1 National Leadership Forum Sept. 28, 2006 American Humane s Getting to Zero Initiative is a critical, national undertaking based on the profound belief that American society can ultimately reduce to zero the number of healthy or treatable dogs, cats and other companion animals that are euthanized in animal care and control facilities. American Humane has made the reduction and eventual elimination of shelter and animal control euthanasia of healthy dogs and cats one of its highest priorities. Although many Americans maintain a deep love and affection for animals, and pets are cherished members of millions of families, the millions of healthy, adoptable dogs and cats euthanized each year remains a source of shame for our country. In order to combat this problem, American Humane is committed to helping identify, support and obtain funding for the replication of community-based interventions that have demonstrated success in reducing the euthanasia of healthy or treatable animals. We are convinced that by working together and adopting practices that have been shown to be effective, we will hasten the day when euthanasia is no longer viewed as an unfortunate but inevitable consequence of animal care and control. American Humane believes that by seeking out and identifying model best practices programs with a demonstrated record of success in adoption, foster care, spay/neuter, training and transfer, we can engender community support for programs and solutions that will benefit both the animals and the human family members who care for them, and then disseminate those programs nationwide. Phase One began in May 2006 when American Humane put out the call to the sheltering community for nominations of best practices in spay/neuter, transfer, adoption, foster care and training. Phase Two is this Leadership Forum to shed light on the problem and highlight some of the best practices in use today. Phase Three is the funding and implementation phase. With funding secured, American Humane will implement the replication and delivery process to facilities, starting initially with six animal welfare agencies or consortia of animal care and control entities in six geographic regions in each of the next two years, for a total of 12 community-based programs during the initial phase of the campaign. Animal care and control facilities will apply and be assessed as to their potential to implement the best practices. The selected facilities or groups will be given grants to effectuate the adoption of the best practice(s) as appropriate, and will be monitored as to progress in reducing or achieving zero euthanasia. Besides providing project funding for equipment, supplies, travel and honoraria, American Humane also will enlist and broker experienced and talented professionals (loaned staff, mentors, experts, advisors and volunteers) to assist the animal care and control agencies in their replication efforts. American Humane will continue to seek best practices that may ultimately help our communities get to zero euthanasia. Additional programs will be highlighted on our website and may, be included in the community-based solutions implemented in Phase Three. The following programs have been identified as examples of successful practices.
2 AMERICAN HUMANE S GETTING TO ZERO BEST PRACTICES HONOREES (Alphabetical by category and institution) PROGRAM CATEGORY: ADOPTION Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, Maine Director of Operations and Interim Executive Director: Susan Britt 449 Stroudwater St., Westbrook, ME (207) , Feline Adoption Program Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland has instituted vaccination protocols to reduce upper respiratory infections, given each cat more control in its interaction with people and served as a beta test site for the ASPCA Feline-ality adoption program. They have increased adoptions, decreased length of stay in the shelter and decreased euthanasia. Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) 5425 E. Broadway #225, Tucson, AZ (520) , Adoption Program Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) is an all-volunteer nonprofit charity devoted to rescuing abandoned, abused and neglected animals in Tucson. ARF, in a partnership with Pima Animal Care Center, assists adoptions by organizing adoption days at local stores and fostering animals that are at risk of euthanasia because of overcrowding. Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. Executive Director: Tom Colvin 5452 N.E. 22nd St., Des Moines, IA (515) , Adoption Outreach Program In an effort to expand the reach of their programs and increase adoptions, Animal Rescue League of Iowa established partnerships with a pet supply store in a western suburb of Des Moines and a shopping mall on the south side of the city, which have achieved a combined 5,418 adoptions. City of Albuquerque Animal Care Center Associate Director: Denise E. Wilcox 8920 Lomas Blvd. N.E., Albuquerque, NM (505) , New Adoption Center The City of Albuquerque is constructing a municipal pet adoption center which will provide a friendly, inviting environment for potential adopters and house up to 35 companion animals at a time. The Animal Care Center also partners with agencies outside the state to transport adoptable animals and conducts off-site adoption events. Dane County Humane Society Executive Director: Pam McCloud Smith 5132 Voges Road, Madison, WI (608) ; Ringworm Project Dane County Humane Society partners with the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in the Dermatophyte Monitoring and Treatment Project (Ringworm Project). The project has dramatically reduced the number of cases of ringworm in foster homes and in the shelter, and has reduced the risk of infection. Friends of Rocky Mount Animals Director: Laura Gearhart P.O. Box 4936, Rocky Mount, NC (252) ; Adoption Program Friends of Rocky Mount Animals (FOR Animals) is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to taking dogs out of the Rocky Mount Animal Shelter and either fostering them or transporting them to other approved rescue groups. FOR Animals efforts have resulted in a 30 percent decrease in the number of animals euthanized at the shelter.
3 Humane Educational Society Director: Guy Bilyeu 212 N. Highland Park Ave., Chattanooga, TN (423) , ext. 223; Adoption Programs The Humane Educational Society has drastically reduced its euthanasia rate through practices such as spaying/neutering every animal, transporting animals to other states, separating sick animals from healthy ones and hiring a staff veterinarian. Also, they have low-cost spay/neuter, off-site adoption and trap-neuter-return programs. Humane Society of Berks County Executive Director: Karel Minor 1801 N. 11th St., Reading, PA (610) ; Free to a Great Home Emergency Cat Adoption Program In the summer months, when the shelter receives an influx of litters, the Humane Society of Berks County makes spayed or neutered adult cats available for adoption to qualified adopters for free. The Free to a Great Home Program has doubled cat adoptions, virtually eliminated space-driven euthanasia and increased press attention and fund raising. Humane Society of Boulder Valley Chief Executive Officer: Jan McHugh-Smith th St., Boulder, CO (303) ; Adoption Process The Humane Society of Boulder Valley has streamlined the adoption process by asking for only vital information on an adoption profile and trained staff to engage adopters in conversations using open ended questions. Clients have felt they received better service and better understood the needs of the animal, and more animals have been adopted. Humane Society of Broward County Executive Director: Christopher Agostino 2070 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL (954) ; Match a Pet Program The Match a Pet Program is designed to make dogs stay at the shelter short, and reduce their exposure to disease and stress. An adopter fills out an application, including his preferred training requirements, age and breed of dog. When a dog enters the shelter, a counselor calls adopters who are already approved, and the dog is immediately adopted. The Mayor s Alliance for NYC s Animals, Inc. President/Chair of the Board: Jane Hoffman 244 Fifth Ave., Suite R290, New York, NY ; (212) Adoption Partnerships The Mayor s Alliance acts as a liaison between the city government and the animal rescue community to coordinate adoption events, develop advertising campaigns, media relations and sources for fund raising, and provide training and resources. The result of these efforts is that the city pound s euthanasia rate has dropped 40 percent in five years. Minnesota Valley Humane Society Executive Director: Lynae Gieseke 1313 E. Highway 13, Burnsville, MN (952) ; Adoption Programs The Minnesota Valley Humane Society (MVHS) operates the Specially Trained and Rewarded Program to help shelter dogs with behavioral issues, and the Pet Adoption Without Surrender Program, which allows a pet owner who wants to relinquish his animal to keep it in his home while MVHS advertises and finds a home for the animal. Oregon Humane Society Executive Director: Sharon Harmon 1067 N.E. Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR (503) ; oregonhumane.org; Relinquish and Return Program The Oregon Humane Society believes that treating the public with courtesy and dignity improves the Society s reputation and helps save the lives of animals. If an animal is not doing well in the shelter, they will call the relinquishing person and offer him his animal back spayed or neutered and treated. Many people are happy to take their animals back.
4 San Diego Humane Society and SPCA President: Mark Goldstein, D.V.M Gaines St., San Diego, CA (619) ; Adoption Program The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA has a save rate of 90.5 percent, a return rate of 3-4 percent and has not euthanized a healthy, adoptable animal in over six years or a treatable animal in over five years. They extensively evaluate, assess and treat animals on intake and give their counselors in-depth training. Stray Rescue of Saint Louis Founder/Executive Director: Randy Grim 1463 S. 18th St., St. Louis, MO (314) ; Rescue and Adoption Programs Stray Rescue of Saint Louis is a no-kill organization which saves homeless street dogs. The post-adoption program provides dogs with behavioral training, and any dog adopted out by Stray Rescue will be accepted back for any reason. If one of their dogs is returned to another organization, they will retrieve it, even if they have to drive across the country. PROGRAM CATEGORY: BEHAVIOR/TRAINING Animal Rescue League of Boston President: Jay Bowen 10 Chandler St., Boston, MA (617) ; Behavioral Programs Animal Rescue League of Boston has instituted behavioral programs such as dog training classes, an adoption program for dogs with special needs, a behavioral help line and individual counseling. Returns due to behavioral problems fell from 40 percent to 22 percent, and euthanasias for behavioral reasons fell from 20 percent to 10 percent. Arizona Humane Society President and Chief Executive Officer: Cheryl Naumann 1521 W. Dobbins Road, Phoenix, AZ (602) , ext. 1005; Assessment Program Arizona Humane Society carefully assesses each animal and at least five individuals must come to a consensus on the animal. Animals with special needs are put in an enrichment program or placed for adoption at a specific facility. Assessments are not a means by which to determine euthanasia, but a tool to measure the needs and abilities of animals. BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls) Executive Director: Donna Reynolds P.O. Box , San Francisco, CA (510) ; Pit Ed Classes BAD RAP s Pit Ed Classes have reduced euthanasia of pit bulls by giving overwhelmed owners the tools to succeed as responsible dog owners and preventing surrenders of pits bulls to overcrowded shelters. The classes are also open to rescue groups, shelters and anyone who spays or neuters his dog through the free Pit Fix program. Dubuque Regional Humane Society Executive Director: Jane McCall 175 N. Crescent Ridge, Dubuque, IA (563) ; Head Start Dog-in-Training Program The Dubuque Regional Humane Society s Head Start Dog-in-Training program works to increase the chance of adoption of good animals that demonstrate behavior problems by providing regular and focused training sessions for each dog in the program. Program candidates are staff-selected shelter dogs that are very hyperactive or extremely shy. SPCA Los Angeles Director of Animal Training and Behavior: Jill-Marie O Brien 5026 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA (323) ; Training Programs SPCA Los Angeles training programs address at-risk dogs and provide post-adoption support for pets. Post-adoption support includes a free behavior helpline, classes and access to trainers for one-on-one consultations. Evaluation processes are used to target at-risk dogs for ongoing training and to establish adoption criteria.
5 PROGRAM CATEGORY: FOSTERING Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County President: Laurie Graham P.O. Box 7041, Gaithersburg, MD (301) ; Fostering Program The AWLMC accepts relinquished cats and removes cats from the Montgomery County Humane Society shelter. Cats are intensively examined and treated by veterinarians, moved into foster facilities, and often publicly displayed at adoption events such as the American Feline Idol cat show at the county fairgrounds. San Diego Humane Society and SPCA President: Mark Goldstein, D.V.M Gaines St., San Diego, CA (619) ; Foster Care Program San Diego Humane Society s foster program has helped over 300 animals find loving homes. Their specially trained volunteers care for animal newborns, malnourished animals, and animals with litters, infectious disease or behavioral issues. The foster program frees staff time and resources and eliminates euthanasia due to lack of space. Tompkins County SPCA Executive Director: Jeff Lydon 1640 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca, NY (607) , ext. 227; Foster Care Program When Tompkins County SPCA has more animals than space, it turns to foster parents to handle the overflow. Foster parents are recruited from the volunteer bank and all veterinary services are provided. The save rate is between 90 and 95 percent, and the animals receive rich socialization in a home environment. PROGRAM CATEGORY: SPAY/NEUTER Alley Cat Allies National Director: Becky Robinson 7920 Norfolk Ave., Suite 600, Bethesda, MD (240) ; Feral Cat Program Alley Cat Allies (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization founded to help local jurisdictions adopt effective methods of reducing feral and stray cat populations. With ACA s assistance, thousands of communities have implemented trap-neuter-return programs to humanely reduce the number of stray and feral cats. Arizona Cat Assistance Team (AzCATs) President and Chief Executive Officer: Melissa Newton P.O. Box J, Scottsdale, AZ (480) ; Trap-Neuter-Return Program AzCATs is the only organization in Maricopa County, Arizona, offering a large scale trap-neuter-return program. They have ended the breeding cycle for more than 30,000 cats. AzCATs has 500 humane traps throughout the area and has doubled its number of spays/neuters since the first six months of its existence. Dane County Humane Society Executive Director: Pam McCloud Smith 5132 Voges Road, Madison, WI (608) ; Volunteer Veterinarian Program Dane County Humane Society s Volunteer Veterinarian Program pledges to spay or neuter 100 percent of adopted animals, assists local rescue groups and qualified low-income pet owners to spay or neuter their animals, and decreases the number of litters of puppies and kittens coming to their shelter, thereby reducing overcrowding.
6 First Coast No More Homeless Pets, Inc. Director: Rick DuCharme P.O. Box 50696, Jacksonville, FL (904) 674-PETS (7387); SpayJax SpayJax is a government-funded spay/neuter voucher program serving low-income pet owners in Duval County, Florida. SpayJax has been responsible for 11,000 spay/neuter surgeries in the two and a half years since its founding. In January 2003, Jacksonville s shelter admissions began to decrease. Fulton County Animal Services (managed by the Southern Hope Humane Society) Executive Director: Susan Feingold 860 Marietta Blvd., Atlanta, GA (404) ; Fix Em Free Program The Fix Em Free Program provides free spay/neuter services, rabies shots and vaccinations to pets of low-income residents of Fulton County. The shelter has cut their euthanasia rate in half. The impound rate at the shelter has decreased by 18 percent, and 20 percent fewer animals are euthanized. Humane Alliance Spay/Neuter Clinic Executive Director: Quita Mazzina 231 Haywood St., Asheville, NC (828) ; Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program The Humane Alliance makes low-cost spay/neuter surgeries available and extremely convenient, providing free door-to-door pet pickup and return to clients within a 120-mile radius of Asheville, North Carolina. As a result, the local shelter intake rate decreased by nearly one-half in the first year, and the euthanasia rate has dropped 70 percent. Lexington Humane Society Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer: Bert Hawkins 1600 Old Frankfort Pike, Lexington, KY (859) ; Spay/Neuter Program Lexington Humane Society has been influential in passing a local law which mandates that all dogs and cats in Fayette County be spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated prior to adoption. The shelter has also implemented a fund which provides spay/neuter assistance to qualified low- or no-income Fayette County pet owners. Parsippany Animal Supporters Society President: Joanne Slaman P.O. Box 5077, Parsippany, NJ (973) ; PASS Spay/Neuter Plan The Parsippany Animal Supporters Society s (PASS) Spay/Neuter plan, nicknamed AAA, is affordable, accessible and attractive. Four to six times per year, PASS contracts with the Animal Welfare Association to bring a mobile spay/neuter clinic directly into the community. The program has been able to assist many seniors and low-income adopters. Pets ALIVE Spay/Neuter Clinic Executive Director: Tomi Whitaker 6522 S. Empire Road, Bloomington, IN (812) ; Spay/Neuter Program The Pets ALIVE low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter clinic has spayed or neutered over 13,000 animals. The program is committed to helping transport groups by providing workshops, community assessments, spay/neuter subsidies, grant writing assistance and medical orientation. Monroe County has seen a 10 percent decrease in intake in one year. Richmond SPCA Chief Executive Officer: Robin Starr 2519 Hermitage Road, Richmond, VA (804) ; Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program Richmond SPCA s low-cost spay/neuter program has a transportation component which will pick up a pet if the pet owner cannot bring it in. The number of animals coming into the SPCA shelter and the municipal shelter combined have dropped from approximately 8,000 animals in 2001 to 6,000 in 2005.
7 San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control Manager: Brian Cronin 351 N. Mountain View, San Bernardino, CA (909) ; Spay/Neuter Voucher Program The San Bernardino County spay/neuter voucher allows any county resident to obtain vouchers for $50 per dog and $25 per cat that can be redeemed at 76 participating veterinarians. Since the program s inception, the euthanasia rate has dropped and the number of impounded dogs in the shelter has decreased by almost 50 percent. San Diego Humane Society and SPCA President: Mark Goldstein, D.V.M Gaines St., San Diego, CA (619) ; Spay/Neuter Program and Litter Abatement Program The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA works to decrease pet overpopulation with its litter abatement program. When a person relinquishes a litter of kittens or puppies to the shelter, the shelter offers to spay or neuter the parent animals free of charge and return them to their owners. Also, before any animal is adopted, it is spayed or neutered. Santa Ana Police Department Animal Services Pet Amigos Program Chief: Paul Walters 60 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA (714) ; Pet Amigos Program Santa Ana Police Department Animal Services Pet Amigos program places an officer in third and fourth grade classrooms for three one-hour classes. The students are taught humane education, methods to avoid being the victim of animal bites, and the importance of spaying or neutering their pets. Solutions to Overpopulation of Pets Director: Peter Marsh, Esq. 24 Montgomery St., Concord, NH (603) ; Animal Population Control Program Solutions to Overpopulation of Pets is a publicly funded low-income spay/neuter assistance program that enables pet owners who are eligible for public assistance to have their animals spayed or neutered, examined and vaccinated. During the 12 years of the program, euthanasia at the state s shelters has dropped by 75 percent. Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) Executive Director: James R. Weedon, D.V.M. P.O. Box 70286, Houston, TX (800) or (713) ; Spay/Neuter Practices SNAP serves Houston and San Antonio with five stationary and mobile clinics. SNAP s mobile clinic goes to low-income neighborhoods, where residents are unable to access or afford spay/neuter services. Public shelters have seen a more than 8 percent decrease in shelter intake since 1997 and a 26 percent decline in euthanasia. SPCA Alliance Executive Director: Ron Simons P.O. Box 30484, Charlotte, NC (704) ; SNIP (Spay Neuter Intervention Program) The SPCA Alliance s mission is to reduce the animal intake at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Control, which in turn reduces the euthanasia rate. Their spay/neuter program targets low-income homes. They take time talking to each potential client and educate them about general pet care and pre-surgical and post-surgical procedures. PROGRAM CATEGORY: TRANSFER The Maryland SPCA of Baltimore Director of Operations: Maya Richmond 3300 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD (410) ; Public Education and Transfer The Maryland SPCA of Baltimore informs people about how to care for stray cats in colder months rather than turn them in to a shelter where they have less chance of surviving, and offers supplies and help to people with very young animals that are unlikely to thrive in a shelter. Intake has dropped by 3,500 animals and euthanasia has decreased by 23.5 percent.
8 Peterson Express Transport Service (PETS, LLC) President: Kyle Peterson 3701 Long Ave., Cookville, TN (615) ; cell (615) ; Transfer Program Peterson Express began transporting rescued dogs to their new homes in The trailers allow each dog to travel in its own crate in a climate controlled environment. Peterson Express works with almost 40 different rescue groups from Alabama to New Hampshire. Nearly 10,000 dogs have been saved in the last two and a half years. PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin Vice President and Executive Director: Sue Della Maddalena N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, AZ (623) ; Rescue Waggin Rescue Waggin transports dogs from shelters where they have little chance of finding a home to shelters that can adopt them to loving families. The Rescue Waggin also works to elevate the standards of operation of the source shelters through health check and vaccination protocols, site visits, mentoring of shelter managers and grants training. Shelby County Animal Shelter Animal Shelter/Control Director: Monica Robinson 266 Kentucky St., Shelbyville, KY (502) ; Transfer Program At Shelby County Animal Shelter, all stray, lost and unwanted animals health and personalities are evaluated. The shelter keeps a list of potential adoptive owners for accurate compatibility with the animals, and they have a foster home program that eases overcrowding. They have reduced their euthanasia rate from 58 percent to 25 percent. For more information on American Humane s Getting to Zero Initiative, visit 63 Inverness Drive East Englewood, CO Fax:
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