Attending the recent Best Friends National Conference in Las Vegas was like immersing ourselves in a force field of positive energy. Tremendous progress is being made in bringing an end to the killing of healthy and treatable pets in our shelters. New and exciting ideas are bubbling up like never before, providing an exhilarating preview of a bright future. And recognized No Kill communities like Austin, TX, Kansas City, MO, Reno, NV and Portland, OR look like they’ll be joined soon by areas like Pima County, AZ, Washington, DC, San Antonio, TX, the entire state of Michigan and many more communities throughout the United States and around the world.
We returned home to hear this report – just two days ago – from a shelter director in our area: “It’s impossible for our shelter to be No Kill. We take in too many animals. We don’t have enough space to put all the animals if we don’t put them down.” The usual excuses, right? And this shelter has a per capita intake lower than the No Kill shelters in our area.
That’s why it’s so important for all of us to continue to spread the No Kill message. It’s not impossible if it’s already being done. As the Best Friends conference plainly illustrated, No Kill has been achieved in communities large and small, rich and poor, conservative and liberal, north and south.
We’ve always joked that old-school shelter workers have “an excuse for everything and a solution for nothing.” That’s why we believe in solutions. Solutions make the seemingly impossible possible.
Faith Maloney, one of the founders of Best Friends, encourages us to be pioneers. “Pioneers are people who step outside of how things are usually done, take a look at the problem and do it differently,” she said. When you’re putting No Kill into place, you’re blazing new trails for the shelter pets in your area. When you spread the positive No Kill message, you’re knocking down barriers for shelter pets everywhere. That’s the pioneer spirit that’s leading all of us toward a bright future.