Austin took a big step toward becoming a no-kill city on Thursday as city council passed a plan to reduce the number of animals that are euthanized at its shelter.
"This is a big victory. It means our city council has made this a priority, and we're going to get that much closer to no kill, and that is huge," president and veterinarian for Austin Pets Alive Ellen Jefferson said.
The plan will set a moratorium on killing animals at the city's shelter while there are empty cages.
It will also allow the city to outsource adoptions.
The city will request proposals for contracts with animal organizations.
"A non-profit has the outreach to try to get out into the community and leverage funds from the community to make those things happen," Jefferson said.
She said groups like Austin Pets Alive can also cover more ground by offering multiple adoption sites.
While council gave the plan unanimous support, they were quick to say implementation will take some effort.
"I'm really excited, because we've taken a huge step in the city of Austin. There's a lot of work ahead, but it's a great opportunity," Council Member Laura Morrison said.
City council will get monthly updates including the cost of implementation.
On Thursday city council also approved a contract to build the city's new animal shelter in East Austin. Work on the shelter should begin in the next couple of months.