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Today, June 11, is known in the animal advocacy and no-kill world as “Just One Day.” It is a national experiment started by Nathan J. Winograd who is the Executive Director of the Tompkins County SPCA. He started on June 11, 2001. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School, a former criminal prosecutor and corporate attorney, has spoken nationally and internationally on animal sheltering issues, and has written animal protection legislation at the state and national level.
Nathan started the no-kill movement that we know of today. He was disgusted by an attitude among shelters where they placed blame on irresponsible owners, and at the same time, euthanized adoptable pets, puppies, kittens, dogs and cats. He also changed attitudes about senior pets and special needs animals that ten or fifteen years ago would have automatically been euthanized.
Today, many shelters have taken the no-kill pledge – a map of U.S. States that are No-Kill is below (go Texas!). Last year over 10,000 adoptable pets were saved from kill shelters… with any hope, more will be saved on June 11, 2014.
As many of you know, I volunteer at my local animal shelter, and I am proud to say that they are no-kill. Could you see me volunteering anywhere else? Last year we were able to save lots of cats and dogs and we are going to try to do it again this year. Volunteers and staff will visit kill facilities tomorrow and load up their van with as many animals that will fit and bring them back to the shelter for medical care, shots, spaying/neutering, etc. Here is a picture of last year’s rescued pets. Imagine, these guys would have been killed had it not been for “Just One Day.”
What can you do?
1. Adopt. Always adopt.
2. Support your local no-kill shelter. Because they are no-kill, they usually rely on donations, volunteerism and public support and many times will not receive any government funding (because they do not euthanize) – so they need your financial support and sweat equity to keep up their good work.
3. Visit the Just One Day website and look up the shelters in your state to see which ones are no-kill and which ones are not. Encourage the ones that are not to adopt the no-kill philosophy. Remember to always be sincere, educated and respectful – even if you disagree with them.
Other ideas? Share them in the comments section below!