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Shelters from across the U.S. gather in Austin to learn about becoming a 'no-kill' state

American Pets Live! hosted the conference, inviting shelter workers, Texas lawmakers and animal advocates to discuss ways to prevent euthanasia in shelters.

AUSTIN, Texas — Shelter workers and animal advocates from across the country gathered in Downtown Austin on Sunday to learn about what it takes to become a "no-kill" state.

The event was hosted by American Pets Live!, a nonprofit group that works to educate communities on ways to handle overcrowding and calls on state leaders to take action.

"We are the largest no-kill state in the country and in such have become a teaching institution," said Laura Donahue, the director of mission advancement for Austin Pets Alive! "We know we can't rescue the whole country out of the crisis in killing animals, and so we are here to teach others how we were able to make Austin a safe city." 

Donahue said the event had more than 600 people from 33 different states and three different countries in attendance.

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"It's just incredible to be surrounded by people who are passionately committed to saving animals' lives," Donahue said.

At the event, there was also a ceremony dedicated to recognizing 12 Texas lawmakers for helping to pave the way for Texas to become a no-kill state.

"I think one of the most important things we can realize is that no-kill communities are better communities. We see that across the country, we see that in Texas and that's something I champion and work hard for," Rep. Brad Buckley said.

WATCH: San Marcos shelter trying to become 'no-kill' 

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