Hiring a compassionate and capable shelter director
News and headlines for October 21 - October 27, 2023
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
On behalf of the Georgia members of The No Kill Advocacy Center and our DeKalb County members specifically, we thank you for your leadership in making local shelters a place where animals find a new beginning instead of what they find elsewhere — the end of the line. We write because People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has gone public, opposing your effort to save lives and encouraging you to kill animals again.
PETA contends that a shelter faces three extreme choices: kill animals, turn them away, or warehouse them for months. There’s another option: the No Kill Equation — a series of cost-effective programs that include marketing, pet retention, volunteers, and robust adoption campaigns.
These programs are humane, readily available, affordable, and — when comprehensively implemented to the point that they replace killing entirely — effective. Communities across the country that embrace the No Kill Equation place 95%- 99% of animals without turning animals away, putting public safety at risk, or warehousing animals. Collectively, the No Kill Equation has resulted in a nationwide shelter death rate decline of 95%, fewer people buying animals, more people adopting, and 30% fewer puppy mills.
While PETA’s opposition to No Kill still surprises some, it shouldn’t. PETA historically kills roughly 90% of the animals it takes in, despite over $80 million in annual revenues. Why? PETA officials believe that sharing one’s home subjects animals to bondage and oppression: “Let us allow the dog to disappear from our brick and concrete jungles — from our firesides, from the leather nooses and metal chains by which we enslave it.” As PETA believes people are incapable of caring for animals and that those animals likewise cannot live on the street, animals are damned either way, and thus killing them is a “gift.”
Given that PETA runs a facility that historically has been the functional equivalent of a slaughterhouse, it begs the question: why should anyone listen to PETA on how to run a shelter?
Thankfully, it does not appear that they are. The DeKalb County Commission has taken up a resolution reaffirming the county’s commitment to No Kill and will soon vote on legislation to mandate the No Kill Equation.
Out of the shadows and into the sun. All dogs are now welcome again in Troy, MO. The City Council repealed its pit bull and rottweiler ban.
Banning dogs based on appearance is immoral. It is also ineffective. That’s not just opinion; it’s science:
The breed of a dog tells how they look, not how they behave;
50% of dogs labeled as pit bulls lack DNA breed signatures of breeds commonly classified as pit bulls;
Dogs targeted for breed discriminatory laws are not more likely to bite, do not bite harder, and such bans do not result in fewer dog bites or bite-related hospitalization rates; and,
Enforcement is expensive, with no measurable impact on public safety.
Bans also negatively impact surrounding communities and rescue groups, which have to take on the burden of such regressive and selfish policies to save the lives of these dogs.
Bobi, “The world’s oldest dog ever has died at the age of 31 years and 165 days.”
“Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him.”
After public protests over poor handling of shelter operations — including turning needy animals away, telling people to abandon animals, neglecting animals, or killing animals — executive directors in high-profile but poorly run shelters across the county, such as those in Arizona, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, have either stepped down or been forced out.
In many of those communities, I have been asked for advice on getting someone caring, compassionate, and capable in the position. Here’s the advice I gave to shelter reformers, board members, and government officials who asked: