Denver CO

Colorado need to save 90% of homeless pets starting now

Colorado needs an organization working to improve the Animal Shelter system in Colorado.  Tens of thousands of pets are killed each year in Colorado because of the lack of life saving programs that can be implemented probably without additional cost, and possibly adding revenue to the current funds provided to municipal shelters.

But the real question is:  Is it OK to kill a healthy or treatable dog or cat?

We say no, and we think Colorado people agree with us.

This idea is not a Colorado only initiative, in fact Colorado may be behind the 8-ball on animal welfare as it pertains to cats and dogs.  This is surprising considering the pet friendly attitude of its citizens.  All across the country, communities are demanding that municipal and other shelters change their approach to end the needless killing of healthy and treatable animals.

Today, Austin is the largest community in the United States that saves the lives of more than 90% of all animals entering its shelter system.  The change was executed in less than a year and is in its second year of success.

Communities in red states, blue states, urban communities and rural, poor communities and wealthy communities have all proved that with and 11 point program, the lives of 90% or more of all animals entering shelters can be saved.

This is changing the number of pets killed in shelters across the country.  Recent estimates say between 3 and 4 million pets are killed in shelters annually.  But it doesn’t need to be so.

A man named Henry Bergh started the animal welfare philosophy that is prevalent in modern-day America.  He started an organization in New York City in the 1800’s to prevent the cruel working conditions of horses in the city.  Mr. Bergh started the original ASPCA.   And he extended his protection to other animals in the city.  The current ASPCA and other national animal welfare organization have lost their way.

Henry Bergh’s organization was not beholden to anyone.  It did not act as an agent of the city for animal control, which is dedicated to the human welfare aspect of animals in society.  His philosophy was based purely on the welfare of the animals.  And it’s high time Colorado starts thinking about homeless pets the way one man thought about them more than 100 years ago.

We’d like to see his approach implemented in Colorado.  With a fairly new strategy that saves lives.

The solution comes from a shelter strategy called the No Kill Equation.  The No Kill Equation is based on an 11 point program built to save the lives of homeless pets.  It was created and implemented through the founders of the No Kill Advocacy Center.  It has proven itself in dozens of No Kill Communities in the United States starting with the first in 2001.  Five years ago there were a handful, but today there are dozens and there is a rapidly growing number.

The mandatory programs and services include:

1.TNR Program

2.High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter

3.Rescue Groups

4.Foster Care

5.Comprehensive Adoption Programs

6.Pet Retention

7.Medical and Behavior Prevention & Rehabilitation

8.Public Relations/Community Involvement

9.Volunteers

10.Proactive Redemptions

11.A Compassionate Director

 The value of these programs is in the synergy between them.  It is not a pick and choose proposition.  The only success in the United States to date to save more than 90% of all animals entering a shelter are operations that implemented all 11, fully and with commitment.

And there is a monetary value as well when this is done well.  We could go into a complex spreadsheet to show how costs can be reduced, and revenue generated.  But a simple example will show where the value lies.  It costs and average of $104 to take an animal in to a shelter, evaluate it and kill it.  But another animal can be taken in, evaluated and spayed or neutered for about half that, and then adopted out.  Plus this live animal can be adopted out and often offset or supersed the cost of getting them adopted.  Making the saving of a homeless pet revenue neutral, or in some cases, revenue generating.

And the right thing to do.

In 2011, the Metro Denver Shelter Alliance records reported that 12,081 animals were killed.  This was from a total intake of 59,503.  That’s one animal every 43 minutes, 365 days a year.  And that is just in MDSA affiliated shelter sin Denver metro.

Every 43 minutes.

We can change this and we can do it rapidly.

“Sgt. Karl Bailey, a police officer, took over an animal control shelter. He had no formal experience. He was not familiar with the No Kill movement. He started as the new boss of Seagoville Animal Services in January 2011. One minute later, he abolished the gas chamber. His second minute on the job: he ordered the killing to come to an end. Minutes 3 through 525,949 made up his first full year. He spent those saving lives. Fewer animals lost their lives the whole year than they used to be killed in just one week. He finished with a 98% rate of lifesaving. When someone asks you how long it should take to achieve No Kill, tell them about Sgt. Bailey. And then tell them: 120 seconds.” – Nathan Winograd’s Keynote Washington D.C. August 2012.

We want your support right now.  You can do something.  You can volunteer, you can foster, you can support a LOCAL rescue or shelter you know, you can solicit a government official that believes in doing the right thing to do more or just be a person that writes a letter to your representatives or local shelter director and asks them to start saving more than 90% of the animals that come under their care.

We are looking to create a Colorado community that saves more than 90% of all animals that enter shelters today.

Bark Away!