Building a No Kill Maricopa County

For years, a string of shelter directors have promised animals lovers in Maricopa County, AZ, a No Kill community and for years, they have failed to deliver. Despite their claims that they are now saving all “healthy” animals, we know it is a lie. How do we know?

  • Maricopa County killed 51% of all animals, about the national average. If they are to be   believed, the entire USA is filled with communities saving all healthy animals by virtue of the fact that they are killing half of all animals;
  • When Maricopa County’s animal control shelter began charging to take in stray cats (as high as $96 per cat), it reduced the number of cats it took in by over 3,000. But the Arizona Humane Society saw a corresponding increase in killing. It doesn’t matter  who  is killing them, it matters that they are  still  being killed;
  • When the number of animals killed who are claimed to be healthy dropped to zero, the number of so-called “untreatable” animals killed increased. For example, the number of animals killed deemed “untreatable” increased from 576 to a whopping 3,486. Likewise, the number of “treatable” animals killed also spiked, from 31,568 to 37,888. Maricopa County officials also excluded 4,107 animals who they claim were killed at the request of the people surrendering them. Their lives were not counted in reporting results, the statistics—and the animals—swept under the rug; and,
  • Maricopa County shelters deem the “vast majority” of pit bull-type dogs and pit bull-mixes to be “unadoptable” in order to justify killing them, despite predictable pass rates of 90% in progressive shelters.

In fact,

  • Killing is up at the Arizona Humane Society 19%, an increase of over 4,000 animals;
  • Killing of animals claimed to be treatable has increased a whopping 42%; and
  • Killing of animals claimed to be untreatable increased 13% at AHS and 9% at the pound.

The fact that shelter officials are misleading the public and have failed to meet lifesaving goals does not mean No Kill isn’t possible. It simply means that they are doing it wrong, going down the same broken path that is plaguing other failed communities like New York City.

Join me in Phoenix, AZ, on Saturday, February 18, 2012 for a Building a No Kill Community seminar, to see what No Kill really looks like, which communities have achieved it, how they achieved it, and what shelter reformers need to do to make it happen in their own community. The workshop has been called, “A prerequisite for rescue groups and organizations that are serious about changing their communities to No Kill.”

It is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a book signing for both Redemption and Irreconcilable Differences. Sponsored by No Kill Maricopa.

For more information, click here.