Last night, I left work around 8:30pm a little tired and with plans of dinner, a shower, and some rest after another long day of work. Before I shut my computer down around 10pm, I made a quick check of my work email and noticed a plea from our dog foster coordinator stating we were probably going to be helping Bastrop’s shelter evacuate their animals as they were being threatened by the wildfires – we needed fosters, volunteers, and staff to come to the Austin Pets Alive building as soon as possible to prepare.
I arrived back at work about five minutes before the masses did. The sheer number of people who responded to our facebook post and email, who saw that homeless animals needed help, left the comfort of their beds and came to APA to offer their hearts and homes to these helpless animals was one of the most amazing sites I have ever seen. People started coming soon after 10pm and we left a little after 4am with all our building dogs in foster, half the new Bastrop dogs in foster and the other half safely in our facility. And so many of us were back before 10am to continue doing the work needed.
Sometimes with the work we do in animal welfare we lose faith in humanity. We see too many cruelty cases, field too many angry phone calls, have one too many conversations with a friend or family member who does not understand why we do the work we do. Soon we become jaded and bitter, always holding a grudge against others. But a little over 24 hours ago, my faith was restored. The number of volunteers, donors, fosters, and adopters who have supported us still blows me away. There are so many wanting to help in whatever way they can, it finally brought me to tears when I saw the amount of donated supplies stacked outside our door this afternoon.
Honestly I am still emotional now, finally resting in my apartment and having a moment to reflect on what has actually happened and is still happening here in Austin. I am so proud to work for Austin Pets Alive and both humbled and honored to be working alongside such amazing people. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days as we continue to work tirelessly to ensure the safety of animals in Central Texas during these wildfires.