No Kill, where no healthy/treatable animals are killed, is a humane, sustainable, cost-effective model that works hand in hand with public health and safety, while fulfilling a fiscal responsibility to taxpayers. The success of this approach across the country proves the viability of the No Kill model and the above principles. In Clark County it is time for change! It is time to reject the failed philosophies and poor performance of the past. The majority of citizens of our community are kind, caring and generous. They deserve an animal shelter that reflects, rather than undermines, their values.
Clark County (minus Boulder City and Mesquite) has a population of roughly 1,999,330 people. Intake at The Animal Foundation (Lied Shelter) in 2011 was 44,668 dogs and cats. That is an intake rate of about 22 for every 1,000 human residents of the county. They killed 28,649, or 64% of all the dogs and cats. By contrast, Washoe County, Nevada in 2011 saved 91% of their dogs and cats even though they take in more per capita, about 37 pets per 1,000 people. In fact, there are No Kill communities with per capita intake rates as high as 73 pets per 1,000 people. If The Animal Foundation had the same adoption rate as they do in Washoe County, our community should be able to adopt out about 43,865 dogs and cats per year, which almost equals total impounds.
We the undersigned call for The Animal Foundation to follow the No Kill model starting with the steps listed below. By implementing these programs Lied shelter would increase adoptions, return to owner, and rescue outcomes and lessen the killing of healthy/treatable animals.
- Make a public Proclamation that The Animal Foundation will be implementing the No Kill model to increase live outcomes and decrease the killing of healthy/treatable animals. This will get the community behind The Animal Foundation’s efforts. When Nevada Humane launched their No Kill initiative they went from 30 volunteers to over 7,000 and from just a handful of foster homes to almost 2500.
- Expand the Rescue Department (one person is not enough to effectively run this dept). A shelter committed to No Kill does not merely allow rescue groups access to animals “some of the time,” but every time a legitimate rescue group is willing to take over care and custody of the animal. Indeed, a No Kill shelter actively seeks these groups out and contacts them when there are animals in need and also regularly sends out urgent lists of animals in immediate danger of being killed.
- Implement a Foster Program for all animals not just the very young or in certain medical cases. Volunteer foster care is a low-cost, and often no-cost, way of increasing a shelter’s capacity and caring for sick and injured or behaviorally challenged animals, thus saving more lives.
- Increase Return to Owners. At The Animal Foundation only 16% of dogs and 3% of cats are returned to their families. This is unfortunate because being more proactive and comprehensive would have a significant impact on lifesaving. Shelters in communities that have systematized their approach and become more proactive have more than doubled this rate of redemption. Washoe County Animal Services in Reno, Nevada, for example, returned 7% of lost cats and 65% of lost dogs to their homes. For more info see Missing Animal Response: http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/MAR.pdf
- More Transparency. The Animal Foundation receives public funds and therefore is subject to Open Record Laws. This is our community shelter and we have a right to know what actions are being taken upon our community animals there. In order to work better with the community The Animal Foundation needs to be more transparent in regards to their operations and more proactive in sending information out to the community. There needs to be a designated contact for inquiries as to the outcome of any animal so misleading information is not disseminated into the community. There is shelter management software that will send out an automated message to Facebook and Twitter when an animal is adopted or sent to rescue. For more info see Saving Lives 2.0: http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/savinglives2.0.pdf
The Animal Foundation must utilize the programs and services of the No Kill Equation not sometimes, not merely when it is convenient or politically expedient to do so, but for every single animal, every single time. It is primarily the shift from a reactive to proactive orientation and from a casual, ad-hoc, limited implementation to a comprehensive one, which will lead to the greatest declines in killing, and fix Clark County’s broken animal shelter system.
For more info on The No Kill Equation: http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/nokill101.pdf
Animal Help Alliance