Archive | August, 2011

The No Kill Equation

31 Aug

For those who may be new to the No Kill movement, below is an explanation of the No Kill Equation (NKE). The NKE is the only program proven to lead to No Kill success. It involves 11 simple steps, which, when implemented by a shelter, lead to increased live outcome rates and drastic drops in killing.

The NKE has been successfully applied in Reno, Nevada; Tompkins County, New York; Shelby County, Kentucky; Charlottesville, Virginia, and many other communities across the US.

The No Kill Equation works, period. But, it does take hard work, dedication, and a compassionate, innovative leader at the helm. A halfhearted attempt at the programs will NOT be effective. They must all be aggressively implemented in order to reap the lifesaving rewards.

I. Feral Cat TNR Program

Trap Neuter Release (TNR) programs are the only proven effective methods of reducing a feral cat population, and No Kill communities across the country have embraced these tactics as a method of drastically reducing shelter intake and saving lives.

II. High Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter

Low or no-cost, high volume spay/neuter programs are a key component to reducing shelter intake, and become especially effective over time. Reducing intake allows for additional resources to be allocated to other shelter necessities.

III. Rescue Groups

Rescue groups are an invaluable element of the NKE. Any transfer of an animal to a rescue group reduces taxpayer cost for vet care and boarding (or euthanasia), in addition to freeing up a kennel for another animal. A transfer to a legitimate rescue should never be refused by a shelter.

IV. Foster Care

Foster care is an irreplaceable way to drastically expand shelter capacity. Volunteer foster parents provide boarding, food and care for animals, and serve as key advocates for the shelter’s mission. These programs also save the lives of neonatal kittens and other animals who cannot survive in a shelter environment.

V. Comprehensive Pet Adoptions

You CAN adopt your way out of killing, but it takes hard work and innovation. There are 17 million families looking for pets each year, and three to four million killed in shelters. There are more than enough homes for our nation’s homeless pets, but shelters must compete with outside sources of animals – they must offer promotions, adoption specials and implement effective marketing programs to get pets out the door.

VI. Pet Retention

Many of the reasons people surrender their animals are preventable, but shelters must work with the public to help them retain their animals. Through offering advice and assistance to those in need, shelters can reduce intake and keep families together.

VII. Medical and Behavior Rehabilitation

A key part of any shelter’s responsibility is to insure the health & well being of its inhabitants. Animals must be treated for medical conditions and rehabilitated for behavioral issues. This step includes the implementation of proper cleaning, vaccination, evaluation and other protocols.

VIII. Public Relations/Community Involvement

Community support is key to No Kill success. By increasing public exposure for the shelter, the community will get involved, which means more donations, more volunteers, more adoptions and more lifesaving success.

IX. Volunteers

No Kill efforts cannot succeed without volunteers. They expand the shelter’s operational efforts without necessitating additional expense. They are invaluable, and the backbone of any successful shelter.

X. Proactive Redemptions

In Washoe County, Nevada, almost 65% of intake are returned to their owners, demonstrating the high percentage of animals that need only be  redeemed. Actively working towards RTO efforts can drastically reduce shelter intake and kill rates.

XI. A Compassionate Director

The number one most important factor in reaching a No Kill community is effective leadership. Unless a shelter’s leader is progressive, compassionate and hard-working, other efforts are likely to fail. The leader dictates the policies & procedures of the organization, and if a leader makes a decision to stop the killing – it will stop.


Austin’s Upcoming No Kill Workshop

23 Aug

Austin Pets Alive! is a shining example of the possibilities that emerge when a community of animal lovers come together. Thanks in large part to their efforts, Austin, Texas, has maintained a 90%+ save rate for six months thus far. An incredible accomplishment!

Given their success, the organization has apparently received requests for help from animal advocates across the country looking to duplicate their methods. In answer to these requests, they have created American Pets Alive!, a new, national group designed to help spread the grassroots No Kill movement far and wide.

The first order of business by American Pets Alive! is an upcoming No Kill worskshop in Austin, Texas, this September.

According to their blog post about the event: “On September 26th-27th, we are hosting a No Kill Workshop in Austin to teach other communities about our programs that have enabled us to save 10,000 dogs and cats in the last 3 years who would have been killed within hours if we hadn’t rescued them. We’ll also have speakers talk about topics like political advocacy and how to save animals from within your city shelter, instead of starting your own rescue program.”

This can’t-miss workshop is sure to sell out fast! You can get your tickets here.

You can also follow American Pets Alive! on Facebook to keep abreast of all their new endeavors.

Memphis Animal Services Director Resigns

12 Aug

As the No Kill movement grows in strength and numbers, we can expect to see the old guard leaders falling, one by one. They cannot withstand the light of truth on the darkness they’ve perpetrated in their facilities. In the last week, Miami-Dade Animal Services Director Dr. Sara Pizano resigned, followed yesterday by Memphis Animal Services Director Matthew Pepper.

Matthew Pepper’s one-year tenure was marked with countless images of abuse visible on shelter webcams, an employee charged with animal cruelty and a kill rate exceeding 70%. All the outraged community heard from Pepper was excuses.

This is the city’s opportunity to build a brighter tomorrow. By installing a leader versed in No Kill practices and procedures, Memphis can turn its dismal facility around. Animals can start leaving out the front door, with families, instead of through the back, in garbage bags.

Mayor Wharton: now’s your chance to be a hero. If you install a No Kill leader, you’ll be celebrated, cheered on, and supported. The public will be on your side instead of fighting against you. Stand up for your community’s animals. Stop the killing. Stop the abuse.

For those interested in voicing their support for a No Kill leader to take the stage in Memphis, you can join YesBiscuit’s letter-writing campaign to city leaders here.

Embattled Miami-Dade Animal Services Director Resigns; Advocates Call for a No Kill Replacement

5 Aug

Dr. Sara Pizano, the embattled Director of Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) officially resigned from her position yesterday afternoon, following several documented reports of alleged neglect and abuse at the taxpayer funded facility. No Kill Nation (NKN) and the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation (MCABSL) urge Miami-Dade County to replace Dr. Pizano with a progressive and compassionate No Kill shelter director.

By MDAS’ own reports, more than 114,000 animals were killed during Dr. Pizano’s tenure.

“This could be the new start Miami-Dade Animal Services needed. A change in leadership at MDAS was long overdue”, remarked NKN’s co-founder Debi Day.

NKN and MCABSL applaud the county’s decision to accept Dr. Pizano’s resignation.

The No Kill movement has demonstrated victories in many states and counties across the country by following a proven lifesaving program known as the No Kill Equation. Nothing is stopping Miami-Dade County from achieving this same success, other than the lack of a shelter director willing to implement the proven No Kill policies contained within the No Kill Equation. Effective leadership is the crucial first step on the road to reaching the 90%+ lifesaving rate indicative of a No Kill shelter.

No Kill communities now exist in many regions across the United States, including Washoe County (Reno), Nevada; Tompkins County (Ithaca), New York; Austin, Texas; and cities and counties in California, Michigan, Kentucky and Virginia, among others.

No Kill policies save lives, save taxpayer money, are consistent with public health and safety, and improve public satisfaction with the job government is doing. No Kill leaders all over the U.S. and the world again have their eyes on Miami-Dade County; this time in the hopes that MDAS will join the No Kill revolution.

The animal-loving taxpayers of Miami-Dade have shown their compassion for our homeless pets time and time again, including last March when they came forward to rescue more than 500 animals from certain death after the shelter shut down due to a distemper outbreak. Now is our chance to stop the killing: our community’s pets and people deserve nothing less than No Kill.