Last year, I came across a book that caught my attention right away, the title was a direct punch to a general preconception, one that I shared, pet overpopulation. The title of the book was just too direct and intriguing: "Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America".
I saw this book and read its description, I was shocked, how can the author say this? I thought it was just like a lawyer trying to confuse with words, so, I did not buy the book, but I couldn't forget that title either, so I googled the book and its author...
In the Internet, I found many references to the author, Nathan J. Winograd, most were either very good or very bad, few were in-between... I found many columns and articles he has written during the years and my mind was very confused; on the one side I wanted to believe the premise, but on the other I just couldn't believe it... I was so sure, for years, that we had a pet overpopulation problem that I never thought of questioning it. And even when I saw this book and read the title, I kept thinking that was a very good idea, but I was sure it couldn't be done in the real world, especially in open-admissions organizations, how could they??!!
Months passed and I couldn't forget this title, so eventually, I got the book and read it. It was so good and shocking that there wasn't a page that didn't make me think, react, question, feel awful, feel hopeful, cry, you name it!. I couldn't put it down, even when at times I really wanted to stop reading and forget all the facts, numbers and stories. Because sometimes the truth is so big it really hits you like a ton of bricks, and that's exactly what happened to me, and I thought I knew about rescues, shelters and pets!
Reading this book, you understand that this is the 'No-Kill EQUATION' because you need every single element to achieve the goal. The goal may seem so big that it's unatainable, but it is possible once we believe.
And here, finally, I understood that not all animal rescues & shelters are created equal. All rescues are helping in some way and I believe they all have their heart in the right place, but personally I am in awe of all the groups out there that are working towards the goal of No-Kill. This goal is not achieved overnight of course, but it makes a world of difference to know that a shelter believes in No-Kill and it's taking the necessary actions to move towards that goal. I admire these organizations because it takes a lot of courage and committment to take the tough road and these are the type of organizations that I love to help and support.
The elements of the No-Kill equation are simple, we all have heard them before, but when put together they are powerful and what's most important, they produce REAL results in real communities. They just make sense.
Here's the No-Kill Equation:
- Feral Cat Trap-Neuter-Return Program
- High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter
- Rescue Groups (working together)
- Foster Care
- Comprehensive Adoption Programs
- Pet Retention
- Medical and Behavior Programs
- Public Relations/Community Involvement
- Proactive Redemptions
- A Compassionate Director
I invite you to find out more about this movement and to identify, use and support the No Kill organizations in our Community, a good example is Blistered Whiskers.
If you want to read more about the No-Kill Equation, please go to Nathan Winograd's blog and don't miss the success stories posted in the No-Kill Advocacy Center's website
Ready to joing in? It's easy! You have many options!
1. You can help Blistered Whiskers with monetary, in-kind donations or spreading the word, Social Media is a wonderful thing!
2. You can become a foster parent!
3. You can adopt your next pet and spread the word about adopting, not buying pets.
4. Volunteer, there's always so much work to do...