Protecting California's Animals

A)  It is inspirational. Saying "we just want to reduce the killing" does not inspire the public, shelter staff or volunteers.

B)  It makes Oakland a Humane Leader nationwide. This is true whether it is "aspired to and largely attained" or "completely realized."

C)  Maddie's Fund (a $300 million dollar nonprofit that gives money to help cities) will not give money to Oakland unless "no kill" is the vision.

D)  It is easier to raise funds with a "no kill" goal. Studies show that people prefer to give their money to shelters that do not kill rather than those that do.

E) Many people do not want to set foot inside of a "kill" shelter, whether to volunteer or adopt. Remaining "kill" actually makes it harder to end the deaths.

F) Some shelter directors manipulate the term "no kill" to mean that only adoptable animals will be saved. An animal can be designated as "un-adoptable" simply because there is a lack of kennel space. Oakland's truly "no kill" vision (as outlined in my plan) will help people around the country to understand the difference between an accurate usage of the term (i.e. in Oakland) and a misleading one (i.e. in L.A.). Education on this issue will lead to demands that other cities and counties follow Oakland's lead. 

Responding to Potential "No Kill" Objections

A. Potential Objection:  A shelter cannot be 93% no kill. It is either kill or no kill. Anything else is misleading.

            Response: Wrong. Phase one of my proposal is to achieve 93% no kill. Phase two is to achieve 100% no kill. There is nothing inaccurate or misleading about this.

Analogy. Let's assume that phase one of a plan is to make a glass of water "93% full," and later it will be made "100% full." If someone were to say this glass is either full or not full, you would think they were crazy. Of course, a glass can be 93% full or 7% empty. Of course a shelter can be 93% no kill or 7% kill.

B. Potential Objection: No kill cannot be realized.

Response: Many experts would disagree. But even if OAS attained a 97%, 95% or 90% "no kill" rate, this does not minimize the need to strive for the 100% goal.

Analogy. The city of Oakland has a goal to end crime. Many could say, "You can never end crime." This may or may not be true: but regardless, this is no reason to abandon the goal of ending crime in Oakland.  

I think Oakland will make a mistake if they fail to embrace "no kill."

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thank you.

Charlotte Laws, Ph.D.    
Californians for a "No Kill" Commission