AUSTIN, Texas—Cothron’s Security Solutions, a family-owned and operated security company based here since its founding 60 years ago, on Nov. 24 announced it had decided to lend a hand to a local non-profit animal shelter that had been faced with a wave of vandalism. The security company donated video surveillance system equipment and services valued at $6,000 to Animal Trustees of Austin, an animal welfare organization founded in 1993 to help implement a sterilization program to fight overpopulation and to help lost, abused and abandoned animals.
According to ATA executive director Missy McCullough, the Cothron’s donation was a good example of private business and non-profits working together to improve the community. “Because of this wonderfully generous gift, everyone can view the parking lots before they leave the building and we all feel so much safer,” McCullough said in an email interview. “Cothron’s is a long-time, family-owned Austin business and their concern and support for our non-profit animal welfare organization is a perfect example of how private business can work with non-profits to benefit all in our community. We are very grateful.”
Cothron’s donated a Honeywell system comprising eight cameras and a DVR to help the center fight a recent hash of vandalism ranging from broken windows and doors to theft of equipment, destruction of vaccines, and cutting electrical power through destruction of external wall-mounted meters. McCullough said no animals were hurt or stolen, but that the destruction was costly and worrisome. “This is exactly what we needed for us all to feel safe,” McCullough said via email. “We have been in this building for 13 years and never been fearful until this [vandalism] started in September.”
Cothron’s service manager Joe Grier said the decision to help was really a no-brainer. “We’ve done work for them in the past. And they couldn’t afford to have a camera system like that put in on their own. They’re a non-profit, and we had some Honeywell products we could donate,” Grier said. “They’re everything you hear about a shelter being good: A lot of volunteers who are just really happy to be there.”
Cothron’s president Steve Cothron said the donation was an attempt to give back to the community. “This is our business. They’re a non-profit and we felt like it was important for us to step in and see if we could help curtail the break-ins,” Cothron said.
The police have since arrested a man they believe to be the one responsible for $15,000 worth of damage at the ATA, and Grier believes it was not a moment too soon. “This guy was more than just a crook—it wasn’t just thievery, it was like it was targeted,” Grier said.
McCullough agreed. “They have a person in jail and are now building a strong case against him. They have fingerprints and testimony from an accomplice that he broke into at least five other businesses in this area at least once,” McCullough said via email. “For some reason he took great pleasure in harassing us … the police are very happy to have him in jail and hope to be able to put him away for a long time.”