Riding the Wave in 2015


Surf’s up! The waves are getting higher for the New Year. And that means shelter pets are ready for a much happier 2015. That’s if recent statistics are any indication. The concept of No Kill is riding a huge wave as more shelters are finally accepting the 21st century business model.

It’s a business plan that reflects the way most Americans feel about our pets.

S_CurveMost social movements in America can plot growth on a logistics curve, or “S” curve. On paper, it looks like a huge wave. History shows that, during the first years of the movement, growth is extremely slow as the new challenge to the status quo sinks in. Once a majority accepts the new ideas (like putting an end to the killing of healthy and treatable pets in animal shelters), growth occurs rapidly. It’s when the movement is approaching the eventual success of its mission that growth slows once again (as the remaining hardheads refuse to change).

By all accounts, the No Kill movement is on the fast upward arc of the curve. Exponentially more shelters are implementing the No Kill Equation every month. And the national save rate is climbing dramatically, reaching an average of 64% at the beginning of 2014 according to ASPCA data (a million more shelter pets are saved annually compared to just five years ago).

ChartMany of our major cities are proud No Kill communities, like Austin, Seattle, Portland, OR and Kansas City. Cities like Washington, DC, San Antonio and Los Angeles as well as entire states like Michigan and Colorado are on the threshold of becoming No Kill. And many more medium- to small-sized communities across the United States are No Kill. To be sure, there are big cities like Phoenix, AZ and Dallas, TX which are still lagging behind, but the rapid pace of change will inevitably force these communities to embrace the new business model. (In surfing terms, these cities are paddlepusses.)

This is an exciting time to be a part of the No Kill movement. Enjoy the experience, because we’re like surfers who are riding a rapidly swelling wave that’s lifting all of us skyward. Let’s make it an even happier New Year for pets in our local shelters.

We’re in the pocket in 2015. Radical, dude!