORRY MIKE, IF YOU COULD WRAP.

YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

ABSOLUTELY.

UM, I THINK SUPPORTING THE STAFF THAT ARE THERE TO DO WORK AND TO HELP THE ANIMALS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

UM, I GUESS THAT'S IT.

.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

UM, ALEXIS MO MOLE HAND .

SO ALEXIS, UH, FIVE MINUTES.

UM, I DID FILL OUT THE SURVEY, SO LET'S START THERE.

UM, I'M WITH LOVABLE.

WE ARE AN EDUCATION, ADVOCACY AND RESCUE GROUP FOR PIT BULL TYPE DOGS.

SO I WILL ALSO BE SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE DOGS.

UM, I WILL NOT SPEAK AS ELOQUENTLY, BUT I PRETTY MUCH CONCUR WITH WHAT EVERY SINGLE PERSON HAS SAID SO FAR.

THE THINGS THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE, UH, AGAIN, WOULD BE A NOKI EXPERT COMING IN THAT IS UNBIASED, THAT IS NOT FOCUSED ON KEEPING THE NUMBER, BUT IS FOCUSED ON THE WELLBEING OF THE ANIMALS.

WHAT WE ARE HEARING AND SEEING A LOT OF IS DOGS BEING BROUGHT IN AND THEN THERE'S A TERM USED CALLED WAREHOUSING WHERE THEY ARE BEING PUT INTO A KENNEL OR THEY'RE BEING PUT OFFSITE AND THEY'RE JUST LIVING THERE.

NOT A TON OF INTERACTION, NOT GETTING WALKED DAILY, NOT GETTING THE EXERCISE THEY NEED.

IF YOU'RE GONNA PUT A DOG INTO A TINY KENNEL, UM, OR A RUN, EVEN IF IT'S A LARGER RUN,

[00:50:01]

IT'S STILL YOU'RE PUTTING A SOCIAL ANIMAL INTO AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THEY CANNOT HAVE A GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE.

AND SO WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT ADDRESSED.

UM, THE OTHER THING IS WE WOULD LIKE FOR AAC TO BE, AGAIN, A TRUE RESOURCE.

TO YOUR POINT, I'M SORRY, I'M BAD WITH NAMES.

TO OUR LAWYER'S POINT .

UM, IF YOU WERE TO CALL AND SAY YOU FOUND A DOG, I HAVE HEARD FIRSTHAND AND I HAVE HEARD FROM OTHER INDIVIDUALS WHO REACH OUT TO LOVABLE ASKING WHAT TO DO WITH A STRAIGHT DOG THAT THEY FOUND.

THEY'RE BEING TOLD.

LET THEM GO, PUT THEM BACK WHERE YOU FOUND THEM BECAUSE THE SHELTER IS CLOSED FOR INTAKE.

AND SO WE ARE A FOSTER GROUP.

WE CANNOT TAKE DOGS IN.

UM, BUT TO NOT HAVE ANY, ANYTHING TO TELL THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE FINDING THESE ANIMALS AND JUST SAYING, WELL KEEP IT AND TRY TO GET IT SCANNED FOR A MICROCHIP, THAT'S NOT A SOLUTION.

I MEAN, YOU MAY FIND THE OWNER, BUT IF YOU DON'T OR IF THEY DON'T WANNA RECLAIM IT, NOW PEOPLE ARE STUCK WITH THE DOG AND MAYBE THEY CAN'T HAVE THIS DOG IN THEIR YARD.

MAYBE THEIR DOGS ARE UNFRIENDLY.

IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THE CASE IS, THERE SHOULD BE A SPOT FOR THESE ANIMALS TO GO AND AAC SHOULD BE HELPING WITH THAT.

AND THEN THE OTHER ITEM THAT WE HAVE, ANOTHER BIG ONE IS THE DATA, RIGHT? WE'RE NOT SEEING THE DATA.

WE DON'T KNOW THAT THEY'RE STRUGGLING.

WE ALL KNOW THEY'RE STRUGGLING, BUT WE DON'T KNOW JUST HOW BADLY THEY'RE STRUGGLING CUZ WE'RE NOT ABLE TO SEE THAT DATA.

AND SO WHEN WE ARE BEING TOLD THAT THEY'RE EUTHANIZING ANIMALS, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE TIMEFRAME THAT WE'RE GETTING NOW, BUT WHEN I WAS GETTING THESE EMAILS, IT WAS A 48 HOUR NOTICE THAT THEY WERE GOING TO BE EUTHANIZING AN ANIMAL IN 48 HOURS.

THAT IS NOT ENOUGH TURNAROUND TIME FOR US TO DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN GO, OH MY GOSH, WHAT? SO WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM ACTIVELY COMMUNICATING WITH THEIR PARTNERS, GIVING THEM A GOOD, A LARGE ENOUGH TURNAROUND TIME THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY GO IN AND HELP THEM EITHER FIND A PLACE FOR THIS ANIMAL OR TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOING ON, HOW WE COULD HELP.

WE NEED TIME TO EVALUATE IF WE CAN PULL THEM INTO OUR PROGRAM.

AND THAT'S NOT JUST FOR LOVABLE, THAT'S GOING TO BE FOR OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AS WELL.

UM, THINK THOSE ARE MOST OF MY THINGS.

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO SEE THE DATA ON THIS TRANSPORT PROGRAM.

I WANNA KNOW WHERE THESE ANIMALS ARE GOING AND WHAT THE LIVE OUTCOME IS FOR THAT, AS WELL AS WHAT SHELTERS THESE DOGS ARE DOGS AND CATS ARE GOING TO.

UM, AGAIN, THAT'S JUST A DATA ASK, SAY THANKS.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

UM, S SMART.

SORRY.

, UH, FIVE MINUTES.

THANK YOU.

HI, GOOD EVENING.

I'M SUSIE SMART AND I'M AN AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER VOLUNTEER, FOSTER AND ADOPTER.

I FIRST VISITED AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER IN 2019.

I WAS A VERY TYPICAL FIRST TIME ADOPTER, NO PREVIOUS DOG EXPERIENCE AND EAGER TO ADOPT QUICKLY.

AFTER VISITING A COUPLE DOGS ON MY LIST, I STRUGGLED TO FIND A GOOD MATCH THAT DAY.

LUCKILY, A VOLUNTEER WAS AVAILABLE.

SHE DISCUSSED WITH ME THE SHELTER STRESS AND SHE TOOK ME TO THE PLAY YARDS TO INTERACT WITH THE DOGS.

SHE CHECKED ON ME THROUGHOUT THE MORNING AND WITH THE HELP OF THAT VOLUNTEER, I ADOPTED MY DOG FIN, FORMALLY KNOWN AS SPIKE.

HIS ADOPTION LED ME TO FOSTER AND VOLUNTEER THIS YEAR IN COMPARISON TO MY, MY EXPERIENCE FROM 2019.

JUST LAST MONTH, I SENT MY COWORKER TO AAC.

I GAVE HER A LIST OF DOGS THAT I THOUGHT WERE A GOOD MATCH.

INSTEAD OF MEETING A HELPFUL VOLUNTEER, SHE MET A STAFF MEMBER.

THAT INDIVIDUAL TOLD HER THAT THE DOGS I RECOMMENDED WERE CHALLENGING AND AGGRESSIVE AND THAT, AND THEN SHE DID NOT ADOPT AT AAC BASED ON HIS ADVICE.

IN FACT, SHE WAS PRETTY UNCOMFORTABLE AND LEFT, WENT TO APA AND FOUND A PUPPY.

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME WE'VE HEARD OF STAFF MEMBERS DISCOURAGING PLACEMENT OF A DOG.

WHEN I WAS INTERESTED IN FOSTERING EARLIER THIS YEAR, FOR THE FIRST TIME, STAFF MEMBERS RECOMMENDED AGAINST ME MEETING MY DOG CALLIE, WHO IS NOW ADOPTED.

DESPITE POSITIVE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM HER FRIENDS, TRAINERS AND VOLUNTEERS, I RECEIVED PUSHBACK ON HER PLACEMENT IN MY HOME.

KELLY WAS AN ORANGE.DOG, WHICH MEANS A TEAM OF EXPERIENCED VOLUNTEERS CALLED THE ORANGE DOT CREW, WORKED WITH HER DAILY, THEY TOOK HER ON OUTINGS, PLAYED HOURS OF FETCH, AND MANAGED HER STRESS.

AND DESPITE THAT LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP, HER SPORT TEAM, SUPPORT TEAM WAS NOT NOTIFIED THAT DAY THAT SHE HAD BEEN PLACED INTO MY HOME.

LUCKILY, I'D CONTACTS AND A MENTOR AT AAC THAT HELPED ME DURING THOSE FIRST FEW WEEKS IN MY HOME AND REVIEWING THE GOALS OF THE AUDIT, I STRUGGLE TO FIND A CONCERN THAT FALLS JUST INTO ONE CATEGORY, THE SPACE CRISIS, SUPPORTIVE BEHAVIOR SERVICES, STAFFING CONCERNS, AND VETERINARY CARE ARE HIGH ON MY LIST.

BUT PREVIOUS, BUT SIMILAR TO PREVIOUS VOLUNTEERS THAT HAVE SPOKEN, I KNOW THAT THE ROLE OF VOLUNTEERS AT AAC IS VITAL FOR ONSITE ANIMAL CARE ADOPTION AND POST-ADOPTION SUPPORT.

THE, THE AUDIT SHOULD INCLUDE MEETING WITH VOLUNTEERS AND REVIEWING THE SUPPORT OF VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS BY LEADERSHIP.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SUSIE.

UM, LEE BOURN.

[00:55:02]

HI.

IS BOURBON YOUR LAST NAME? YES.

YEAH, I LOVE THAT.

OH, THANK YOU.

.

FIVE MINUTES.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

UM, MY NAME IS LEAH BOURN.

I'M A STUDENT AT UT AUSTIN AND I'VE BEEN A PART OF THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY FOR ABOUT FOUR YEARS NOW.

SO I JUST HAD A FEW THOUGHTS ON THE AUDIT.

SO WITHIN THIS AUDIT OF THE ANIMAL SERVICES OFFICE, UM, I THINK THE INVESTIGATION INTO WHAT HAS LED UP TO THE CURRENT ISSUES THAT THE DEPARTMENT IS FACING AROUND STAFFING, SERVICING THE PUBLIC, FOSTERING OVER CAPACITY ISSUES.

AND WE NEED TO RECOMMEND WHAT THE NEXT STEPS FOR AN EFFECTIVE RESOLUTION CAN BE.

I THINK THERE NEEDS TO BE AN EVALUATION OF THE CITY SUPPORT SERVICES TO AUSTIN PET OWNERS AND THEIR PETS.