While there are countless organizations working tirelessly to protect vulnerable cats and dogs in our community, Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) does a particularly fabulous job inviting the Austin community to support local animals at fun and creative events throughout the year. This weekend is no exception, with two different events to choose from — one for cat people and one for dog people (not that those groups have to be mutually exclusive).
First, on Saturday, May 6, APA! will be at the Casper store at the Domain NORTHSIDE with adorable, adoptable cats and kittens. According to a release, all APA! cats are fully vetted, spayed or neutered, and have updated vaccines and a microchip. Best of all: adoption fees will be waived. The event will take place from 10 am to 3 pm at 121 Palm Way, Ste. 124, inside Casper and next to the Apple store.
Meanwhile, the next morning, Austin Subaru will bring back their annual fundraiser, Paddle for Puppies on Sunday, May 7. Rowing Dock hosts the event, inviting guests to kayak, canoe, or standup paddleboard (SUP) together down Lady Bird Lake for a life-saving cause.
All proceeds from the event benefit APA!s Parvo Puppy ICU, of which our unofficial CultureMap Austin mascot (pictured above) is a grateful graduate. Formed in 2008, APA!’s revolutionary Parvo Puppy intensive care unit (ICU) is a specialized facility designed to care for puppies that contract canine parvovirus. Due to its highly contagious nature and high mortality rate, untreated puppies that test positive for parvovirus are at a significantly increased risk of euthanasia. In 2022, APA!’s Parvo team treated just over 1,300 puppies; so far this year, this dedicated team has treated just over 300 puppies.
Since its inception in 2011, Paddle for Puppies has raised over $160,000, an amount that equates to about 550 puppies saved. This year, Austin Subaru and Rowing Dock aim to raise over $30,000 for the program.
The event will be held on Sunday, May 7, from 8 am to 10 am at Rowing Dock, with registration starting at 6:45 am. A few housekeeping notes: First, event organizers are excited to allow dogs at the event, but owners of any pawed participants will need to sign a waiver in advance stating they recognize any potential risks — including the possible presence of toxic algae. For more information on the current status of Lady Bird Lake, visit austintexas.gov.
Second, due to limited parking and access to public docks for the event, organizers are encouraging participants to rent their preferred watercraft from Rowing Dock to get on the water faster. In addition, people will be provided a free Paddle for Puppies t-shirt upon registration. Head to paddleforpuppies.com for more info and to register in advance.