No Kill Conference 2011

November 30, 2010 by  

July 30-31, 2011 in Washington D.C.

No Kill Conference 2011 will bring together the nation’s most successful shelter directors and animal lawyers to the only national conference that says we can end the killing and we can do it today. Registration for the No Kill Conference begins in January. Not only is the conference in an unparalleled venue just blocks from the White House, but it promises to be better than ever with new workshops and speakers including:

Turbocharging Pit Bull Adoptions
Learn how to vastly increase your adoptions through innovative and accurate marketing, all-inclusive adoption programs, and information for both your adopters and your staff that will get the dogs home faster.

No Kill Animal Control
Proving that an open admission municipal shelter can be No Kill, learn how Washoe County Regional Animal Services increased its save rate to 95% despite high rates of intakes, community unemployment, and foreclosure, just by changing the way it operated.

Shelter Medicine for Non-Veterinarians
Ringworm, panluekopenia, parvovirus, eye injuries, broken legs, and more are all treatable in a shelter environment. Learn how the Nevada Humane Society saves over 90% of all animals communitywide despite a per capita intake seven times the rate of New York City through a comprehensive shelter medicine program geared toward saving lives.

Saving Shelter Cats
In many shelters, cats are second class citizens: they are given less space in shelters, and outreach and media efforts lag behind dogs even though cats are being impounded and killed in much larger numbers. Learn how you can make cats more comfortable and happy in the shelter, how to promote them, and how to save them.

Leadership in the No Kill Movement
Imagine what we could accomplish if the large national organizations led rather than fought the No Kill effort. Leadership is the defining issue in our movement. Leadership can make or break the lifesaving initiative in a shelter and in our quest for a No Kill nation. Learn what leadership means, what we should expect, and why it can make all the difference in the world.

Getting Your Paws on More Media
To save lives, a shelter must be in the public eye. Learn how to get your organization on television, online, on the radio, and in your local newspaper.

Legislating No Kill – How to Pass a Law
How to get a law introduced and passed through the legislature or the initiative process.

Litigating and Legislating an End to Puppy Mills – Redefining a Pet Store
Learn how to close down markets for puppy mill dogs by making it illegal for them to sell dogs in your community pet stores or online.

New speakers include:

The No Kill Conference is also taking on an international flavor with Robyn Kippenberger, national chief executive of the Royal New Zealand SPCA and Michael Linke, director of the RSPCA in the Australian Capital Territory, as the countries down under show us how they plan to win the race to become the first No Kill nation.

Returning in 2011 are:

Because the No Kill Conference sells out every year, the No Kill Advocacy Center is reaching out to shelters that hold the power over life and death in order to move us toward a No Kill nation as quickly as possible. Shelter staff is invited to preregister in order to ensure their registration. If you are a paid staff member at a shelter, you can see if you qualify for preregistration and get more information by clicking here.

The No Kill Conference 2011 is brought to you by the No Kill Advocacy Center, the Animal Law Program at George Washington University Law School and the No Kill Nation. And Animal Wise Radio will be beaming the revolution live to a national radio audience.

The Hoarders of NYC

November 24, 2010 by  

ABC News recently reported on ongoing and well-known atrocities occurring every day at the New York City pound.

If you were to believe groups like Best Friends, the ASPCA, and the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals, hoarding is something that happens only outside of shelters. Hoarding is why rescue groups cannot be trusted and why pounds and shelters should not be second guessed when they decide to kill animals in the face of readily available lifesaving alternatives. Within the animal protection movement, hoarding has become the equivalent of “remember 9/11,” a  tactic used to scare everyone into maintaining the status quo, allowing the power to stay where the power is, allowing the money to flow where the money currently flows, allowing animals to continue to be systematically put to death, even as the rescue groups offering to save those very animals are turned away.

There is no question that the effects of hoarding are tragic: animals wallow in their own waste, are denied food and water for long periods of time, do not get necessary veterinary care, are crammed into cages and do not receive walks or regular exercise, all of which results in tremendous suffering and death. Hoarding is cruel, painful, and abhorrent. But in the general population, hoarding of animals is the result of mental illness and therefore not as common as these groups would have us believe.

There is a form of hoarding, however, that is very common; hoarding that is epidemic, endemic, and at crisis proportions; hoarding that systematically neglects, abuses, and kills animals, all the while denying there is a problem and laying the blame elsewhere. This hoarding does not take place inside private homes, but rather in the very institutions which theoretically exist to protect animals: our nation’s “shelters.” Yet to this hoarding, the nation’s largest animal welfare protection organizations turn a blind eye.

Imagine a place where animals do not get fed. Imagine a place where animals with painful injuries do not get the veterinary care they need. Imagine a place where animals are stuck in cages and forced to wallow in their own waste. Imagine a place where the animals’ food is dirtied by cat litter and even fecal material. Imagine a place filled with dead and dying animals simply discarded in the garbage. These behaviors are the textbook definition of hoarding, but they also adequately describe conditions animals across this nation must endure when they enter their local “shelter.”

And no better example of this type of hoarding and the indelible harm it causes can be found than the bleak and foreboding situation faced by the animals of New York City, where all of these behaviors are standard operating procedure. And like many hoarders, those responsible for it seek to deflect blame by calling themselves a “shelter” and by claiming to be “rescuing” the very animals they neglect and abuse.

The dictionary defines “shelter” as a place of refuge where basic needs are provided. The dictionary also defines “rescue” as “to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger, or evil.” But the New York City pound does not provide for the animals’ basic needs; nor do they deliver them from evil. In fact, the first time many NYC animals face danger and abuse is when they enter the very agency that is supposed to protect them from it.

And like most hoarders, these abusers have their enablers, their family and friends who know firsthand what is going on behind closed doors and simply look the other way. Best Friends, the ASPCA, the Mayor’s Alliance, and even Maddie’s Fund which is funding the Mayor’s Alliance, are deafeningly silent about these ongoing and well-known atrocities as reported by the recent ABC News undercover investigation. Visit the website of the Mayor’s Alliance and you’ll find the latest breaking news that “Santa Paws is coming to town,” but you will find nothing about the rampant neglect and abuse at the pound just down the street or what they intend to do about it. To the extent that problems are acknowledged, the Mayor’s Alliance simply blames it on lack of adequate funding, rather than a pathology which remains callous to animal suffering and, in fact, perpetrates it.

But at its core, the suffering of animals in New York City’s pound is not caused by a lack of resources, but a culture of cruelty and indifference. In fact, the hoarders at the City pound continue to turn down resources to help the animals who need it. They fire volunteers who would do anything to help animals at no cost to taxpayers. They make it increasingly difficult to volunteer, turning away animal lovers through bureaucratic roadblocks. They’ve made it harder for rescue groups to find out which animals are going to be killed. They have even punished rescue groups for promoting animals who face being killed, upset by the “inconvenience” of having to field telephone calls from potential adopters. And when news spreads that they are running out of food to feed the animals which would result in donations of it by animal loving New Yorkers, they deny it to save face.

In August, at the height of the busiest time of year, the hoarders at the pound even suspended the volunteer program, suspended the recruitment of rescue groups, and suspended new rescue groups recently approved from being allowed to save animals. In other words, they routinely choose death, over life, turning away offers of free assistance every single day.

Ironically, at the same time the pound bemoans its lack of funding, the ASPCA, Best Friends, and Mayor’s Alliance raise millions of dollars they claim will be used to save the animals there. So why isn’t it? The ASPCA is the richest SPCA in the country and one of the nation’s top 100 charities. In one year alone, it raised over 120 million dollars. Indeed, it takes in roughly 30 million dollars a year just based on its “Angel” commercial featuring the music of Sarah McLachlan, which promises to help animals in need:

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold … room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

But the ASPCA was no angel to three kittens who were underweight and dehydrated in its shelter when, rather than treat them, they sent them to the pound to be killed. They did not pull from the wreckage an eight month old puppy killed by the pound, a puppy who originally came from the ASPCA and who they were given the opportunity to save. Nor are they providing comfort to the tens of thousands of animals systematically killed by the pound every year, a killing often preceded by abuse and neglect, which they ignore. And when legislation is introduced to empower rescue groups to save animals from the hoarders at the pound, they, along with the Mayor’s Alliance, work to defeat it as a threat to their own power and wealth. And they are not alone.

Best Friends recently celebrated New York City at its national conference last month in Las Vegas. Calling Jane Hoffman of the Mayor’s Alliance a “featured expert” and allowing her to misrepresent her City’s achievements, Best Friends hoped to deflect recent criticism that Hoffman betrayed the animals of New York when she worked to kill Oreo’s Law — a quid pro quo to encourage her begrudging acceptance of their recently opened New York City office which will raise millions in donations on her turf. That is also why they worked to kill Oreo’s Law, legislation which would have empowered rescue groups to save 25,000 animals a year not just from the hoarders at the New York City pound, but other hoarding shelters across the state. The law would have rendered Hoffman’s position as the middle man between “shelters” and rescue groups obsolete. Sadly, Best Friends willingly sacrificed tens of thousands of animals per year so they could raise millions of dollars which, like the ASPCA, they will hoard in their already over-bloated coffers. Despite annual fundraising approaching 40 million dollars, Best Friends only rescues about 600 animals a year.

So despite tens of millions in Maddie’s Fund grants, over 120 million dollars per year in ASPCA fundraising, Best Friends raising even more, the Mayor’s Alliance’s false promises of a No Kill community (first in 2008, then 2012, and now allegedly in 2015), and one of the lowest per capita intake rates in the country, animals in the nation’s most prosperous and cosmopolitan city continue to suffer in medieval barbarity.

They continue to go without basic care, continue to go long periods of time without food or water, continue to be denied necessary veterinary care, continue to be crammed in cages with no exercise, continue to wallow in their own waste, and continue to be killed each and every day despite unlimited money, unlimited volunteers and rescue groups willing to help, and despite the biggest adoption market in the U.S. Why?

Because each of the large animal protection organizations operating in New York City are themselves that which they constantly tell us to fear: hoarders. And regardless of whether they are hoarding animals, power, or money, like all hoarders, they claim they do not have a problem. They claim that they are the solution. They claim they are the good guys. They are the ones who love animals. They are the ones who care. They are the ones who should be celebrated. Even as the trail of neglect, abuse, filth, and death leads straight to their doors.

The Long & Winding Road

November 22, 2010 by  

In the last three years, I’ve traveled all over the U.S., well over 50 communities, speaking to thousands of people from all walks of life and hopefully inspiring them to join the fight for a No Kill nation. I’ve also traveled as far away as Australia and New Zealand. In some communities, as many as 500 people packed the room. In others, it was more modest. But in the end, over 10,000 participated in a Building a No Kill Community seminar and almost 100,000 copies of Redemption were put into the hands of animal lovers.

The effects of the tour have been great. We’ve seen a growth in the number of No Kill communities both at home and abroad. In the audience of my Wilmington, DE workshop was a representative for the Governor who went on to introduce the Delaware Companion Animal Protection Act. In other communities, I met with state legislators, mayors, city council members, and in places like New Zealand, members of Parliament. I also met people from all walks of life who were inspired by Redemption and went on to start rescue groups and reform their own shelters saving thousands of animals in the process.

Some of the results have been small, but no less worthy. In North Carolina, people driving from another state to hear me speak found a little abandoned kitten on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Staff from a No Kill shelter at the seminar took him in and ultimately found him a loving, new home.

As gratifying as it has been, the Redemption and Irreconcilable Differences tour has come to an end. Of course, I am still on Animal Wise Radio every week, still blogging, still writing books, still doing webinars, still helping advocates reform their shelters and implement No Kill communities, and I’ll be back to public speaking with the No Kill Conference in Washington D.C. in July, 2011. I am also working on a couple of exciting projects which will launch in 2011.

I want to thank everyone who attended one of my seminars over the last several years and for believing, as I do, in the power of compassion to end the systematic killing of animals in “shelters.” A No Kill nation is within our reach.

Building a No Kill Community

November 15, 2010 by  

The Irreconcilable Differences book tour has taken me to Washington, Florida, New Jersey/New York, New Zealand, and elsewhere. There is only one date left.

Join me this Saturday, November 20,  in Farmington, New Mexico, for an inspirational two-hour multi-media presentation followed by a book signing.

The seminar has been called,

A prerequisite for rescue groups and organizations that are serious about changing their communities to No Kill.

Sponsored by Four Corners No Kill. Free and open to the public.

For more information or to register, click here.

In Memory of Oreo

November 13, 2010 by  

Today marks the one year anniversary of the killing of Oreo despite offers to save her by a No Kill shelter. Sadly, we cannot bring Oreo back. But we can lessen the futility of Oreo’s death if we learn from it, and alter our society in such a way as to prevent it from ever happening again.

Oreo’s plight was not an isolated case. Every year in New York State, roughly 25,000 animals are killed in shelters despite offers to save them by rescue groups. In fact, 71% of rescue groups reported that their local shelter has turned them away and then killed the very animals they offered to save.

I am hopeful that the New Year will see legislation passed that accomplishes the goal of ending that continuing needless tragedy. We’ve done it in California. We’ve done it in Delaware. We can do it in New York.

Fight the Power

November 11, 2010 by  

The No Kill Advocacy Center has unveiled the theme for No Kill Conference 2011 to be held in Washington DC on July 30-31.

According to the No Kill Advocacy Center,

In 2009, the theme for the No Kill Conference was “Bringing Sheltering into the 21st Century.”In 2010, it was “A New Day Dawns.” As usual, the No Kill Conference will continue to focus on giving animal lovers, rescuers, private shelters, government officials, and animal control agencies the tools they need to be successful. That is why we are bringing together the nation’s most successful shelter directors and animal lawyers to the only national conference that says we can end the killing and we can do it today. But the conference will also empower, embolden, and educate animal lovers on what they need to reform their shelters in the face of opposition. It is time to stop deferring to those who would dare hold us back from what is our most ardent desire and what is the animals’ birthright: a No Kill nation. Fight the power.

Registration information coming soon.

The No Kill Conference 2011 is brought to you by the No Kill Advocacy Center, the Animal Law Program at George Washington University Law School and the No Kill Nation.