Friends of Austin Animal Center’s Paw Aid Brigade program helps animals with special medical needs that Austin Animal Center does not have the budget or staff to treat. Paw Aid helps animals at AAC who have medical needs that cannot be addressed in any other way, including conditions like heartworm, orthopedic surgeries, feline leukemia, allergies, skin conditions, eye care, and anything else these animals need.

Many animals arrive at Austin Animal Center with injuries and illnesses that require non-routine treatment. These injuries and illnesses cause suffering and delay adoption. AAC Vet Services treats more than 20,000 animals every year but lacks the staffing and funding to treat all the special cases. That’s where Friends of AAC and Paw Aid come in. We have a network of volunteers, other animal rescue groups, veterinarians, animal care centers, and fosters that we work with to help heal and save these animals.

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Classic Canines and Cats is a program started by a group of dedicated volunteers in the fall of 2012 and was adopted as a sponsored program by Friends of AAC in December of 2012. In its first week of existence, they helped facilitate the adoptions of over 30 senior dogs and cats! Classic Cats and Canines has partnered with the Austin branch of AARP and their “Seniors helping Seniors” program.


Dedicated toward rehoming dogs and cats 5 years and older that have been displaced by transitional
situations such as housing, incapacity of a caretaker, or other circumstances out of their control. These
great animals are awaiting a new forever home at the Austin Animal Center and often represent the highest need
to exit the shelter system quickly and return to a suitable home environment after having been in a single home
their entire life and abruptly placed into the care of the shelter.

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Not every cat that lands at the Austin Animal Center is easily and quickly adopted. Many cats who have been surrendered to the shelter are overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of shelter life.

Cats over five years of age, while they still have a lot of life left in them, are often passed over week after week for adoption because adopters deem them “too old”.

Special medical needs such as having only 3 legs or 1 eye are also very often overlooked. Certain medical conditions scare off many adopters even though the treatment of these conditions is very often next to nothing.

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Long underfunded and understaffed, the city’s animal shelter depends on volunteers to walk, socialize, and dote on the dogs under its care.

And for years, shelter volunteers have watched too many of these dogs linger for weeks or months, waiting for adopters that never come. Sometimes, these long stay dogs are finally deemed “unadoptable” and killed.

But we volunteers know better. The longer dogs stay, the better we get to know them, and the more we appreciate what makes each one special.

So we formed Hard Luck Hounds as an effort to save these dogs. So far, 100 Hard Luck Hounds and counting have gone home to happy and loving adopters in the community