Don't Become Cynical of No-Kill

Many of you have grown cynical about "No Kill."

But what Ed has done here, in NYC and in Maricopa is a perversion of no-kill.

But I don't think the concept is worthless no matter what that the Naysayers or Merritt from Animal People say.

When a shelter system the size of SF can have an 80% save rate and the SF/SPCA a 93% save rate, for a combined 87%, I'd say that with proper facilities, a good enough budget, employees who care and a shelter director dedicated to community outreach and building a volunteer base, a kill rate of 20% is attainable in even the largest shelter system. Of course, this is just my opinion.

When the smaller systems are getting a 93% save rate in just a few months, it means great changes can be made nearly overnight with proper and committed management and a manageable sized shelter system.

Philly, I think is a good test case as to what can be done with such a small shelter (120 dogs, 180 cats) in a middle-sized shelter system. I will make an arrangement with them to track their progress. They will be a true test case.

I doubt they will get to be No-Kill within another year, but I bet they make it to 75% save for cats by next year. If they had three times the space and three times the budget, they could do a lot better. They are unionized but do not have civil service, making firing easier. But Ed didn't have civil service in NYC either.

As someone pointed out, there are probably between 400-700,000 housed cats in LA and about the same number of dogs.

Figuring an average lifespan for cats of 10 years (14 if they were just indoor), the death rate would create a yearly replacement market for an estimated 60,000 cats and maybe 60,000 dogs. These are just replacement openings, but there is always a growing population that can absorb more.

If we take SF's 80% save for a Good-Enough No-Kill, we'd have to find homes for 36,000 dogs and cats, less than 1/3 of the openings. We'll give the benefit of the doubt that 20% are untreatable, meaning too sick, injured or aggressive to be adopted. I think this is attainable within a 2-3 year time frame even if spay/neuter does not decrease impounds.

I think the concept of No-Kill and the goal of no-kill are extraordinarily important. It is already being implemented all over the country in smaller shelters, SF seems to be closing in on Good Enough No-Kill, and Philly is a test case of what can be done within a three year time span.

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