No-Kill Conference, Washington DC Today

by Mary Haight on May 2, 2009

I have to tell myself he's a dog, not just a &...
Image by This Year’s Love via Flickr

The No-Kill Conference 2009 got underway this morning in Washington, DC with keynote speaker Nathan Winograd, a self-described “recovering lawyer”, but more importantly, an animal lover.  Referring to the history of animal care and control agencies, he noted: “We have worked on making killing more humane, making it less stressful on shelter workers, but not on saving lives. Not on working with the public, increasing adoptions, working with rescue groups.”

Winograd took on the Mandatory Spay Neuter issues, citing details from city to city, a catalog of failures. Lack of a spay neuter law is not the reason so many animals are killed.  Witness Reno, which follows the no-kill nation plan, has numbers that will knock your socks off:  Reno has double the national average of animals, yet returns to owner for dogs are 60% vs. 25% nationally, and cat returns are 7% vs. 1%.  Save rates are greater than 90%, and the kill rate declined 50% in one year.  These are historic numbers.  Note: Kansas City saw an 80% increase in the kill rate for Pit Bull type dogs when MSN was implemented.  This is only one example of increased kill rates, and is only one reason major proponents of spay neuter, like the ASPCA and American Veterinary Medical Association, have come out against  MSN legislation.

The answers lie in making a fundamental and legislated change in the way animal control agencies operate, and change the people who operate them, as witnessed by the Reno, NV program.  See Pet Connection’s Christie Keith’s great live blogging gift to those of us who could not get tickets to the DC sold out event…refresh to see if anything has been added!

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