UT Students Adopt Shelter, Responsible Pet Ownership

Hall’s cat, Kirby, was adopted from Austin Pets Alive! According to Hall in May 2020. (Courtesy: Matty Hall)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – With a growing number of University of Texas students looking for companionship and responsibility, students are looking to animal shelters for therapy.

Austin is a ‘no-kill’ city, meaning the city’s shelter partners have a limit on the number of animals they are happy to enter the shelter and allow them to be fostered and adopted at large. The program should be implemented. To save every animal possible, shelters across the city are full of available pets, and UT students are adopting them.


“Shelters here in Texas are facing a lot more overcrowding issues than normal shelters,” said Luis Sanchez, director of PR and communications at Austin Pets Alive. Every pet that is in the shelter system deserves a chance to find a family, and what sets us apart from most other shelters is that we strictly go off the euthanasia list. We are truly the last chance for these pets.

Hall’s cat, Kirby, was adopted from Austin Pets Alive! According to Hall in May 2020. (Courtesy: Matty Hall)

Mattie Hall, a theater and dance senior at UT, said she adopted her cat, Kirby, from a shelter because of concerns from breeders.

“It’s really expensive, first of all, to get from a breeder,” Hall said. “I think breeders are usually very unethical. But, I also wanted an older animal because I have a very busy schedule with school. So I didn’t want to get a kitten.

Sunidhi ‘Sunny’ Koganti, a senior majoring in neuroscience and human development and family sciences, said she thinks UT students embrace shelters because it’s low cost and provides companionship.

“I think it’s more affordable for students,” Coganti said. “But, it’s more than just having a pet in college is company and kind of, like, a little friend there.”

Hall echoed this, saying it was a “rite of passage” for the APA to adopt!

“When I started working here, I always thought the people coming into the shelter would be old,” Sanchez said. “But, when we did our first adoption promotion, it was all 18 to 25 in 2023. And, it might have stopped by the shelter to see the animals and pet some animals, but I think It’s really special.”

According to Coganti, Coganti’s cat, Lincoln, was adopted from a shelter during the Covid pandemic. (Courtesy: Sunidhi ‘Sunny’ Koganti)

What College Students Should Know Before Adopting a Pet

College students should keep some caveats in mind when adopting an animal, such as financial responsibility and the importance of patience when building a relationship with your pet.

Sanchez added that there are other ways to help animals at APA! If you are not ready to adopt. APA! offers volunteer opportunities and internships, as well as the option of petting, which Sanchez said is “not a huge commitment.”

“You’re still helping an animal stay in a home, be comfortable instead of in a shelter,” Sanchez said.

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