The Race is On

Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. vie to see which will become a No Kill nation first

Beginning in 2008, the No Kill Advocacy Center began sending hundreds of free copies of Redemption to virtually every rescue group and shelter in Australia, with the assistance of the Australian organization Pet Rescue. The effort resulted in the first media article addressing the No Kill philosophy and spurred the Animal Welfare League of Queensland, an open admission animal management/control shelter, to embrace the programs and services of the No Kill Equation. All told, 800 copies of the book were distributed throughout the Australian continent.

On September 30 – October 2, 2009,  on behalf of the No Kill Advocacy Center, I  participated in a national conference on the Gold Coast of Australia. Bringing together shelter directors, government officials, rescue groups and animal lovers from all over Australia and New Zealand, I led  four workshops:

  1. Building a No Kill Australia;
  2. The No Kill Matrix: What is a Savable Animal?;
  3. Developing Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) in the Australian Context; and,
  4. Reforming Animal Control/Management: A Discussion for   CEOs, Managers and Leaders of Pounds & Shelters.

I was  asked to answer the question of whether it was possible to achieve a No Kill Australia.  My answer was  “yes.” Not only does the United States example says that it is—a model which shows great promise in Australia—but two communities in Australia are already proving it. Both the Gold Coast and the Australian Capital Territory are experiencing No Kill success.   As I told our colleagues in Australia, understanding the model both the progressive U.S. and Australian communities used to achieve it provides powerful evidence that the issues are the same, the roadblocks are the same, and the solutions are the same. We are kindred spirits. And while far too many animals are still being needlessly killed in both U.S. and Australian shelters, we have a genuine solution at hand.

In reply,  the head of one of New Zealand’s largest shelters offered a challenge at the conference: New Zealand will be the first No Kill nation. The Australian delegation accepted the challenge.  I accepted it on behalf of the United States. The race is on.

Only time will tell if our 15-year head start will be enough to overcome the intransigence of uncaring shelter directors, their shirking staff, the government bureaucrats that protect them, and the national organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States which continue to legitimize the killing.

Read the No Kill Advocacy Center’s report by clicking here.



The Making of a Revolution. Redemption‘s impact on the No Kill vs. Killing debate has moved beyond the United States. It is changing hearts and minds in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as well. A shelter manager for the Animal Welfare League of Queensland said that before Redemption, they found many reasons to kill an animal. Now, they are finding that with a little innovation, they are able to save them, as well as find them loving, new homes. Let’s bring the No Kill revolution to all corners of the globe. The No Kill Advocacy Center is offering rescue groups and No Kill shelters outside the United States free cases of Redemption if they pay shipping fees. These books are marked “Courtesy Copy/Not for Resale” and are intended to be given away to people of influence and affluence in their community: shelter managers, government officials, and media representatives. For more information and terms, contact them by clicking here.