Austin Pets Alive! employees vote to form largest animal shelter union in nation

Months after filing a petition, Austin Pets Alive! employees won a vote to form the Austin Pets Allied Workers (APAW) and join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 776, making it the country's largest union of animal shelter workers.

"We are celebrating this victory with animal care workers everywhere," said members of the APAW Organizing Committee. "This victory gives us a seat at the table to help make the best decisions for the animals under our care. We look forward to sitting down with Austin Pets Alive! Management to secure a first contract for our fellow caregivers."


The new animal shelter union will address critical issues ranging from workplace safety and animal welfare policies to equitable compensation and employment practices.

"As a union dedicated to raising the collective voice of animal care workers everywhere, we are so excited to see APAW's win," said NVPU President Liz Hughston. "The members of APAW are drawn to caring for some of the neediest and most vulnerable animals in our society; they deserve to work in an environment that is as committed to them and their well-being as they are to the animals in their care. We look forward to supporting IAM's District 776 to secure a first contract at APA! and partnering to ensure that APAW thrives."