The No Kill Equation
There are over 25 communities in the US who have achieved official No Kill Status (saving 90% or greater of animals). These communities have reached their goals through dedication and belief in the No Kill Equation. The communities stood up against the status quo and fought beaurocracy and regressive shelters to improve the lives of animals entering the shelter system. Local communities have the ability to save the majority of animals entering into their shelter once the commitment is made to join the No Kill Revolution. The key to this transformation is the implementation of the No Kill Equation – a set of mandatory programs and services that once implemented properly by a shelter, can save countless lives and eliminate the unnecessary killing of healthy and adoptable animals. The No Kill Equation consists of the following programs and services:
TNR Program – The TNR Program eliminates the need for shelters to kill feral cats (99.9% of all feral cats arriving at a regressive shelter will be killed) by providing them shelter, sterilization, and nutrition.
Low Cost Spay/Neuter Programs – This program effectively reduces the number of animals brought into the shelter by providing low cost sterilization options.
Rescue Groups – Shelters allow rescue groups to “pull” animals selected for the Kill List and provide a transfer of those animals to the rescue groups.
Foster Care – Shelters utilize public support by allowing citizens to care for (become a foster home/family) and rehabilitate animals that may be sick, injured, or experiencing behavioral problems.
Comprehensive Adoption Programs – Shelters utilize off-site adoption programs, effective marketing strategies for adoptions, increased hours to accommodate working people, and friendly and helpful shelter workers that make the adoption experience positive.
Pet Retention Programs – Owner surrenders are inevitable for any shelters but Pet Retention programs provide assistance to community members and provide innovative strategies and solutions for behavioral problems that may have led to surrendering the pet.
Public Relations / Community Development – Shelters must be seen in the community as a safe haven for animals, not a death camp. The more favorable a shelter is viewed by the community, the more likely community members will consider adopting from a shelter as opposed to a breeder. The adoption experience must be positive in order to continue high volume adoptions.
Volunteers – Volunteers are a necessity to any No Kill movement. A No kill Shelter requires immense work from both paid staff and unpaid volunteers. Volunteers should be made to feel welcome and important- because they are! An army of volunteers will make the difference between the success and failure of a No Kill Shelter.
A Compassionate Director – This is the most important element of any No Kill Movement. You must be guided by a leader who believes in the vision of No Kill and practices their belief every day. Attitudes are contagious and a positive attitude will spread throughout the shelter and community just the same as a negative attitude.
For additional information regarding the No Kill Equation, please visit:
The No Kill Revolution in America from No Kill Advocacy Center on Vimeo.
Featured Success Story: Garth
Trying his best to survive among 40+ other stray and abandoned cats at a busy apartment complex located just feet away from a highway, Garth spent his days literally dodging bullets from apartment residents who shot at the cats “for fun”. Some residents chased, kicked and tortured the innocent felines. To add to the situation, none of the cats were spayed/neutered- which caused regular fighting between male cats and constant kittens being born in the area. A senior citizen living in one of the apartment buildings started to feed the cats and soon she was told that the local pound was coming in to capture the cats and euthanize them in an effort to control the issue at the apartment. Desperate to help the cats, the kind senior citizen contacted over fifty no-kill rescue organizations in search of help. Only one rescue answered her plea - and that was A4A . Several months later, all of the cats at the apartment complex were successfully rescued and vetted. Most were in need of serious socialization and emotional rehabilitation. Garth had been so badly abused that he would attack any human when he saw their hands. The veterinarian we were working with at the time told us that we would never be able to rehabilitate him. In addition, he had a back leg that he pulled behind him- from a prior broken bone that had since healed. But A4A founders had a strong feeling that Garth could be rehabilitated in every way- thus began Garth’s journey. Garth was given his own private bedroom in an A4A foster home and had 24/7 care. The first month- he attacked every time you entered the room. He was terrified. Yet he would look at the volunteers as if he so badly wanted to be petted, he was just too scared to trust. Slowly we earned his trust by placing tasty food out for him- with our hands- so that he could correlate hands with something good, instead of something horrible. With much persistence, this tactic worked. After several months of small, but noted progress, Garth allowed us to pet him. Several months later, he sat on our laps and several months after that he was getting along with all humans, with other cats and with dogs! We could hardly believe the amazing transformation he had made. Soon thereafter Garth was adopted into the most wonderful home to call his very own. Thinking he would be nervous about the transition on adoption day, A4A volunteers prepared his adopter. But when Garth arrived to his forever home, he immediately jumped on his humans lap, began purring and we don’t think he has ever stopped since! Without a doubt, Garth will always have a special place in our hearts.