The ASPCA began supporting Emancipet in 2007 as part of a community initiative to help Austin, Texas become a more humane community for pets. When we first partnered with them, we were a very small, brand new, and struggling grassroots organization. Their support started small in dollar amounts, but was transformative for us at a vulnerable point in our lifecycle: they provided a grant for us to purchase our very first donor database, and to launch our first door to door outreach program (which we called Spay Street back in the day). They helped us advocate for an increase in funding for our partnership with the City of Austin to provide free spay/neuter in low-income parts of Austin. 

Our relationship deepened over time, and we started to grow, and then to hone our vision for scaling up. They continued investing in powerful and impactful ways. In 2013, they provided a Program Related Investment that we used to purchase the equipment for our very first clinic outside of the Austin city limits: our Pflugerville Windermere branch. Then, in 2014, we came to them with an idea of investing in a type of semi-mobile clinic: a gooseneck trailer that housed a complete spay/neuter clinic, pharmacy, and exam rooms, that we would use to provide services in new markets for the first year of operations. This model would allow us to build demand for services in communities that had not had access to veterinary care in the past, before we committed to a long-term lease. 

That clinic first opened in Killeen in 2014, and housed our Killeen operations for a year before moving to Houston in 2015 and housing our first Houston operations for a year. We are now celebrating our 10th anniversary in Killeen, and we have three clinics in Houston. All of that started with a seed planted by our partners at the ASPCA. Beyond funding the clinics themselves, the ASPCA was so committed to our vision of scaling that they have granted us nearly $2 million since then, focused on helping us build the infrastructure needed to support a growing network of clinics. 

Over the years, many of the ASPCA staff helped Emancipet so much that we began to see them as a part of our extended family. Many are dear friends of our staff, and some even eventually came to work for Emancipet. One of the ASPCA’s long-tenured Senior Leaders, Julie Morris, was a cherished mentor to many on the Emancipet leadership team, and even served on our board of directors until she passed away in 2019. Our current board chair, Jed Rogers, is a former member of the ASPCA’s veterinary leadership team. 

There are too many individuals to name them all, but so many of the staff and leadership of the ASPCA, from almost every department, have helped to influence and support Emancipet over the years. We are grateful for the ways each one of them, as individuals, have helped us become the organization we are today, and we are humbled by the support we have received from this institution over time to expand our efforts to help even more animals in need. We thank you, ASPCA, for your commitment to Emancipet!!