Fort Worth Animal Control to adopt No Kill policies at city shelter
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Thousands of homeless shelter pets are eurhanized every year at the taxpayer-funded Animal Control shelter because there simply wasn't enough space or other resources available. The city shelter (Chuck Silcox Animal Care & Control) categorizes animals on a "tier-level" basis:
Tier-1: animal is friendly, healthy, no signs of illness or injury, immediately ready for a home (the shelter categorizes this tier as "adoptable").
Tier-2: animal may or may not be "just having a bad day", may or may not have a cough or minor health issue, may or may not be limping, etc. (often, this type of animal will be categorized "rescue only").
Tier-3: animal has obvious signs of illness or injury, aggressive demeanor, bites, fights, poor health, emaciated, etc.
ONLY Tier 1 animals are considered and termed "adoptable" as set by City shelter standards. "We have not euthanized a single adoptable pet since the PetSmart adoption partnership with the city".- former Mayor Moncrief
To meet the challenge that No Kill entails, shelter leadership needs to get the community excited and energized for the task at hand: saving the lives of our shelter pets. Many other Texas cities are witnessing immediate benefits of implementing lifesaving programs such as a temporary foster care program and feline TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release).
"By cooperatively working with each other and treating each life as precious, a shelter can positively transform its community." Austin Pets Alive
"The No Kill Equation is a program model which changes the way shelters operate and which gives the animal-loving public an integral role in that operation. If a community wants success, this is the way to go: nothing else has succeeded." - Nathan Winograd
The following are statistics for Fort Worth for time period:
October 1, 2010 through February 28, 2011
DOGS - SAVE RATE: 47% KILL RATE: 53%
Total intake for dogs: 3974 (approx. 800/ month -- 26/daily)
Total killed : 2067 (approx. 400/month -- 14/daily)
CATS - SAVE RATE: 30% KILL RATE: 70%
Total intake for cats: 1646 (approx. 300/month -- 11/daily)
Total killed : 1150 (approx. 230/month -- 8/daily)
Source: City of Ft. Worth
The No Kill Equation consists of the following programs that must be mandatorily and fully implemented at the shelter to maximize life saving:
I. Feral Cat TNR Program
Many communities throughout the United States are embracing Trap, Neuter, Release programs (TNR) to improve animal welfare, reduce death rates, and meet obligations to public welfare.
II. High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter
Low cost, high volume spay/neuter will quickly lead to fewer animals entering the shelter system, allowing more resources to be allocated toward saving lives.
III. Rescue Groups
An adoption or transfer to a rescue group frees up scarce cage and kennel space, reduces expenses for feeding, cleaning, killing, and improves a community’s rate of lifesaving. In an environment of millions of dogs and cats killed in shelters annually, rare is the circumstance in which a rescue group should be denied an animal.
IV. Foster Care
Volunteer foster care is crucial to No Kill. Without it, saving lives is compromised. It is a low cost, and often no cost, way of increasing a shelter’s capacity, improving public relations, increasing a shelter’s public image, rehabilitating sick and injured or behaviorally challenged animals, and saving lives.
V. Comprehensive Adoption Programs
Adoptions are vital to an agency’s lifesaving mission. The quantity and quality of shelter adoptions is in shelter management’s hands, making lifesaving a direct function of shelter policies and practice. In fact, studies show people get their animals from shelters only 20% of the time. If shelters better promoted their animals and had adoption programs responsive to the needs of the community, including public access hours for working people, offsite adoptions, adoption incentives, and effective marketing, they could increase the number of homes available and replace killing with adoptions. Contrary to conventional wisdom, shelters can adopt their way out of killing.
VI. Pet Retention
While some of the reasons animals are surrendered to shelters are unavoidable, others can be prevented—but only if shelters are willing to work with people to help them solve their problems. Saving animals requires communities to develop innovative strategies for keeping people and their companion animals together. And the more a community sees its shelters as a place to turn for advice and assistance, the easier this job will be.
VII. Medical and Behavior Programs
In order to meet its commitment to a lifesaving guarantee for all savable animals, shelters need to keep animals happy and healthy and keep animals moving through the system. To do this, shelters must put in place comprehensive vaccination, handling, cleaning, socialization, and care policies before animals get sick and rehabilitative efforts for those who come in sick, injured, unweaned, or traumatized.
VIII. Public Relations/Community Involvement
Increasing adoptions, maximizing donations, recruiting volunteers and partnering with community agencies comes down to one thing: increasing the shelter’s exposure. And that means consistent marketing and public relations. Public relations and marketing are the foundation of all a shelter’s activities and their success. To do all these things well, the shelter must be in the public eye.
Volunteers are a dedicated “army of compassion” and the backbone of a successful No Kill effort. There is never enough staff, never enough dollars to hire more staff, and always more needs than paid human resources. That is where volunteers come in and make the difference between success and failure and, for the animals, life and death.
X. Proactive Redemptions
One of the most overlooked areas for reducing killing in animal control shelters are lost animal reclaims. Sadly, besides having pet owners fill out a lost pet report, very little effort is made in this area of shelter operations. This is unfortunate because doing so—primarily shifting from passive to a more proactive approach—has proven to have a significant impact on lifesaving and allow shelters to return a large percentage of lost animals to their families.
XI. A Compassionate Director
The final element of the No Kill equation is the most important of all, without which all other elements are thwarted—a hard working, compassionate animal control or shelter director not content to regurgitate tired clichés or hide behind the myth of “too many animals, not enough homes.” Unfortunately, this one is also oftentimes the hardest one to demand and find.
No Kill Equation is the standard blueprint to follow that has been implemented successfully in many Texas communities. Austin, Texas reported 92% save rate for February 2011; 89% for March 2011; update: 95% live-release rate for August 2011 - other communities (Washoe County, NV) are reporting similar figures.
Show your support for moving the Fort Worth Animal Care and Control shelter in the No Kill direction instead of killing thousands of adoptable shelter pets by signing and sharing this petition today!
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