In July 2010, the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) embraced a no-kill ethic. We defined that ethic as applying the same criteria when deciding a homeless animal’s fate that a loving owner or conscientious veterinarian would apply to a beloved pet. That is, healthy and treatable animals would not be killed simply because we lack the room or resources to care for them.
With a 95 percent live release rate in 2012 and a 97 percent live release rate YTD for 2013, it could be argued that YHS has achieved its no-kill goal. The challenge now is sustaining it. Google dictionary defines “sustaining” as strengthening or supporting.
It is important to understand the life affirming momentum occurring at YHS. In nearly every community in every state in the Union, killing is the primary method employed to control pet overpopulation. In just three short years our community has become a national model for a better way, a way of compassion through strategic planning.
While it requires a lot of work to sustain a compassionate, no-kill community, we have our share of fun too. Take for instance our recent Walk for the Animals. It is remarkable how our community came together, for one of the most fun family events of the year, and raised over $41,000 to help sustain our many life saving no-kill programs.
This week we moved into a newly completed facility dedicated to sustaining quality medical care for our community’s sick and injured homeless cats. The facility was made possible thanks to the generosity of our community.
Also, this week, we are installing a climate controlled HVAC system throughout our Pet Adoption Center. This amazing enhancement was also made possible thanks to the compassionate generosity of our community.
Next on the drawing board is a canine hospital to care for our community’s lost and homeless sick and injured dogs. We are in the design phase and should have a budget for this project within 30 days. It is my hope that there is the same public support for our canine friends as there is for our felines, so we have no delay in building this much-needed facility. Naming rights are available to anyone willing to fund a substantial portion of the construction cost.
These new facilities are designed to help ensure our community never returns to the barbaric practice of killing homeless animals simply because we lack the room or resources to care for them. Achieving no-kill is not an Olympic moment; it is an arduous marathon. We’ve proven it can be achieved, the question now is can it be sustained?
Imagine if everyone reading this article donated $1 a day or $30 a month. We could then sustain our many no-kill programs – each designed to save animals’ lives, fight cruelty and rescue homeless animals. Choose a tax deductible amount that is comfortable, and you can change or cancel your participation at any time.
If you have questions about achieving and sustaining no-kill contact me today. It can be done in your community too! Together we can achieve and sustain no-kill throughout our nation.
Ed Boks is the executive director of the Yavapai Humane Society. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 213-792-4800,