Another Approach to No Kill

A group of volunteers in KY has spearheaded the success of Shelby Co as a no kill community.  Read an interview with Henry Bergh Leadership Award recipient Kelly Jedlicki of the Shelby Co No Kill Mission.  Of particular interest to me was the story of how and why the group was created – another example of creative thinking to save lives.

A quick recap on Shelby Co’s success:

  • A no kill community
  • In the rural south
  • Led by volunteers

Any questions?

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13 Comments

  1. My only question is how can we apply some of this here in my very own area. LOTS of GREAT ideas and options! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Would your local shelter be open to the idea of partnering with a group of volunteers to try and save more pets in a similar way to what they did on Shelby Co?

      Reply
  2. I have had the honor of helping to transport dogs from Shelby before, and they have without fail been really awesome dogs. Sometimes fearful (wouldn’t you be if you’d been mistreated as many dogs have before they get to a shelter?), but it’s an impressive group that really saves a lot of dogs. Mr. Collins, the ACO, has fostered dogs himself, and Kelly never ever fails to take time to thank those of us who can help transport.

    I think I need to get Redemption and read it, it sounds like something that would help me help others.

    Reply
  3. Annie

     /  December 29, 2010

    Love the idea. I’m a strong proponent of the no kill movement, but am flummoxed on the reality. Can you provide space, funding and an army of volunteers please? Oh yea, and warm and loving homes for the ‘unadoptables’ due to behavior or health issues.
    Again, love the idea, that pesky reality just keeps getting in the way.

    Reply
    • I wish I could “provide” all of those things instantly w/out anyone having to do any work. The reality is that all those things are there but you have to be willing to put out the effort to get and keep them. That’s how no kill shelters around the country do it.

      Reply
  4. Annie

     /  December 30, 2010

    Trust me…I’ve put in the work–its pretty presumptuous to assume I haven’t.
    In terms of no kill shelters…..as I said, we ARE a no kill shelter..I support this 100%. This means we get ‘difficult to adopt’ animals all of the time. What to do. We keep our commitment to keeping the animal as happy and healthy as we can for life. (though I question if 2++ years in a cage is really a ‘life’) This means we have one less space for more adoptable animals (this is not a value judgment, its fact…I personally take in the difficult ones and work with them..sometimes with great luck). However, I’ve reached out to many many large, national organizations (one in particular that is famous for the no kill movement) for ideas, guidance, suggestions and yes, help homing the animals. I’ve gotten nothing but the cold shoulder–and an abrupt…”no, can’t help you”. I have to assume its because we wouldn’t generate the publicity as larger, splashier cases.

    Again, let me make it clear, I would LOVE to have a no kill nation. Its definitely a dream of mine. But until we can figure out a way to house and care for all of the unwanted animals as well as getting tough spay/neuter laws, I don’t see it as reality.

    What I see here is contiuous bashing of organizations that are forced to kill animals–I’m simply trying to present another side of the story from someone that’s beeen in rescue for 15+ years.

    Reply
    • I assumed nothing about you Annie. I disagree with this: Again, let me make it clear, I would LOVE to have a no kill nation. Its definitely a dream of mine. But until we can figure out a way to house and care for all of the unwanted animals as well as getting tough spay/neuter laws, I don’t see it as reality.

      While lifelong sanctuary is appropriate for some animals, the goal for the overwhelming majority is not to have them housed and cared for by organizations but to get them adopted into homes. The goal is to change their status from “unwanted” to “wanted”. MSN laws, as you probably are aware, have failed to decrease killing everywhere they’ve been tried. I oppose them for that reason (as well as others).

      Reply
  5. Annie

     /  December 30, 2010

    Okay, first..Noone ever said I wanted to warehouse animals. However, we have a very difficult time finding adopters for the difficult ones. I’d appreciate a way to change their status to ‘wanted.’ If you have ideas/viable suggestions, I’d very much appreciate hearing them because I’m flummoxed. I’m not suggesting these guys with us should be killed–quite the opposite, it would break my heart. However, it equally breaks my heart to see them sit in a cage becoming more and more depressed when others come and go. I’m looking for real solutions. My intent in beginning to reply to this thread was not to make it about me. …so back tot he point….

    I applaud your efforts to uncover the truth behind many of these ‘rescue’ stories. This type or reporting is very much needed. However, my impression is that you have it in for a few organizations in particular. Is there a reason that you don’t for example, expose Best Friends when they fail to support other no kill groups with monetary or housing?
    In my opinion, most of these organizations are not inherently evil. Mostly we are all working to achieve the same goal–that is to eliminate animal suffering in whatever form it takes. I just ask that this be taken into account when reporting. Please, while we have different ideas and approaches–we’re all on the same side.

    P.S. While I agree that spay/neuter laws currently don’t work–I believe they could if administered properly. Do you not agree that there is a pet overpopulation problem?

    Reply
    • I have taken issue with Best Friends on this blog when I felt it was warranted, same as any other group. No I don’t believe in the myth of pet overpopulation anymore. After Nathan Winograd explained the math on how many people are looking for pets vs. how many pets are in shelters, I understood that there ARE enough homes for all the pets in shelters. There are certainly areas where the concentration is higher IMO and that’s why networking is so important. Have you been able to glean any useful info from shelters who have turned their numbers around, such as UPAWS in MI? Those handling the “difficult ones” are going to be your best source for ideas. In addition to shelters, there are some individuals, including some readers of this blog, who specialize in working with difficult pets. Maybe one of them will see this and chime in.

      Reply
    • P.S. While I agree that spay/neuter laws currently don’t work–I believe they could if administered properly. Do you not agree that there is a pet overpopulation problem?

      And every community that has tried mandatory spay/neuter has done it “wrong”? It would work if it were “done right” ?

      At what point do we conclude that it has been tried enough different ways in enough different places that we are justified in concluding that it doesn’t work? Or is the answer “never,” and we just keep trying mandatory spay/neuter harder with harsher penalties, until we finally find the penalties that are harsh enough that people just give up having pets?

      70% or more of owned cats and dogs in the US are spayed or neutered. Substantial proportions of the remainder are intact for a reason–they are working dogs, part of breeding programs for working dogs, they are being competed in conformation showing and/or performance events with a view towards breeding if they prove out, or they have medical conditions that make surgery inadvisable.

      How high do you want the spay/neuter rate to be? And when are you going to entertain the possibility that lack of spaying and neutering is not the reason for the adolescent, untrained, but basically nice dogs in shelters?

      Reply
  6. Annie

     /  December 30, 2010

    Oh god, nuff said
    I’m done.
    Thanks for the ‘conversation’

    Reply
    • The way to no-kill is ONE dog at a time. Annie, I’m sorry you’re done…but I hope you’re not really.
      The way to find homes for difficult dogs (IMO) is to lighten up on the damn rules. Marginal dogs can go to marginal homes.
      Trick is, people in rescue flock to save the “cute and cuddly”…problem dogs, old dogs, sick dogs get shifted out of the limelight. But there are people for each and every one of these dogs. Flawed Dogs Rock!!!
      Trick is, we need to accept that flawed people do too. Networking is critical. Lives depend on it. This blog, and facebook, and other blogs help us all to connect and link and seek help for individual animals. Do you have a foster dog RIGHT NOW that needs a home? What’s your petfinder address…give us a sales pitch for ONE animal. I betcha we could find that critter a happy home!

      Reply
      • Jeanne

         /  December 30, 2010

        Annie,

        Network like crazy and don’t hesitate to work with rescues (even though you are one).
        Get them out of the cages and into foster homes. Put them into a supervised “doggie daycare” atmosphere rather than cages during the day. Invite potential adopters to meet them at adoption events outside the shelter.
        I believe there’s someone out there for just about every dog. Couple of examples–an adult Rottie with a tail turned her face to the wall in a gas shelter and would not even look at anyone. She was bound for the gas chamber but was pulled at the last minute and went to a boarding kennel where the kennel owner was willing to work with her for 6 months to overcome fear and shyness. Paid for by donations. She got adopted by a wonderful family who just celebrated her 3rd “gotcha day” anniversary. They were looking for a dog that nobody else wanted and found her on a rottie rescue website (courtesy listing). Second dog–found lying unresponsive in extreme heat in a parking lot in GA–picked up by a local rescuer who gave him 3 days before having him put down at a vet (hard to place huskies in GA)–then accepted by excellent husky rescue in NE–boarded at vet, treated for multiple infections and severe heartworm disease, tried to bite everybody, peed on a volunteer, went to a trainer who doesn’t charge for rescue dogs–went to boarding at a doggie daycare in the NE and blossomed there. Got adopted by family who adores him. He is a trusting, loving dog today. I could go on and on–but each case is different and there aren’t any rules to apply across the board. Never give up! If killing is not an option, other avenues will open up. Good luck.

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