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Everything, everywhere is broken all at once
Not surprisingly, requests for help reforming "shelters" are multiplying
Yesterday, I released a Substack article on the state of animal sheltering. In that article, I discussed how the kill rate for adult dogs has more than doubled in Orange County, CA, despite a 30% decline in intakes, and how they turn kittens away, telling people to leave them on the sidewalk.
Similar problems exist in Sacramento, Contra Costa, Riverside, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Los Angeles, Rochester, New York City, and elsewhere.
In that article, I also discussed how it isn’t just neglectful and abusive pounds going from bad to worse. Animal shelters in Austin, TX, Rosenberg, TX, Reno, NV, Palm Springs, CA, Charlottesville, VA, Spokane, WA, and others used to be at the forefront of the No Kill movement with placement rates of 95% or better and as high as 99%. Unfortunately, that is no longer true.
Finally, I put the blame where it belongs: on groups like Best Friends, Austin Pets Alive, the ASPCA, Maddie’s Fund, and the National Animal Control Association, which are pushing anti-animal policies like turning away adopters without an appointment, telling people who find animals to re-abandon them on the street, and fighting progressive laws and other efforts to hold “shelter” directors and staff accountable to results.
While some of these groups have been corrupt from the beginning, and others went from ineffective to harmful, groups like Austin Pets Alive and Best Friends have gone from fighting for shelter animals to defending those who harm them. The bigger they got, the more money they made, the more they betrayed animals.
Everything, everywhere, is broken all at once.
You can read the article here.
Not surprisingly, over the last several months, I have been inundated with emails requesting me to assist in fixing these and other communities. Just since the article came out, those requests have come from advocates in Los Angeles, Contra Costa, Kansas City (MO), Austin, Philadelphia, San Antonio, and New York City. Some weeks, I get dozens of emails requesting my assistance and these numbers do not include the requests that come through The No Kill Advocacy Center website asking for the same. It is not an exaggeration to say that these requests can number in the hundreds, the vast majority compelling.
I wish I could say “Yes” to all of them, but since there are thousands of communities screaming for reform, and only one of me, that is impossible.
That is why I created 30 step-by-step guides to shelter reform that empower volunteers, rescuers, and advocates and made them available on The No Kill Advocacy Center’s website. They walk those who want to reform their local pounds through the process, including effective political advocacy, model legislation and how to get it introduced, and more.
You can download all 30 guides in the No Kill Advocate’s Toolkit for free here.
There are also additional resources, including a book written by a shelter reform advocate discussing how she, and her small group, successfully reformed the local pound in Alabama.
You can learn more here.
Similarly, another book discusses the success of two advocates who reformed their community’s shelter in another state.
You can learn about that book here.
Finally, if people begin the reform process but get stuck, have questions or concerns, or need help with legislation, The No Kill Advocacy Center is available to assist. Please remember that the extent of involvement is limited by available resources vis-a-vis the number of communities needing assistance.
For those who want to help expand their reach, please donate to The No Kill Advocacy Center. Unlike some wealthier organizations that take donations and put them in the bank or use them to defend an unethical status quo, The No Kill Advocacy Center uses every dollar for immediate lifesaving impact. Indeed, the scope of the work is directly proportional to the generosity of donors.
You can make a donation here.
As always, I truly apologize that I cannot do more.