Founder and Executive Director of Austin Lost & Found Pets
Stephanie Martens is the Founder and Executive Director of Austin Lost & Found Pets, a community service-based, nonprofit organization that is partnered with Austin Animal Center. ALFP was founded in January 2016 at the request of then-Deputy Chief of Animal Services Kristen Auerbach, after AAC staff noticed how successful the Facebook group Stephanie had established in the Spring of 2012, which she had continued to closely manage, was at reuniting animals with their families, often without the necessity of the shelter or other animal services. Austin Animal Center credited Austin Lost & Found Pets with reducing shelter intake by 2000+ animals in 2016 alone. That July, former Chief Animal Services Officer Tawny Hammond and Animal Advisory Commission Chair David Lundstedt presented Stephanie with the first-ever Austin Life Saver Award on behalf of the City of Austin in recognition of her years of hard work keeping animals out of Austin Animal Center and her tireless efforts to reduce intake over the 2016 4th of July holiday, which resulted in record low intake for the shelter.
Her guiding principle is that pets are family, and this innate belief fuels her passion to reunite missing animals with the people and other animals that love them and keep as many pets as possible from ever seeing the inside of a shelter. Because she is driven to go above and beyond helping others search for both lost pets and their families, she started the AL&FP Street Team – a dedicated group of volunteers that catches and traps loose dogs and lost/injured cats, helps people physically search for their missing pets, makes and puts up flyers and posters, fosters, offers mobile microchip scanning and comprehensive chip research, picks up deceased animals to give their families closure, and so much more!
Stephanie‘s unique, multifaceted approach to mitigating the issue of lost and found pets within the community is making it possible to get lost animals home faster, more efficiently and with greater ease – and save more lives – than ever before.