The Lead
9:05 am
Wed February 13, 2013

The Lead: Animal Center's 'No Kill' 2012, Dewhurst at Vets' Expo

Good morning. Austin’s in for a sunny and mild day according to the National Weather Service, with highs in the low to mid-60s.

Lead Story: Despite crowded conditions and a longer-than-expected “kitten season,” the Austin Animal Center finished 2012 with its “no-kill” record intact.

The city shelter ended the fourth quarter of 2012 with a 91 percent live outcome rate. The no-kill benchmark is a 90 percent live outcome rate.

Other figures from the fourth quarter report:

  • 4,300 dogs and cats rescued
  • 8,332 responses/activities completed by Animal Control
  • 179 feral/free-roaming cats spay/neutered and returned
  • 239 pets adopted from foster homes

“I was very pleased to see an increase in the number of dogs being returned to their homes,” Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith said in a statement, “which I believe is in part the result of the work we do to increase awareness in the community about the importance of tagging and chipping pets.”

Vets Expo Winding Down: The Texas Veterans Commission is holding its yearly Veterans Expo, which gives veterans in the Central Texas area a chance to take advantage of veterans assistance opportunities.

Raymond Young is one of the veterans attending the expo on his break from work as a probation officer in Austin. “There's counseling sessions, a lot of us need the counseling,” he says. “Loans, business loans, home stuff. It's just all sorts of information that could be useful to a veteran.”

The expo concludes today at the Palmer Events Center. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is delivering a keynote speech at 10 a.m.

CPRIT Reforms Heads to Senate: A key Senate panel has signed off on changes to the state's troubled $3 billion cancer-fighting agency. Yesterday, the Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill that would install stricter oversight at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, or CPRIT.

The Texas Tribune writes:

The CPRIT reform bill, Senate Bill 149, restructures CPRIT’s leadership staff and establishes measures to prevent conflicts of interest between CPRIT officials, CPRIT grantees and the CPRIT Foundation, a nonprofit association that supplements the salaries of CPRIT officials. Senators on the committee also adopted an amendment to remove the Attorney General and state Comptroller from the CPRIT Oversight Committee.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.