Wednesday, January 16, 2013
No Kill - When the Math Doesn't Add Up
No Kill Advocates will tell you that we have the ability to end shelter of adoptable animals by simply focusing on adoptions programs that will triple the number of shelter pets saved.
Do those numbers "add up" to a "myth of pet overpopulation" or is this nothing more than "nutty" no kill math?
Posted on No Kill Nation
Myth: You can't adopt your way out of killing
Fact: Using the most successful adoption communities as a benchmark and adjusting for population, U.S. shelters combined should be adopting almost nine million animals a year. That is almost three times the number being killed for lack of a home. In fact, it is more than total impounds. But the news gets even better.
There are over 23 million people who are going to get an animal next year. Some are already committed to adopting from a shelter. Some are already committed to getting one from a breeder or other commercial source. But 17 million have not decided where that animal will come from and research shows they can be influenced to adopt from a shelter. That’s 17 million people vying for roughly 3 million animals. So even if 80% of those people got their animal from somewhere other than a shelter, we could still zero out the killing. And many communities are proving it.
Another tool in the fight for No Kill in your community –
Of course, these number projections come from Nathan Winograd’s book "Redemption" which was first published over five years ago. If it is true that shelters can expand adoptions far past a mathematical point that would completely wipe out shelter killing then why aren’t these numbers becoming a reality?
Groups like No Kill Nation (formed in 2009) would be able to at least prove the point that successful adoptions programs that follow the No Kill Equation can be safely, quickly and cost effectively implemented merely because advocates have the will to end shelter killing as we know it. Yet, south Florida alone continues to struggle under massive shelter intake numbers that leads to nearly 80,000 dogs and cats being killed in south Florida alone.
No Kill Nation likes to project leadership or maybe some purpose in the discussions on reforming Florida’s massive pet overpopulation and shelter killing dilemma.
Yet even communities like Manatee who have successfully engaged it’s community in saving more lives still killed one out five homeless dogs and cats that entered Manatee’s "No Kill" shelter in 2012. That is not math that adds up to a number that ends the killing of Manatee’s homeless pets despite the community effort and despite the unreleased effects on the county’s animal control budget.
The only proven method of reforming your community’s animal welfare programs that nurture life saving while working at reducing the financial and cultural impact of killing innocent homeless pets is through programs that focus on reducing shelter intake. Those programs include targeted low cost or free spay neuter services, community breeder licensing laws, pet retention programs and educational initiatives that focus on raising awareness on responsible pet ownership in the community.
Jacksonville has proved that large metropolitan communities can succeed in ending the killing by focusing funding investments in programs that work towards simply reducing shelter intake numbers now and in the years to follow. In these difficult economic times communities simply do not have the resources to expand animal control budgets while slashing other programs.
As we move forward in 2013 shouldn’t we learn from the lessons in Manatee and Jacksonville focusing our reform efforts on real change rather than the "pipe dream" thinking from the nuts of no kill?
If you want to make a difference please stop tossing your money away donating to a misguided no kill movement. Your donations will go much further towards ending not only shelter killing but the suffering of animal hoarding as well by simply throwing your support towards local efforts that truly provide the programs that responsible pet owners need most.