There are many ways to help achieve a No Kill community. You can force the shelter to change by passing legislation. You can engage in political advocacy. You can rescue animals directly from death row and find them homes yourself. You can take over the shelter. You can create a national campaign. And more. When others won’t, you can always Do It Yourself!
At the No Kill Advocacy Center, we’re big on empowering the grassroots. For some inspirational ideas and resources, visit each section below:
Start a group & take over the shelter.
“We figured out how to save over 97% of ALL our animals in an open admission city pound. By doing so, we have tons of donations, tons of volunteers, and tons of happy adopters. We run out of animals! In my experience, animal advocates arguing that we ‘have to kill’ animals (followed by the usual excuses…) is false… Kill shelters are on the way out. Modern, high achieving shelters are going to make sure of that.”
Pass shelter reform legislation.
A shelter reform law introduced in one state passed both houses of the legislature unanimously and was signed into law by the Governor. Since then, killing in shelters has declined statewide by 78%.
Rescue animals from death row.
In 2012, an animal lover decided to start a small rescue group with a big idea: save all the puppies being killed in her community. Brand new to rescue, with no shelter and no funding, she felt she didn’t have the infrastructure to save other animals, so she concentrated on small puppies who would be easy to adopt. No puppies have been killed in her community since.
Fill a gap in the safety net.
Go through all the programs and services of the No Kill Equation, find out if they are being implemented comprehensively and if not, pick one of the programs and put it into place.
Save one at a time.
Every life is precious and every life matters. And while we encourage you to reach for the stars, to advocate for dozens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, and even millions of animals, don’t overlook the one.
Take a job running the shelter.
One day a shelter was killing; the next day under a new director they were not. Fewer animals lost their lives his first year than used to be killed in just one week. Today, the shelter has a 99% save rate. In fact, they did not kill a single cat in all of 2014.
Reform the shelter through political advocacy.
After engaging in a campaign to win the hearts and minds, and more importantly the votes of the city council, animal lovers succeeded in getting a No Kill plan introduced and passed unanimously. Today, that city saves 96% of the animals.
Guides to political advocacy:
Market animals for adoption.
Good customer service, adoption promotions and incentives, and utilizing a retail marketing approach to shelter animals. The end result? Save rates in excess of 95% year after year.
Start a national campaign.
Thousands of shelters participate in the annual “Just One Day” event, saving over 13,000 animals, essentially erasing one day’s worth of killing across the U.S.
Utilize your talent.
You are only limited by your imagination … and your talents.
Remember: Big things come from small or individual efforts. Saving puppies can lead to saving cats, rabbits, ferrets, and birds. Taking over a shelter can mean the difference between a save rate of 26% and 98%. Promoting and taking animals to offsite adoptions can give the shelter in your community save rates as high as 99%. And helping one community achieve a better than 90% save rate can put pressure on surrounding communities to do the same. Williamson County, TX, saved 95%, then Austin saved 96%, then Pflugerville saved 98%, and Georgetown, Taylor, and Kirby saved over 90%.
What can we accomplish when we “DIY”? We can erase one day’s killing across the entire U.S. We can go from zero No Kill communities to one, from one to hundreds, from hundreds to a No Kill nation. We can successfully arrive at the brighter future we are striving for, on the road we paved that led there.
A No Kill nation is within our reach.
A No Kill nation is within our reach.
Want to get inspired? Watch a film of ordinary animal lovers doing extraordinary things to save animals and ending the killing in their community.