To the Volusia County Council:
I have been doing some research and talking with several very knowledgeable people since I have heard back from Pat Northey and Carl Persis back in December. Then in January heard from Pat that in February you all should be hearing from the Animal Committee. Please see the information I have gathered for all of you. If you could pass on to your committee - that would be wonderful. Thank you. I am extremely curious to see what your committee thinks should be done about our feral crisis in Volusia County.
Found out there is a discussion coming up this evening on the following channel - sharing with everyone on your council..... Feral Cat Discussion on WDSC-TV ch 15 Feb 3 @ 7:oo pm Tune In - sure to
There are many good examples of TNR programs happening in our state very close by. How about if we invite some of these folks to speak to their successes with TNR programs and feral sanctuaries. Lets get educated and make educated decisions! These groups are leaders in the feral initiative and should be heard. First Coast No More Homeless Pets in Jax has reduced euthanasia from 23,000 to less than 9,000 last year - this was a two year result! They are celebrating their 2 year anniversary this year!! If you think about what Volusia pays Halifax for every cat to be killed - that represents a savings of about 1.3 million! That is quite a bit of money!
1. Melissa Cranis who is leader/speaker for CARE program in Orlando, which is a TNR program is a great speaker. I bet if someone contacted her (CARE Feline TNR Message Center at (407) 522-2617.) she would come and speak at a council meeting. They have had a very successful program in Orlando.
2. No More Homeless Pets in Jax has been a great leader and we should take notice of their amazing results. Their contact info is: First Coast No More Homeless Pets, Inc. in the Joseph A. Strasser Animal Health & Welfare Building 6817 Norwood Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32208 WELLSS CLINIC HOURS: 904.425.0005
3. The Flagler County Shelter has been very successful with TNR and their own feral sanctuary. The director's name is Jeff Hale and his phone number is (386) 445-1814 Ext 305.
4. I received a summary of a seminar that occurred recently by Nathan Winograd. He is a TRUE expert in the NO KILL movement and it would be very beneficial if we could incorporate his ideas into our Volusia County plan. He speaks all over the country and was recently in Melbourne. One of the participants of that seminar wrote a summary of his speech and I have included them into this email for your review. It is enlightening - please read when you have a few minutes - it includes accurate percentages and statistics of what this program do to help. Also, if you have time, you can go to You Tube and watch and listen to portions of his seminars. He also has a website at www.nathanwinograd.com.
Highlights from the Nathan Winograd No-Kill Seminar
Nathan took his "No Kill" equation to cities all over the US to shelters with extremely high kill rates. Within one year of implementing his program, the shelters were at 96-100% NO KILL! No healthy dogs/cats were killed and NO treatable cats/dogs were killed. They even adopted out dogs and cats with all sorts of handicaps & terminal illnesses. His NO Kill model worked in rural areas, suburban areas, areas who had the highest unemployment rates and highest foreclosures, progressive areas and conservative areas alike, rich and poor areas. National Data records PROVE that the NO KILL equation works! We can save 90% of animals in our shelters!
There are currently 4 million dogs and cats killed yearly in the US. If every community embraced the NO KILL model, we would have 3,600,000 still alive today.
Tougher spay/neuter laws DO NOT WORK! They cause MORE deaths- because when this was put into place in one of his communities, animal control officers would go door to door to give citations to those pet owners not in compliance. Instead of paying the fines, the people turned their animals over to the shelter- which ended up killing them. FREE spay and neuter is the way to go! He instituted a program called "Greenbacks for Gonads"- they actually gave people $5.00 to bring their pets in to get spayed and neutered for free. IT WORKED! And ended up saving them a TON of money in the long run... Intakes to the shelter were cut IN HALF, cat deaths declined by 73%, dog deaths declined by 66% and 0% healthy animals were killed.
Here is the "NO-KILL equation" for the shelter to follow (which has been proven to be 100% successful in EVERY city who implemented into their shelters).
- Need foster homes Conduct off site adoptions
- Thorough cleaning standards
- Willingness to work with rescue groups
- TNR (trap neuter release) programs for feral cats -
- Behavioral help for pets -
- help phone line in order to deter animals abandoned at shelter -
- Proactive efforts to help reunite lost pets (not just holding them in a kennel- getting out and going door to door where the animal was found) -
- Effective adoption campaigns- use EVERY holiday, every celebration to adopt out animals!
- Socialization & training programs (actually work w/ dogs in kennels- not leaving them in day after day to go cage crazy)
Shelter Leaders MUST be held accountable.
Most animals are dying for 1 reason- FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT PROGRAMS THAT WORK! There are rresponsible people in the community, however, there are MANY in our community that care! Do good things for the animals, tell people about their needs, turn challenges into opportunities! It all comes down to leadership! Individual leaders make or break lifesaving efforts.
IT IS NOT THE SIZE OF THE BUDGET, it is the SIZE OF THE DIRECTORS HEART ! The difference in lifesaving rates is determined by the leaders running the shelter.
Recipe for NO KILL:
Implement the NO KILL Equation
Believe in the community
Trust in compassion of community
"THE POWER OF ONE LEADS TO AN ARMY OF COMPASSION!"
It is NOT PET OVERPOPULATION that is killing the animlas. That is a myth! It is a LACK of foster programs, LACK of outreach in the community, LACK of cleanliness, LACK of TNR programs which is KILLING the animals!
The following problems are literally STEALING THE LIVES OF ANIMALS:
Poor customer service (rude staff, not answering phones)
unavailable hours for public
lack of staff
*The shelter MUST take responsibility for the animals and save them!
Must have a turnover of managers and staff to become NO KILL
Get the right people on board
Fight to get rid of uncaring and lazy staff
People are the HEART & SOUL of ANY organization!!!
Need people who LIKE PEOPLE as well as animals!
"BETTER TO FIRE ONE BAD STAFF MEMBER THAN TO KILL A GOOD ANIMAL!"
At the closing of the seminar- he told us to imagine we are dying in the hospital. The doctor comes in and says we have two courses of action: We can implement the procedure we have done for years that is proven not
to work -- or we can implement the procedure which has a proven 100% success rate- which would you choose.... it is a no brainer!
PLEASE PASS this info along to others you know would benefit from this and truly care about the animals needlessly dying in shelters all over our communities!
THE KILLING HAS TO STOP!!!!
Thank you for your time and when the animal control committee comes to the council and provides their recommendations - I would be VERY interested to hear the plan. Thank you !! Jan