As the most wildlife friendly city in the nation, Austin has built a reputation as an animal-loving destination, with our tail-wagin' companions welcome almost everywhere we go. Here's a look at the charities and nonprofits that continue to protect and care for our furry, flying, and four-legged community members. Find out how to support, get involved, and help rescue an animal with these local organizations.
All Things Wild Rehabilitation, Inc.
Mission: ATW was established in 2012 with a mission to promote respect and compassion for all wildlife through educational outreach programs to raise community awareness. ATW rescues and rehabilitates sick, injured, orphaned, and displaced wildlife and release them back into the appropriate habitat and also provides sanctuary for all animals in need.
Get involved: Donate or head here to fill out a volunteer form. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to find out about current volunteer opportunities.
Big event: Wildfest
Austin Bat Refuge
Mission: Austin Bat Refuge is committed to the health and welfare of the bats in Austin. The organization cares for abandoned and injured bats found in Central Texas. It also operates the bat observation area in the Austin American-Statesman parking lot during peak times to answer questions and direct first-time viewers so they can have a fulfilling experience while viewing the bridge bats. ABR was started by a public outreach specialist and a group of devoted volunteers who together help educate the public on bat facts.
Membership: Membership begins at $250 per year
Get involved: Learn how to donate or volunteer here.
Austin Dog Alliance
Mission: Since 2006, Austin Dog Alliance has been improving the lives of families and individuals through therapeutic programs which incorporate the powerful connection between dogs and humans. Its key programs include "Hounds for Heroes," in which service dogs are trained not only to be unobtrusive in public, but also to mitigate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress, anxiety and/or depression, and "Bow Wow Reading Dogs," which teaches reading skills to at-risk readers using highly trained dogs in local elementary schools.
Get involved: Learn how to donate, volunteer, or sponsor a service dog here.
Big event: Hounds for Heroes 5K and Paws Festival
Austin Dog Rescue
Mission: Austin Dog Rescue's mission is to end the cycle of homeless animals in Central Texas. In addition to rescuing dogs from shelters, ADR creates programming encouraging the community to spay and neuter their pets, and provides education and resources to help pets live a long and healthy life. The foster home-based organization also saves dogs that may have medical issues or which other rescues are unable to help.
Get involved: Learn how to donate, volunteer, or foster/adopt here.
Big event: Mardi Paws
Austin Humane Society
Mission: Serving Austin since 1952, the Austin Humane Society is the longest-standing no-kill shelter in town. AHS transforms the lives of animals and the people who love them through life-saving measures to find animals homes, serve animals and people in times of crisis, prevent future homelessness through spay and neuter programs, and engage the community to be a part of the solution.
Membership: Heroes of Hope Club give an annual contribution of $500 or more.
Get involved: Learn how to donate, volunteer or foster/adopt here.
Big event: Rags to Wags Gala and the Annual Puppy Bowl
Austin Pets Alive!
Mission: Since 2008, Austin Pets Alive! head led the charge in rescuing more than 30,000 pets from euthanasia and finding them forever homes. APA! has created programs like The PASS Program (Positive Alternative to Shelter Surrender), which provides assistance to pet owners who may be unable to house their pets, significantly reducing the number of animals that enter the shelter system. Through developing innovative programs for at-risk animals, APA! has helped Austin become — and maintain — its status as the largest no-kill city in the country.
Membership: Constant Companion membership begins at $120 annually
Get involved: Learn how to donate, volunteer, or adopt here.
Major fundraiser: Annual No Kill Anniversary Party
Austin Wildlife Rescue
Mission: Austin Wildlife Rescue rehabilitates and releases orphaned, sick, or injured wild animals and educates the public on how to coexist with wildlife. Programs include training volunteers to operate a telephone hotline in order to assist with wildlife inquiries from the public, supporting qualified rehabilitators to provide care to orphaned and injured wildlife until they can return to their native habitat, and providing educational programs designed to eliminate or mitigate conflicts between humans and animals.
Get involved: Learn how to donate, volunteer, or sponsor an animal here.
Big event: Caring for Critters Brunch
Service Dogs, Inc.
Mission: Service Dogs, Inc. transforms dogs abandoned to animal shelters or dogs in need of homes into lifelines for people living with hearing loss or mobility challenges. Founded in 1988 by attorney Sheri Soltes, SDI provides the dogs and training free of charge. The mission is to improve the quality of life of those living with disabilities by providing custom trained hearing and service dogs.
Get involved: Donate here.
Big event: Annual Mighty Texas Dog Walk