The successful No Kill model of sheltering is spreading across the country like wildfire. At last count, there were 21 Open Admission, No Kill shelters in the U.S. with 8 more close to crossing the No Kill goal line. No Kill has been accomplished in very diverse communities i.e. north, south, east and west; wealthy communities and poorer communities; and even other countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada. All of these communities are different, but the one key similarity in all of these successful No Kill communities is the leadership of the shelter who is dedicated to making No Kill a reality.
Unfortunately, we have also seen at least one former No Kill shelter fall from grace when No Kill minded leadership left that shelter. After seeing the harsh realities of what can happen when good leadership leaves a No Kill shelter, we have come to realize that passing laws that legislate the successful No Kill model is the only way that we can be assured that a shelter will not backslide into the old, ineffective method of sheltering i.e. adopt a few and kill the rest.
It is after these experiences, that several communities, and several states, have enacted the Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA) or some parts thereof. In addition, the states of California and Delaware have passed parts of it. Also, the states of New York, Minnesota and Texas have introduced CAPA.
The progressive city council in Austin, Texas passed parts of CAPA in 2010 and shortly thereafter they saw save rates soar to over 90% at their open admission, animal control facility. In August of 2011, their save rate was 96%!
In 2011, Rockwall, Texas also passed a No Kill mandate and have since seen save rates as high as 96%.
So we can see, very clearly, that the No Kill model of sheltering is working all across the US and where this model has been mandated through CAPA, save rates have not only increased but have soared to incredible new highs!
But, we have likewise seen in the communities where CAPA has been introduced but not yet passed into law, that it is critical that we have progressive, No Kill minded, politicians in office who will introduce CAPA and who will fight hard for it.
Unfortunately, in Texas we currently have No Kill minded politicians in just a few communities. A lot of politicians still believe the lies of the local pound or kill shelter that the best that they can do is to save a few and kill the rest. Or a lot of politicians just do not care about animal issues. Sad, but true.
This is why it is so important for animal lovers i.e. voters to become educated about the politicians who represent us. We citizens must also educate our politicians and candidates for office regarding the model of sheltering that is working to save 90% or more of all animals entering shelters in other communities.
We must make our politicians pay attention to the issues that we care about and we accomplish this with our votes. It is our duty as citizens, as voters, and as compassionate human beings who are sick of shelter killing to become involved in the political process.
Sixty five percent of americans have pets. If we animal lovers band together at the voting booths, we could swing local elections and elect the people who will make the right decisions for shelter pets.
It is with this goal in mind that No Kill Texas Advocates was formed. No Kill Texas Advocates’ mission is to stop the needless deaths of healthy and treatable pets in Texas animal shelters through legislative and political advocacy.
They hope to provide tools to other No Kill advocates to help them become informed and organized so that they can advocate for shelter pets more effectively in their Texas communities. The group hopes that their website will be a resource to citizens and will help put Texas on the fast track to being No Kill state. Their website, when complete, will provide a link to every animal related Texas city and county ordinance and as well as animal related Texas state statutes. This will make is easier to find the laws that effect shelter pets and hopefully make it easier to strengthen the protections for shelter pets with CAPA.
The website will also provide contact information for the politicians in each city and county and at the state level so that citizens can easily contact their own personal representatives to urge life saving changes to local and state laws.
The No Kill Texas Advocates website will also provide information regarding upcoming city, county and state elections and will provide voter guides so that citizens can become informed about which candidates are more animal friendly and more likely to stand up for animals after they take office.
For instance, Houston will have elections for mayor and city council on November 8, 2011. The candidates who are currently running for office are listed on the Houston page of No Kill Texas Advocates’ website. No Kill Texas Advocates has sent Candidate Questionnaires to all candidates and their responses, as well as incumbents’ past history, will be rated on that webpage. This will help animal lovers make more informed decisions at the voting booth this year.
If you are not registered to vote, the last day to register in order to vote in the upcoming November elections is October 7th. There is a link on No Kill Texas Advocates’ website to register to vote. You can do it online. You don’t even have to leave your house. Do it now so that you too can use the power of your vote to protect shelter pets this year.
I will be writing more about Houston’s upcoming elections, and their effect on the kill rates in Houston’s five kill shelters in the weeks to come. In the meantime, make sure that you register to receive No Kill Texas Advocates’ e-newsletter so that you can stay up to date with most current legislative and political companion animal related activity in Houston and in Texas.
Please do check the No Kill Texas Advocates website before you head to the voting booth.
Also forward the No Kill Texas Advocates website to all of your animal loving friends and family. Help them make informed decisions as well.
You can also find No Kill Texas Advocates on Facebook and Twitter.
To receive an email notification each time I post a new article on knotmove.com, click the Subscribe link above.