San Francisco, once at the vanguard of the “no-kill” movement, was in 1993 stopped in its pursuit of a no-kill city. Shocking to many to discover that it was the HSUS and the ASPCA who were the agents behind the failure. It is not a subject or position that you will find on their websites. ASPCA called the idea of a no-kill city a “hoax,” and HSUS conducted a multi-year campaign against it. So reports Nathan Winograd, who covered the1993 proceedings. Winograd was there again, March 12, 2009, testifying at the request of the Animal Welfare Commission looking to enact legislation that would create the first no kill city. And again ASPCA and HSUS were there to testify against it.
San Francisco is once again seeking to be on the cutting edge of animal welfare by instituting the Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA), handing mandated guidelines to shelters that will ensure that before killing an animal the following requirements are met:
l. There are no empty cages, kennels, or other living environments in the shelter; 2. The animal cannot share a cage or kennel with another animal; 3. A foster home is not available; 4. Rescue groups have been notified and are not willing to accept the animal; 5. The animal is not a feral cat subject to sterilization and release; 6. The director of the agency certifies he or she has no other alternative.
This is something to testify against? These guidelines do not appear to be burdensome, indeed, most people might expect that such common sense measures would already be in place. But according to Winograd’s report, this is not the case. Instead of working to the highest welfare and protection of animals, ASPCA and HSUS are working to protect the rights of Animal Care and Control and the SPCA to operate at their own discretion. And so while publically claiming all their agencies are doing all they can to reduce kill numbers, it would seem that is not true. Otherwise, why fight such a clear, easy- to- follow mandate? ASPCA and HSUS fight against the No-Kill goal. This is shockingly poor judgment that reveals an untenable position from a fundraising perspective. Was it their thinking that no one would notice? We welcome a position statement from principals. Read Winograd’s thorough and important report for more.
On Another Track Down This Road…
What I find particularly interesting, even exciting, is that the Companion Animal Act would ensure that “No-Kill” would be an achievable, inexpensive goal for cities, especially now when budgets are so strained they can’t afford to fill potholes, repair infrastructure, or rehab crumbling schools.
It is, in fact, the basic formula that is followed in Chicago under the umbrella of the Chicago Animal Shelter Alliance (CASA). It is this Alliance that has brought fantastic results in the City’s save rate. CASA has been around for around 6 years, and in that time kill rates have been cut in half to the very low 20,000’s (more available as soon as I get stats)! I’ve wanted to hear from other cities whose shelters are working together to see what gold has been spun from nothing more than good will (well, maybe it’s not that easy).
Also noted in Winograd’s report is the news that following the CAPA guidelines means that legislation currently pushed by HSUS, like the highly ineffective, multi-million dollar boondoggle known as Mandatory Spay Neuter (or Pet Protection Act—a skunk by any other name,..),would be easily seen for what it is, unnecessary.
Of course, this is what the current fight in Chicago is all about—and it will be coming to your city soon, so take note. Unfortunately for Chicago, PAWS and HSUS have the money and influence to gain the ear of the Mayor, so the chatter goes, and they are still pushing their unfathomable agenda as I write.
Simple, inexpensive solutions are what’s needed, not a patchwork of ineffective, expensive mandates that have not worked anywhere else–oh yes, except that one place that was reported to have deliberately rigged its numbers by not using actual shelter statistics!