No Kill Conference Open Thread

The 2013 No Kill Conference was held in Washington D.C. last weekend.  This is the first time in recent years that I can recall such a dearth of liveblogging from the event.  Alas I found just a single post:

Feral Nerd Guy’s Guide to Community Cat Activism: Peter Wolf at the 2013 No Kill Conference – Christie Keith

I hope more people with laptops will consider liveblogging at next year’s conference.  There is obviously a need.

The No Kill Advocacy Center has made available a link for downloading information from the speakers at the conference:

If anyone has any additional links for conference info, please share.  Alternatively, if you attended the conference and would like to share your notes, thoughts or impressions, please consider this an open thread for conference related comments.  We want to hear from you!

23 thoughts on “No Kill Conference Open Thread

  1. I tried, but had lousy connectivity on my phone…it was a very good conference, though. The biggest thing I learned had little to do with animals and everything to do with Facebook.

      1. Well, I’ll preface this by saying I am hopeless when it comes to facebook (OK, I downright hate it, but we need it). Anyway, here’s what I know now about FB that I didn’t before the weekend:

        1. Facebook doesn’t send each of your posts to all of your readers. So the “# reached” in your stats actually means the number of folks that FB pushed your post out to. That it doesn’t automatically push your post to all the folks who like your page nearly made me cry.

        2. If you send out too many posts (consensus is more than one in any 2.5 hour period), FB will reduce your reach. However, you can SCHEDULE your posts throughout the day so you don’t run afoul of the 2.5 hr minimum (use the little clock icon). If I remember, the best times of the day to send out posts are before work, around lunch time, around 3pm, 8-10pm. There is some controversy about the insomniac times so I guess you need to know your audience.

        3. Likes are good, but comments are even better; they will cause FB to increase your reach. Virality is awesome of course. And if the page admin responds to comments, it will increase even more. If you respond quickly, even better. If you get a discussion going, all the betterer still.

        That’s why we have to deal with those silly “like if you roll the toilet paper from the top; share if you roll it from the bottom”. Those pages are called “likefarms” or “likewhores” and the activity on those pages, however pointless and stupid, increase the reach of those pages. That’s why we eventually see advertisements and links to products on those pages, they’re a moneymaker. There’s some kind of secret algorithym that FB uses to calculate all this I think it’s called “Evershare” or something like that.

        So anyway, that’s what I now know about FB, which is way more than I ever knew before. I’m going to try these tips and see if my overall reach increases.


      2. Thanks for sharing and I hope the tips work out for you. Also, please let us know when we may start calling you a LikeWhore. This goes for everyone.

        On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM, YesBiscuit!

  2. The Keynote. Every year I think this can’t be better and then Nathan comes with a even more inspirational speech.

    “Saving Lives by merging medical and behavior protocols” was a great workshop. I liked the idea of having Aimee Sadler and Dr. Jefferson together in one seminar. There was so much to learn.

    “Community Cats” with Peter Wolf. This man must have a brain triple the size of a average person. He is trying to pack his endless knowledge in to 1.5 hours.

    “Understanding the opposition” was very informative. Jennifer did a nice job presenting it.

    “Making the shelter cats meow” with Mike Fry. There is not much to say, Mike is probably the best presenter who is not just presenting a workshop, he presents all the humanity and love in our movement. He cried, he made the whole room cry when he told the story about the shelter he cleaned up in 24 hours. He is one amazing guy.

    “Kennel Enrichment” with Bernice Clifford. Probably the workshop that gave me the most information to implement directly in our shelter. We learned so much in this 1.5 hours and we already started to implement a lot of this things we learned from her.

    “Healthy Shelters” by Dr. Moyer. Great workshop and I admire Dr. Moyer for his patience when bombarded with questions.

    Food was great as always but I think we missed the Ice coffee and snacks :-)

    Overall, a great and inspirational experience. Not just because of the workshops but also because of seeing old friends and making new ones.

  3. I was one of nine people from Spay Neuter Charlotte (Charlotte NC) in attendance. We arrived early Friday to allow for a tour of The Washington Animal Rescue League. Nope, not The White House, Zoo or Museums but a shelter / medical center. Our mission was to have representation in each session and I believe we were successful. I found myself torn between sessions on several occasions and am thankful to have been provided a CD with the nuts-n-bolts of those I did not attend. My journey was nothing short of awesome with a couple girly tears shed thanks to Mike Fry and Kerry Clair!! My sessions were:

    Saving Lives by Merging Behavior & Medical Protocols
    Community Cats
    No Kill Animal Control
    Making Your Shelter the Cat’s Meow
    Palliative/ Hospice Care 101 and 201
    Reuniting Lost Pets
    Sanctuary Care

  4. I don’t have any notes to add. But I do want to add a big Thank You to every one of the speakers that took the time out of their busy lives to teach all of us a better way to save lives! For those of us that are your average citizens and aren’t from animal welfare, it sure is reassuring to have those seminars to help guide us through the very bumpy road to No Kill. It would be nice if our Shelters would be agreeable to change, but majority of them are like toddlers throwing temper tantrums the whole way. Having the conference there support us, helps so much.
    Thank you again.
    No Kill Sonoma County!

  5. Quotes I liked:

    “Veterinarians are unqualified to make euthanasia calls based on a dog’s behavior in a kennel.”

    ‘Most important characteristic for an animal shelter director to have – IMAGINATION’

    “We double up dogs for quality of life.”

    1. I loved the over whelming use of the word IMAGINATION – how many times do we get stuck in the same old ways of doing things! there are really no bad ideas, we must reach outside of the box.

  6. So sorry my tiny brave Netbook conked out on me after I only did one liveblog. I debated using my big laptop, which I had with me back at the hotel, but I’m dealing with a deep bone contusion from a Greyhound head smashing into my leg, and the prospect of an extra 10 blocks on my painful leg in the forty bazillion percent heat and humidity kept me from it.

    I was, however, delighted to see someone here who benefited from my social media presentation! Yay!

    1. I was there and I loved it! have so many notes to digest! I am a crazy note taking cat lady going to put my notes into printed form. the folks i attended with – from PURR WV, all cat, no kill rescue shelter in WV, and i are all going to get together and present what we learned to the rest of our board, staff and volunteers.. what a weekend! Thank you Christie! Maybe next year i will do the live blogging stuff as it fits with my technology obsession.

  7. Someone who contacted me privately suggested the idea of coordinated liveblogging at next year’s conference. It would mean getting attendees to sign up in advance to cover certain presentations. *If* this happened, there could be coordination to offer a greater breadth of coverage, e.g. if 2 people signed up to liveblog Presentation A, that would be known in advance and a request could be placed for one of them to liveblog Presentation B instead. It wouldn’t impact which sessions anyone attended, just which ones they liveblogged.

    The person who suggested the idea also made mention of the phrase “herding cats” so there’s that, too.

    1. That’s a fantastic idea. And bloggers could swap notes at the breakfast an lunches and push each other to do it. I am saying that as I failed miserably to write anything at the conference. I could use some pushing around.

  8. We didn’t blog, but several of us summarized our sessions over on our organizational Facebook pages as they were happening. Now back home, we are having a wrap-up and recap for those in our area who didn’t attend. Here’s one of my own posted summaries:

    NKC Session 8 — Innovative Litigation, Anne Benaroya, Esq.

    Great session! Some key notions:

    (1) Governments have power. Citizens have rights. Courts are there to protect your rights against unwarranted power.

    (2) You have the right to do anything unless it is illegal. In other words, you have a fundamental right to engage in conduct that is NOT illegal.

    (3) Animal Control cannot MAKE law. Legislation can only be established by your legislators. And “discretion” for AC does not mean the discretion to make law. Furthermore, laws must be enforced equitably, equally, and with proper due process.

    (4) States typically regulate much of this. And unless they explicitly grant home rule, localities cannot make law in that area. Example: Public Health considerations — state public health law, not local laws. Localities can only enforce the state law (generally through county depts of health).

    (5) The whole ownership issue is a very complicated legal issue unto itself. And you can’t define a complex legal concept such as “you feed them, you own them.”

    (6) Nuisances can only apply to owned things and community cats are NOT owned. See complex legal concept of ownership and case law.

    (7) It is YOUR right to use the courts to force the government to act lawfully. Your rights are your strongest tool!

    1. I did not go to this session, but the director of our program did, and we have a lot to process in regards to the unowned cat situation. the thing that were discussed are things that i have never even thought of! Wow.

  9. Did not know that i was with so many folks who are YesBiscuit followers – I think next year not only should I wear the tshirt with our rescue logo on it, we all also should wear a corresponding yesbiscuit follower logo!!

  10. I think this is everything I attended and quick thoughts on them. Everything with the asterisk (*) was legislative/law credits which I could not take advantage of, but required courses if you are thinking about lobbying or talking to any elected officials to make change happen.

     Leadership in the No Kill Movement – Missed part of this last year and stayed for the whole thing this year. Much of it I already know, but it is still inspirational and good to have some things ingrained so it is at your fingertips when you are talking to people. The message to me was Imagine Greatness and then get off your ass and execute. I don’t think that is quite the way Nathan Winograd put it. ;)
     Understanding the Opposition to No Kill – I would kill to get a hold of the PowerPoint (hint Jennifer Winograd). Most of it comes from Friendly Fire but it really was expansive so hard to remember everything that went on for the 90 minutes. It is also a beautiful presentation which makes presenting to people much more professional. Guess I am going to have to build it myself!
     The Law & Liability for Individuals, Rescue Groups and Shelters* – Ryan Clinton did case studies on how law is interpreted in past cases. Gave some real world examples of how shelters/rescues can protect themselves and still be free to save as many lives as possible. The real world examples and some surprising decisions were extremely helpful in understanding how the law interprets the right of people, rescues, and shelters.
     The Value of Animals* – Joan Schaffner gave an excellent representation of how animals recognized as “property” by most state laws is both a burden and a boon when in court. Like Ryan Clinton’s Law and Liability, it’s not necessarily about what’s right all the time, it is how the law will interpret it. You can get to the right decision if you understand what the law prescribes beforehand.
     Legislating No Kill* CAPA, across the country right now. That’s what I got out of it. Kate Neiswender was really great at explaining what it takes to work towards bringing legislation into your community. Great fit with Lobbying 101 (below)
     Lobbying 101* – Never saw Jack Cory before but Jack and his wife lead Fix Florida and I think Florida is lucky to have them. He gave a no nonsense limited step guide to reaching out to legislators, the do’s and the don’ts and tips on getting their attention. An excellent foundation for any No Kill lobbyist.
     Forcing Transparency* – . Kate Neiswender gave you the guide to getting the information you need before going up against a system or entering into a lobbying initiative to introduce legislation. These tools were great for understanding how to ask for things, and how to find out if they have to give them to you.
     I also missed a couple but saw them last year so felt guilty if I went back and did not learn something new. Ellen Jefferson and Ryan Clinton on how they made Austin the largest No Kill City in the US is fantastic. Michael Mountain on Marketing was great again I am sure as well as Mike Fry on putting together a great shelter (he should know) and John Sibley with Advocacy Blogging.
     Great people to see. The cocktail hour on Saturday night is a great opportunity. It is remarkable how approachable everyone makes themselves. I got to spend time with some great people and real leaders of this movement. Talking to someone like the Kitkoski’s of Rockwall Pets with what they did makes you realize yet again, it can be done. And yes, they adopted their way out of killing. Brian Munro from Animal Ark, Kerry Clair and her team from Pets Alive. For a No Kill advocate it’s little like being at a Hollywood party. That would sound sad to someone who doesn’t understand what saving homeless pets mean but I think the folks here will get it.

  11. no, just supporting documentation for most of the sessions. Really is a bummer. Some of the PowerPoints are great. More than one presenter in the legal track pointed out they were only giving the supporting documentation. I think there is a valid fear that a hater would grab them, pull something out of context and you know where that goes. And if you look at the docs, they usually do. But the presenters had thoughtful logical presentations which make that documentation come to life.

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