The Y Visits Austin Humane Society

The Austin Humane Society is Austin’s oldest and longest-running animal shelter, and it is committed to preserving and improving the life of every pet that comes through its doors. The YMCA of Austin’s Communications Impact Team toured the facility to meet some of the lucky dogs and cats there and to learn more about its tremendous benefit to the Austin community.  

At the core of Austin Humane Society’s success is the robust volunteer program. From directly caring for the animals to conducting outreach, volunteers are central to the day-to-day operations.

While we were in the building, we saw people who came on their lunch break to take a dog or two out for a walk; folks from the neighborhood stop in to start a load of laundry or fold clean towels; community members who were there to photograph animals new to the facility that were up for adoption.

A network of local veterinary clinics team up to conduct spay, neuter, and other procedures for the animals at no cost to Austin Humane Society. These vets serve as mentors for students in veterinary school, creating a hands-on learning partnership with wide-reaching impact.

AHS also depends heavily on donations from the community. Every Texan’s favorite grocery store H-E-B provides the kibble required to feed the over 12,000 animals that pass through the facility each year.

Because of the high volume of animals AHS serves, you may have the impression that it is a stressful environment for the animals. To the contrary, our visit showed that each animal who finds its way there is the recipient of love and individualized care. Devoted attention is paid to their safety and comfort for as long as they stay. Our team had the privilege of helping to feed, bathe, and cuddle some puppies, and we received guidance about best practices for preserving the animals’ health.

Like the YMCA, the Austin Humane Society welcomes all. For a group of people working in an organization dedicated to serving the community, it was a cool experience to spend part of our work day in another environment equally committed to serving.

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