Texas Pets Alive!
 

We Help Shelters Focus on Saving Animals

Protecting Rescue Shelters from Undue Legislation

Removing Political Barriers So More Lives Can Be Saved

Providing Legal Protection for Animal Protectors

 
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Each animal you see below was on the at risk list and rescued by Austin Pets Alive! 

 

The Mission of TPA!

So many Texans are committed to ending the killing of homeless pets and since 2011, the City of Austin through its partnership with Austin Pets Alive! has done just that, becoming the largest No Kill City in the US. 

Since then, San Antonio Pets Alive! has aided in reducing San Antonio’s kill rate by more than 30% and the City of Houston through its partnership with Houston Pets Alive! and with assistance from Austin Pets Alive! has dramatically increased its save rate.

We now know the killing of homeless pets can end through the innovative lifesaving programs pioneered and implemented by Austin Pets Alive! and the other like-minded animal welfare organizations.  

But, with this unprecedented success, as hard as it may be to believe, there are some, who out of ignorance and insecurity, have felt threatened by the innovation that has saved tens of thousands of animal lives, who before would have been killed in animal shelters. 

After legal challenges failed to impede the No Kill movement in Texas, these naysayers went to the Texas Legislature in 2015 seeking to pass over-reaching, bureaucratic and costly legislation that would impede our progress and return us to killing as the status quo.

Texas Pets Alive! is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(4) organization that formed in response to these legislative threats.  The purpose of Texas Pets Alive! is to protect the life-saving efforts of Austin Pets Alive! and other like-minded animal welfare organizations in the Texas Legislature and at the local level. 

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About TPA!

Texas Pets Alive is a 501(c)(4) organization, and therefore can act as a political voice for Austin Pets Alive! and other No Kill animal welfare organizations across Texas. We are able to engage in unlimited lobbying as it relates to ensuring the laws of the state allow us to end the killing of homeless pets.  Please note, because we are a lobbying organization, contributions to Texas Pets Alive! are not tax deductible.

Board of Directors

LORRI MICHEL • Board President
Lorri is one of the state’s leading property tax attorneys and is a trusted subject matter expert on property tax laws for the Texas Legislature. Lorri is the managing partner of her Austin-based law firm Michel | Gray, LLP.  In addition to her practice of law, Lorri has been a tireless advocate for homeless pets and is one of the initial founders of Austin’s successful No Kill movement. 


LARRY TUCKER • Treasurer
Larry Tucker is an Account Director at Goodway Group. He is a City of Austin Animal Advisory Commissioner, was not only one of the initial founders of Austin’s successful No Kill movement, but also one of the primary architects and chief legislative proponents of the Austin No Kill Plan, which resulted in save rates in excess of 90%, the largest community in the nation to do so. Tucker is the past-Chair of the Animal Advisory Commission, recipient of the 2011 Henry Bergh Leadership award and a past speaker at the No Kill Conference in Washington, DC and American Pets Alive Conference.


JUDY MATULA • Secretary
Judy is a long-time supporter of various animal and arts-related organizations in the Austin area.  For almost a decade she has supported Austin Pets Alive! as a volunteer, donor, and former board member.  She currently serves on the board of Austin Chamber Music Center, where she twice chaired their annual fundraiser.  For the past several years she has volunteered at her daughter’s school, twice serving as Annual Fund Parent Chair.  In previous lives she spent several years as an Account Manager at GSD&M and went on to teach psychology as an adjunct instructor at Austin Community College.  She received a BS in Advertising and an MA in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.  Judy, her husband Michael, and her daughter Grayson share their Austin home with their three rescue cats, Billy, Diego, and Bob.  They love to travel, attend and host concerts, and spend time at home with their cats, who run the household.


CYNTHIA KONIECZNY
Cynthia Konieczny is a Managing Director for Deloitte Services L.P. and currently runs Deloitte's Government and Public Services Sales Executive Team.  Cynthia Konieczny has over 31 years of experience in consulting, technology, sales and government relations work.

She has spent the majority of her career helping states, and government leaders understand, and tackle the delivery of Human Services programs/policies and is passionate about positively affecting the outcomes of citizens in need.

In addition, to her program background and experience Cynthia has managed large-scale (100m+) technology projects, managed regional operations for a Fortune 100 company, and led regional and national business development efforts.

Affiliations 

  • American Public Human Services Association

  • Austin Pets Alive – Board Member        

  • Texas Pets Alive – Board Member

Education

  • Master of Science, Public Management and Policy

  • Major: Information Technology and Finance

  • Carnegie Mellon University
    Pittsburgh, PA

  • Bachelor of Science, Business Information Systems

  • Major: Information Technology

  • Robert Morris College
    Pittsburgh, PA


CAROLYN CADENA
Carolyn is an Austin attorney with a law practice dedicated to helping people with their pet-related legal issues. She is a lifelong animal-lover and is passionate about fostering compassionate communities where both people and animals are valued and cared for. Carolyn holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where she served as the President of the Contemplative Law Society, Vice President of the Latin American Law Students Association, and Executive Editor of the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review.


BILL SYMON
Bill is a director of business development for a software company.  He manages strategic sales engagements with public sector clients around the Southwest. His background includes business development efforts for a variety of high tech and startup companies. Additionally, Bill has spent several years serving as a volunteer and board member of Austin Pets Alive! He holds an undergraduate Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from The University of Texas at Austin.


MICHELLE ROVNER
Michelle is the founder and CEO of Harmony Herbal, an herbal medicine-based skincare company that sells through pharmacies, practitioners, natural products retailers, and online. Michelle received her M.B.A. with a focus on Information Technology from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked for the CIO of FedEx Corporation as a Senior Strategic Online Commerce Advisor, forming technology partnerships for the development of new product offerings. At Tivoli Corporation (acquired by IBM), she served as a Product Manager and then Director of Global Product Marketing for a portfolio of network management software. After which she founded Insight Out consulting, advising product strategy to technology startups before making the leap into the natural products market. She is an active volunteer and marketing advisor to Austin Pets Alive!  Michelle and her husband Mike have two rescue dogs, Finn and Lily. Lily was a “long stay” Pitbull mix from APA!”


PATTY ROTUNDA

Patty cast aside her career in business to become a homemaker, stay-at-home mom, and full time volunteer after the birth of her son. She quickly immersed herself in activities associated with early childhood education and development ranging from group mentoring to fundraising. She established and supervised a Parent Teacher Volunteer Program in Maryland that won recognition resulting in her nomination for the Audrey Robbins Humanitarian Award. 

Her husband, Joe, was later transferred to Arlington TX and Patty played an integral part in establishing Care Teams within schools dealing with young adult problems, primarily Teen Suicide.  She additionally volunteered as a recruiter for the Adopt-A-School program and enrolled local businesses to support various programs that were not part of the school budget.  As a result, she was awarded a Medallion by the Arlington Board of Education along with a lifetime membership in The Texas Parent Teachers Association. 

Joe’s work then took him to Wichita KS where Patty joined a task force associated with Via Christi Hospital to establish a Teen Crisis Heart-Line.  She directed the Teen Heart-Line Outreach Program and was the primary liaison to the middle and high schools throughout the city. This work resulted in Patty’s selection as the winner for the state of Kansas in the “General Mills Salutes America’s Top Volunteer” recognition program.

Throughout the years, Patty has always loved companion animals, especially dogs, as demonstrated by the fact that her family always included anywhere from one to four dogs around the house at any one time.  When she first arrived in Austin, she became involved with various animal shelters as a donor but soon zeroed in on APA!  Patty saw the opportunity to have a greater impact by becoming active within the organization as a voice for the voiceless.  Working tirelessly, she committed herself to volunteer positions including Chair of the Development Committee as well as a member of the Board of Directors.

In addition to animals, Patty continued her efforts with children and chaired the first Advisory Board at Austin Sunshine Camps working with businesses, volunteers and donors in establishing new programs and fundraising.

Today she’s pleased to be able to be part of the Texas Pets Alive!


 
 

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FAQ

Q. What is Texas Pets Alive!?

A. We are are a 501(c)(4) organization, and therefore can act as a political voice for Austin Pets Alive! and other No Kill animal welfare organizations across Texas.  We are able to engage in unlimited lobbying as it relates to ensuring the laws of the state allow us to end the killing of homeless pets.  Please note, because we are a lobbying organization, contributions to Texas Pets Alive! are not tax deductible.

 

Q. What does Texas Pets Alive! do?

A. Our primary focus is to lobby at the Texas Legislature to ensure the laws of the state of Texas continue to allow the no kill efforts of Austin Pets Alive! and other No Kill nonprofit animal welfare organizations to continue so Texas can become the first No Kill state in the country.

 

Q. Does Texas Pets Alive have PAC?

A. Yes.  The Texas Pets Alive! Political Action Committee (PAC) makes direct political contributions to candidates who support keeping the laws of the state of Texas in place to allow the No Kill efforts of Austin Pets Alive! and other No Kill animal welfare organization to continue so Texas can become the first No Kill state in the US.  Please note, donations to the Texas Pets Alive! PAC are not tax deductible.

 

Q.  Can TPA! Help at the local level in Texas?

A.  Yes, we help local communities at citizen request to remove political impediments to saving animal lives.  

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