Some of the material I had already seen at the Best Friends Conference, but there were a few presentations that were new to me and were very exciting.
Animal Ark gave a presentation on modern shelter design that gave me lots of information that I hope we can use when we find a building. They designed their shelter to do everything possible to minimize shelter stress on the pets. They have cat condos which cost as much as regular steel caging that have reduced ringworm to 0 and URI (upper respiratory infection which many cats catch at shelters and ends up causing them to be euthanized at most shelters) is down 95%. There’s more on the Pet Connection blog. Check it out.
Rich Avanzino, the president of Maddie’s Fund and the father of the No Kill Movement, gave the opening presentation. He had an exciting announcement: The Ad Council (the same group who came up with Smokey the Bear, “Take a Bite out of Crime”, and “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste”) has announced that they are doing a 3 year campaign to encourage adoptions and change the image of shelter pets. This is the first animal welfare issue the group has taken on and it will mean a minimum of $120 million of free advertising for shelter pets.
Mr. Avanzino predicts that there will be no more killing of treatable and healthy pets by 2015. That’s certainly encouraging news…but for now, there’s a LOT of work to do for the pets who are currently being killed at shelters.