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Generators on at Austin Pets Alive after call for help

Laura Morales Katie Hall
Austin American-Statesman

Some generators Austin Pets Alive's main animal shelter are now up and running after it lost power Monday and put out a call for help.

The animal shelter on West Cesar Chavez is still looking for a licensed plumber who can come to fix pipes that have burst, as well as water for the people and pets, regular unleaded gas for the generator, and flashlights or headlamps. 

The shelter lost power early Monday, like roughly 40% of the city after Austin Energy cut off power to conserve energy. At around 6:30 p.m., a water pipe burst at the animal shelter, leading to the water cutoff. 

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The number of animals in the shelter is low because staff placed many animals in foster homes ahead of the cold, said Sarah Collica, a spokeswoman for the organization. The organization also collected supplies last week to prepare for the winter storm. However, there are still 70 to 80 animals at the shelter that need specialized care.

Austin Pets Alive is looking for foster placements for shelter pets to get them into warm homes. The shelter has been without power and water due to the severe winter weather.

The pets are doing well and being taken care of by the around-the-clock staff, Collica said. 

“We had some pups that were excited about the snow, so there is a silver lining there," she said. "But a lot of the animals' natural instincts kick in, so our cats are cuddled together. Our staff and volunteers are so incredible and have been there around the clock to make sure they have what they need.”

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People are encouraged to donate or help the pets in their neighborhoods by building a makeshift enclosure for feral animals. There are also signs to see if the are suffering, such as shaking, being curled up or if their tails are tucked.

"First step, bring an animal inside, if you can, if not give them some sort of shelter and then worse case, if they are really suffering try to get emergency medical attention," Collica said.