There are so many claims about No Kill. Ithaca has it, Charlottesville has it, Philly almost had it, and Mayeda doesn't have a clue.

One of the reasons for the war is we have so few real facts.

Only Boks posts full and complete statistics about his shelters’ success and failure. Let me repeat that, only Boks publishes all the statistics on all of the animals on a month to months basis.

It is based on his stats that many of us recognized his complete failure in 2006 through March 2007, when he became creative with stats and juggling animals. Now we do not know how accurate these complete statistics are.

Philly publishes only quarterly stats, and just of euthanasia vs. live save. It does not break live save into categories, such as RTO, adopted, fostered, rescued, etc. It does not list died in shelter. It is two months behind. The entire last quarter of 2007 is missing.

San Francisco municipal shelter and the SFSPCA---neither publish the complete monthly statistics for: impounded, adopted, RTO, fostered, died in shelter, euthanized.

Maricopa County has a different method (Maddies) of publishing statistics. But get this; they claim not one healthy animal was euthanized even though they killed 57% of all animals. Also interesting is that they impounded MORE than three times as many dogs as cats. This is highly unusual.

New York City publishes an abbreviated list of statistics, listing just impounds adoptions, euth, and RTO. There is no info on fosters, died in shelter, rescues, lost, stolen, etc. NYC's stats are second behind LAAS' in terms completeness.

Personally, I don't like the Maddies' format because the categories are too subjective, like adoptable, treatable, etc.

Of course LA County has no stats listed on their site. County is a horrible mess. The only stats we really have are posted by Brad Jensen on

Charlottesville, N.C., one of Nathan's touted successes, posts only very incomplete statistics, and only for 2006. No information on 2007 or 2008.

Again, it lists only "in care" which I assume may mean total impounds, adoption, RTO and euth. All the other categories are missing, such as died in shelter. If you add all the figures, the Adoption, euth and TRO figures only account for 84% of the animals.

Despite asking Susanne twice for more recent and complete statistics, I have heard nothing from her.

Tompkins County, SPCA, the shelter that made Winograd's reputation, now lists statistics for 2005 and 2006, both the old way and the new Maddies’ way.

One thing that shocked me: TC has only about 2,350 impounds a year, about 1/20th of Los Angeles City! I think I could place that many animals myself from Ron Mason's house. (Jeez, this is humor.)

I think a reputation built on such a small scale system alone does not make one a no kill guru.Nathan would have to show success on a larger scale to prove an open admission shelter of significant size can reach and maintain a no kill status.

Now if Philly is failing—supposedly; Charlottesville is not answering questions and Ithaca may have to become a kill shelter if the really cheap, cheap, Tompkins County and local municipalities do not want to cough up another $45,000, and TCSPCA being only about 1/3 the size of any one of LAAS's shelters, that leaves only one open admission no-kill shelter now being touted by Nathan: Nevada Humane.

I talked to Bonnie Brown at some length and she sent me some statistics. The kill, died in shelter, adopt and rescue stats account for only about 65%. She stated the remaining animals are mostly returned to owner, but I am still waiting for those stats, which she was developing when I called. She said such a high RTO was accomplished mainly because of one individual on the County side who worked wonders in locating owners. I have yet to talk to him.

I will note that of all the more complete stats I found anywhere, the died in shelter stats for LAAS were the worst. However, nationally, the stats available are of very poor quality. Mostly the shelters give summaries, mostly self-serving, not the complete raw data.

I will assume that any shelter that claims to be truly no kill will publish all their statistics. If they do not, I will not accept their claim.

But, even if there is not even one no kill open admission shelter of any significant size now, that does not mean there cannot be one tomorrow. It is a matter of will, resources and management.

1 comment:

Kelley said...

RTO in Nevada - I went to a weekend long seminar by Nathan this weekend. He talked about the RTO rates and states that the AC officers are now required, when they pick up a stray dog, to go to the surrounding homes and knock and see if it is their dog or they know whose dog it is. This is common sense and saves animals from going to shelters and saves lives.