What is “No Kill”?

The following is the text of a No Kill Solutions article provided by Nathan Winograd at the Conference, that explains some of the key concepts inherent in the movement

       “There is only one legitimate definition of No Kill.

        It is a community where:

       • Healthy dogs and cats are saved;

       • Treatable dogs and cats are saved; and,

       • Healthy and treatable feral cats are saved”.

 To read the rest of this No Kill Solutions article, please go here…..

 Here is a message from a well-wisher in the US:

“The no kill movement is about COMMUNITIES, not individual shelters, although it usually starts with the leadership and inspiration of a specific organization. That organization can be animal control, it can be a private shelter, and it can even be a group of citizen reformers!

 Good luck to Australia becoming a No Kill nation!”

DRP comment:

Please let us know what chance you think that we can build our own No Kill movement here in Australia?

What ideas do you have to share that could spread the word as fast and as widely as possible??

Have you read Redemption, by Nathan Winograd yet? It’s a must read!

What are your thoughts on the US definition that says that “feral cats” should be saved? Is that relevant in the Australian context of threats to native animals? Let us know your views!

When will it ever stop?

This is why we need to follow this campaign through to its end – no more killing

Anne wrote to us a few days ago:

“When will it ever STOP?

 Last night one of our Carers was walking her Foster dog, near Belmont Oval.  Not her usual route, nor her usual time.  But, for one little girl, it was a God send.

 Scottie, her little dog went off the track and would not come away from a plastic bag. So she decided to investigate, only to find, horror, there was a tiny female Maltese, in the bag.  She was still alive, but couldn’t move. (luckily the bag was split, so she did not suffocate.)

 There was a quick mercy dash to the local vet, who was closing for the night, but re-opened to help this poor creature.  They took her in and x-rayed her, only to find that her back was broken. Her stomach was empty and she was in filthy condition. 

 This lovely vet, who is not one of our regular Rescue vets, offered his services free of charge and treated the little girl as if she was a paying customer.  The vet nurse took her home and nursed her through the night.  All were willing to do whatever they could to help her.  And I am please to tell people that it was The Lake Veterniary Hospital at Belmont who was so kind to help the dog.

 Another, horrible revelation, the little girl had given birth to puppies within the last six weeks. 

 To anyone considering purchasing a pup from a back yard breeder, or pet shop.  This is the end result for the mother of some of those puppies.

 Starved, injured and no longer of any use, she was put in a garbage bag and thrown away, like any piece of unwanted garbage.  It didn’t matter to the morons who owned her, that she was still alive and suffering.  Why would it matter to them, they will keep one of the pups to continue breeding from.  Make it’s little life hell, but why would they care, they will get someone to give them $500 each for her pups, and not give a second thought to the poor mum, they just threw her out to die.

 When will the law stop back yard breeders and pet shops from selling puppies?

 When will the life of one little dog be worth more than a piece of shit in a garbage bag?

 When will the Councils start fining the people who advertise these pups in the papers, not microchipped?

 When will it stop…..who knows, but if thismessage stops one person from breeding their pet or saves the life of one dog…..then it is worth it.

 Just as a footnote, the dog who found this little Maltese, was also a victim of cruelty and neglect, he had been continually bashed around the head and beaten…..until his carer came along, he never knew what love was, so last night he paid pack some this love to her, by saving another little cruelty case.

 Please, if you know of anyone who may have had this little dog, please dob them in, they are just low life morons who should rot in hell.

 After writing this email, we received a phone call from the vet nurse to say that the little girl has passed away…..Rest in Peace little Angel…….morons rot in hell.”

DRP comment:

We get a message like this every week from around the country, whether it’s about backyard breeders, pet shops or Council Pounds – they are all terribly sad.

Someone must know who this breeder is – they will have advertised, or sold to a pet shop recently.

We get these messages all the time. But we wonder if the Politicians and policy makers ever see these? Here is something you can do. If you have a personal story like this, please also make sure you send a copy to your local Minister, your council and the Minister responsible for Companion Animal Welfare in your State. We get the impression that many of them live in ignorant bliss.

Pet Rescue hits the mark with the Pedigree Adoption Drive

Pet Rescue has been working in collaboration with pet food company Pedigree to bring badly needed focus upon the plight of Rescue animals in Pounds.

You may have seen full page ads in the Sunday Metros and the TV ads featuring Echo, rescued doggy.

 “This morning we filled Martin Place, Sydney and Federation Square, Melbourne with rescue dogs. It was a real hit! Throughout each location we placed over 200 yellow cut out dogs, each with the story of either Echo, Indiana or Otis on the back. Passersby were encouraged to pick up and take one home. Many people took a dog to work and most were really interested in finding our more about the cause.”

If you want to see some of the great pictures, go to http://www.dolforums.com.au/index.php?showtopic=171950

To learn more about this campaign go to: www.pedigreeadoptiondrive.com

Since 2004, the Rescue groups and individuals that Pet Rescue support have collectively rehomed around 34,000 animals – great outcome!

DRP Comment:

This is a brilliant campaign. We congratulate Pet Rescue!

Raising awareness of the plight of impounded animals is a critical part of the No Kill Campaign and Pet Rescue working with Pedigree has really hit the mark.

Pet Rescue hope to raise over $200,000 to help Rescue Groups expand their work and rehome even more animals as an alternative to pet shops and back yard breeders.

Tell us what you think about the campaign and how it will help raise awareness of animals that can be re-homed.

Petition to NSW Premier Nathan Rees for full Inquiry

We have now submitted our Petition to NSW Premier Nathan Rees :

“The reality is that there are far more animals in the pet market than there are available homes. As you are likely aware breeding of companion animals is not regulated, and profit motivated entities have little interest in slowing down the numbers entering the market.

There is much debate about the causes and responsibilities related to this problem. For this reason NSW is in urgent need of a full Inquiry to determine causes, responsibilities and possible solutions. Only with an honest and open assessment of all the factors that create pet overpopulation and pound killing can solutions be developed for once and for all.

With all the vested interests of profit motivated organisations in the 4 billion dollar (total Australia) pet market, we believe that only a Parliamentary Inquiry will be honest and transparent enough to satisfy all stakeholders. We respectfully present you with over 1000 signatories of concerned citizens who petition you personally to intervene and support the call for this Inquiry.”

To read the rest of the letter and the full petition text, please click here

DRP comment:

Thank you to everyone who signed the petition! If you havn’t yet signed, please do so as we can send  additions.

Look out for the press releases that will shortly accompany this initiative.

Many people are cynical about Petitions, but at least the Premier will get a sense of the magnitude of the problem. Your thoughts?

News on the NSW Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill – speech by Minister Greg Piper

Independent Minister for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper made an important speech in NSW Parliament in May concerning Companion Animal Legislation:

“Animal Welfare organisations have written to me giving me good reasons to support the Bill and Inquiry…….. I have received 255 representations supporting the Bill and/or Inquiry and 14 against. Most opponents have identified themselves as part of the pet industry” ……..

“The way our society treats its companion animals is not good enough. Too many animals are bred without good reason and consequently killed” …….

The wording of the Minister’s speech is really significant and we invite you to read the full text of this important speech, please click here…..

Please note in this speech the important stand taken and message sent by Wyong Shire Mayor and Councillor Bob Graham who clearly recognises the negative impact of the increasing number of animals entering Wyong Council Animal Care Facility.

Actions you can take:

NSW residents: Please ask your Minister if they can also make a speech in Parliament on this subject. Continue to meet with and send letters in your own words to your Ministers asking them to support the Bill and Inquiry. If you have been meaning to do so, and haven’t yet, now is the time as the Bill will likely be debated when Parliament reconvenes.

The Labor government, despite all the messages sent, still believes “it has done enough”. As Minister Ian MacDonald said in a recent letter “A great deal of progress has been made on the issue of the welfare of animals in pet shops”.…. ”. To read this letter from Minister Ian Macdonald, please go here….

Other States: Please send a copy of this speech to your own Minister explaining that the problem is a problem that occurs in every State and request that they take similar action.

The campaign to stop State-sanctioned killing in Pounds and Shelters needs more Ministers in all States to stand up and take action. If you want to help, please find the Ministers who will show leadership and initiate action in your State.

DRP Comment:

What are your thoughts on Greg Piper’s contribution?

By all means send Greg a well done message to ‘lakemacquarie@parliament.nsw.gov.au’. He deserves a big well done.

Can you find a like-minded Minister in your State who will show leadership on companion animal welfare to stop the killing?

Do you know of any Ministers willing to stand up and take action in your State? Please let us know. We’d be happy to assist.

In May 2009 we attended the 2009 No Kill Conference in Washington DC. We are very excited!

From what we saw and learnt, we believe that the learnings from this Conference could be a defining moment for Australian Pound and Shelter animals, if effectively leveraged.

We now have categorical proof that No Kill success is a reality in the US:

  • It is working
  • It is gaining momentum
  • It has widespread support

We can see no reason why this movement cannot be appropriate for the Australian situation

Along with over a thousand delegates from all walks of animal welfare life in the US we learnt:

  •  That there are increasing numbers of examples of Shelters that have successfully adopted and achieved or nearly achieved No Kill status.
  • That the No Kill movement believe they can achieve total No Kill in the US by 2015 if the current rate of change and adoption of No Kill philosophy continues.
  • That companion animal welfare is the subject of increasing interest and involvement by lawyers – we learnt examples where animal rights and rescue groups and lawyers have successfully taken legal action against County Shelters for failing in their animal welfare duties according to current statutes. Also where Rescue people’s rights to attend Shelters have been reinstated after the Shelter banished them for making public poor practices and breaches of animal welfare law. Legal action will increase to challenge Shelters and change poor legislation. The location of the Conference at the George Washington University Law School, and hosted by the Dean of the Legal Faculty was no accident.
  • That there are examples of where County animal control officers (Rangers) have taken a different approach to traditional “animal control” and using their positions to issue infringements – changes from the “fine at all costs” mentality to a more progressive “get the animal back to the owner at all costs” and “use this as an opportunity for education”. We attended a fascinating presentation by Mitch Schneider, a most enlightened Animal Control Officer – Director of Washoe County Animal Services in Nevada..
  • That private Shelters (as opposed to Government or County Pounds) have shown that they have the full capacity to make the journey to No Kill – but only when entrenched negative attitudes and practices are abolished. It has never happened, we were told, without a change of leadership in the first instance – the right leadership and the right staff are key ingredients. The key message is that with the right people in place, the sky is the limit. (DRP note:This is an important message for Australian Pounds and the main charity Shelters).
  • That ‘temperament testing’ when used as an excuse to “raise the bar” on behavioural traits of impounded animals so that more can be “justifiably” killed is gaining widespread disrepute. Temperament testing should be used as a vehicle to define the behavioural adjustment and training needed for an animal – not as an excuse to kill it and make the pound figures look better than they are. (DRP note: There are a number of high profile Australian Charity Shelters that will need to pay attention to this message)
  • That in the US there are hundreds of SPCA’s (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and HSA’s (Humane Society Associations). None have any formal arrangement or relationship to the National SPCA and HSUS (Humane Society United States). They don’t even have to ask permission to use these names. There is clearly widespread lack of respect by grass roots Rescue and Volunteer people for the National SPCA and HSUS who we gleaned are regarded as profit motivated and politically driven business entities who are not leading the way in reducing pound killing to the degree they should. (DRP note: Sounds familiar?).
  • That breed-specific legalised killing in Pounds eg for pit bulls, is a totally misleading concept that permits the additional, unfounded deaths of thousands of healthy animals. Fortunately, this practice is becoming discredited

Finally we heard fascinating accounts first-hand from a number of Shelter Directors employing successful strategies  to move animals far more quickly and effectively through the shelter and into new homes – it seems to us so easy to do if the right leadership and attitudes are in place, the right staff working as a team, and the local community engaged fully.

Highlights of the 2 day session were opening presentations by Richard Avanzino – the founding father of the No Kill movement and Nathan Winograd Director of the No Kill Advocacy Centre and author of the ground breaking book “Redemption”.

The text of Nathan Winograd’s opening speech follows:

 “Welcome, you are among friends here. And they are all available to you to share in this great revolution taking place all across the country. Here you will find Shelter Directors saving 9 out of 10 animals. They have heard and rejected the excuses of why every community can’t do the same. And the trail they are blazing will lead the way to our goal of ending the killing of almost 4 million cats and dogs nationally.”  Read the rest of Nathan’s opening speech here………

 Note: Nathan Winograd (hosted by the National Desexing Network) will present sessions at The Third National Summit to End Companion Animal Overpopulation here in Australia on the Gold Coast on September 30 – October 2, 2009.

Make sure you attend to hear his important message about No Kill, and other important developments in Australia: http://www.ndn.org.au/national-summit.html

In a session by Nathan Winograd on the need to change legislation, he explained the following:

  • Why there is a strong and urgent need to change traditional ‘animal control based’ legislation – Pound reform legislation is urgently required to remove the discretion that Pound management and staff have in how they often arbitrarily deal with animals

(DRP note: for example Legislation has been recently introduced in California to force Pounds to give animals to Rescue agencies once their time at the Shelter has expired. How good is that! Compare that to legislation we have in Victoria that specifically prohibits Pounds from letting foster groups have access to animals – how sad is that.)

Nathan also stressed the need to build total community engaging programs that work – getting the full community behind the challenge and really driving rescue animal adoptions through focussed and motivated volunteer rescue and foster groups. Lots of how-to’s were provided.

 Finally, we left with a strong belief that the problems, issues and challenges that they face in the US have complete parallels with ours here in Australia.

 We reject the argument that “it’s different in the US”. We spoke with a wide selection of people and our conclusion is that “it’s pretty much the same” as here in Australia.

There is no reason we can identify that would stop Australia following the lead that the US have taken in chaging the paradigm of enforced killing in Pounds and Shelters.

(DRP note: we hope that the RSPCA and AWL in each State can show true leadership in progressing Australia’s own No Kill journey – we know that RSPCA ACT and AWL Queensland are on their way in the journey).

 In forthcoming information updates, Deathrowpets will share the various lessons, examples and ideas presented at the No Kill Conference in Washington.

 Finally, we add the observation that there was no representative of any Australian Government body or animal welfare charity in attendance at this extremely important conference. What a shame and missed opportunity!

Actions you can take:

  • We urge to look at the No Kill Advocacy website and sign up for the No Kill e-newsletter
  • We urge you to share this information with as many people as possible
  • We urge you to contact the leadership of your State RSPCA and State AWL and ask if and how they plan to adopt the well documented No Kill philosophy and strategies here in Australia