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Animal Groups Collaborate to Reach No Kill in San Antonio

Citizens with their pets at the Pet Pawchanga hosted by Talk About It! and Big Dawgs San Antonio

The progress that San Antonio has made towards achieving No Kill is definitely heading in the right direction. Despite what kinks that still need hammering, the progress that has been made is a result of the collaborative efforts made by animal welfare agency staff, dedicated community volunteers, universities, businesses, City officials, and the San Antonio Area Foundation. Texas’ population had a 20 percent increase over the last ten years, making San Antonio the 7th largest city in the nation with over 1.7 million people! So resolving our city’s pet overpopulation issue while reaching no kill has shown to be a multi-step process that must involve all the key players, which we are proud to say our community has worked very hard in doing so.

Last week we reported that the San Antonio Area Foundation released their Quarterly Report of the Animal No Kill Program. This week, we wanted to touch up on some of those successes. In 2006, 4,684 dogs and cats were adopted, transferred to rescue groups, or returned to their owners from Animal Care Services.  In 2010, Live Release was 6,983, which is a 49% improvement, but becoming a No Kill City cannot be accomplished by one single organization. In 2010, our community came together to collaborate resources and coordinate programs that has shown to be a more effective approach to becoming No Kill.

 

Last year, the San Antonio community worked together to:

  • Finally yet importantly, San Antonio launched the Talk About It! campaign to promote a centralized theme of – Care. Adopt. Neuter.

UTSA Project Leaders of the Learn and Serve No Kill Project at one of the Talk About It! Pet Fiestas.

The Talk About It! campaign provides a venue for animal welfare organizations, community leaders, and local businesses to expand the impact of the animal no kill initiative collectively through partnership and collaboration. Talk About It! urges San Antonio residents to spay or neuter their pets; provide them a safe and healthy home; and adopt, foster or help homeless pets. Working together, we can realize the goal of making San Antonio a no kill community. Talk About It! is focused on what we CAN do in San Antonio – Care, Adopt, Neuter. Achieving No Kill means that the City of San Antonio will not euthanize any healthy, treatable or adoptable cats or dogs due to lack of space or because their owner does not want them any longer.

Last August, we introduced the Talk About It! campaign to the San Antonio community. Since then, the Talk About It! campaign has collaborated with a number of organizations within the animal welfare community; accomplishing so much in just four months:

  • 468 spay/neuter surgeries from the 14 spay/neuter clinics organized by Talk About It!
  • Organized 10 Pet Fiestas that included trainings and information sessions by groups such as: Alamo City Bully Breeds United, Bully Breeds Need Love, Rivercity Weight Pull Club, and San Antonio Big Dawgs.
  • Recruited over 208 volunteers
  • Had a total of 5,000 event attendees
  • Canvassed over 3,000 homes in the grassroots block walking program
  • Informed 35,177 households about upcoming free or low-cost spay/neuter events in their neighborhood
  • Collected over 1,000 signed petitions in favor of making San Antonio a No Kill  community
  • Released 25 media alerts resulting in much needed local news coverage for our cause
  • Placed 17 advertisements promoting upcoming events for AAPAW Mega Adoptions, spay/neuter clinics, and Pet Fiestas

SA Humane Society partnering with Talk About It! at the Red McCombs Spay/Neuter Week!

When we look at San Antonio’s efforts towards achieving No Kill, too often we focus on the challenges and obstacles of this initiative because each day we know that innocent lives are at stake if we do not act fast. All the meetings, brainstorming and planning for collaboration seems so tedious and slow moving at times to our fellow partners, but to create a social impact by saving the lives of San Antonio’s dogs and cats, we need to do so collectively.  Yes, everyday wonderful dogs and cats are still being euthanized which means we have not reached No Kill and we (as a community) still have a lot of work to do. However, on the bright side, the fact is that everyone working on this initiative loves animals, they want to share their love of animals with others, and they want to help the dogs, cats, and people of San Antonio. It is because of this passion, people are working together to create a bigger impact towards becoming no kill.

With Talk About It!, the message of “Care. Adopt. Neuter.” came down from the billboards and transformed into one-on-one conversations with people in the city.  When you can have that kind of conversation with someone and build the connection between the three actions to the No Kill initiative, you can see the light bulb turn on in their minds and we have brought another person on board in understanding why this cause is a crucial one.

Everyone involved in San Antonio’s efforts to becoming No Kill has fueled the momentum so many times and in so many ways.  Let’s continue to build progress San Antonio and make 2011 the best year yet for our dogs and cats.

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Animal No Kill Initiative-How are we doing?

Dear Friends,

The San Antonio Area Foundation’s Animal No Kill Initiative is pleased to provide the calendar Quarter 4 2010 report of the goals and status of our City’s Animal Care Strategic Plan.

Talk About ItThis report shows statistics from Animal Care Services for January through December 2010 across all components of the No Kill program. The statistics for Feral Cats and Spay/Neuter Surgeries are those reported by the high volume spay/neuter clinics in San Antonio.

The statistics for Adoption, Rescue Groups, Pet Retention, and Volunteers are from the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services reports.

In addition, this report provides the San Antonio Area Foundation grants awarded to nonprofit agencies for No Kill related projects and the gifts received into our Animal No Kill Fund through Q4 2010.

The report is distributed to the office of the Mayor, the office of each City Councilperson, the City Manager’s office, the office of each member of the Bexar County Commissioners Court, each member of the Animal Care Services Advisory Board, each member of the Animal No Kill Consortium of Partners, and each member of the San Antonio Area Foundation Animal Services Community Advisory Committee.

For more information on the Area Foundation’s role in the 2012 No Kill Goal visit the San Antonio Area Foundation website.

Gavin Nichols

If you would like to get involved with our animal no kill efforts, please email Gavin Nichols, Program Officer–Community Initiatives or phone 210.242.4720.

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San Antonio Works Together for Animal No Kill

Friends,

Here is an uplifting Animals Matter blog by Cathy Rosenthal at the San Antonio Express News.

As much as we beat ourselves and each other up in the local animal welfare community, San Antonio is doing much good work, especially when compared with many other cities.

Animal No KillIn addition to what is in the linked article, I would like to point out that December 2010 was a great month for Live Release at Animal Care Services. ACS had 377 Adoptions and 727 Live Releases. Both of those numbers are the highest monthly totals dating back to July 2008 when I first started tracking these numbers. That is good news! Let’s go out and do even better!

Hopefully, this gives us some validation of the work we are doing and encourages us to go out and make 2011 the best year ever for making San Antonio a No Kill community!

To learn more about what No Kill means and why it is important read this blog by Laura McKieran

Gavin Nichols

If you would like to get involved with our animal no kill efforts, please email Gavin Nichols, Program Officer–Community Initiatives or phone 210.242.4720.

…helping donors achieve their charitable goals for the greater benefit of the community

Learn and Serve at UTSA

Animal No Kill InitiativeI am still sky high from the Learn and Serve presentation this morning. Learn and Serve is a UTSA Master of Public Administration service learning program for which they were awarded a $50K grant from the Animal No Kill Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation this year. In this program, MPA graduate students are mentoring high school student groups to plan and execute projects that will have an impact on the No Kill effort that we have underway in San Antonio. The program is led by the Co-Directors of the LEARN from each other AND SERVE San Antonio: No Kill Project: Molly Cox, Director of the Center for Policy Studies and Dr. Renee Nank, Assistant Professor of Public Administration.

There are eight area high schools participating in the Learn and Serve program: Lanier, Highlands, Southwest, Edison, Memorial, Roosevelt, Harlandale, and East Central. Each high school presented its project description and plans. They were each outstanding! The students all showed that they understand the essence of the pet overpopulation problem, and have projects that address the root causes of the problem. Each of them had components of community education about the importance of spaying and neutering pets and what residents must do to practice responsible pet ownership.

The projects included pet festivals (“petstivals”), block walks, spay/neuter clinics, and fundraising to provide vouchersAnimal no kill initiative for more clinics. The high school groups will work with ACS, SpaySA, ADL, the SA Humane Society, Rackspace, and others to accomplish their project goals. Several of them are also including other student groups and their school’s Art Departments in their projects to get help and share in the fundraising. One of the high school groups plans to make a movie of local dogs and promote it to You Tube. These student groups have all set high goals and they have very concrete, specific plans to achieve them. They have shown that they are willing to work together to address the problem that adults in our community have been unable or unwilling to address. I hope that they will shame the adults in the community into getting on board with them.

Edison High SchoolThe general mood in the auditorium this morning was exciting and infectious. The students were very excited and proud about what they are doing. When I saw them, listened to their presentations, and saw the support from their fellow students in the audience, I truly felt that the future of our City, and our Country, is in good hands.

Several members of our Consortium were in the audience this morning: Chris Bellows, Dr. Jo Ann Gonzalez, Marcy Lynch, Kathie McGowan, and Lisa McGrath. I also saw Cynthia Martinez from the San Antonio Humane Society, Rocsy Acosta and Hugo Vital from the Animal Defense League, Ronnie Guest and Vincent Medley from Animal Care Services, Karen Pearce from Alamo City Bully Breeds United, and Elsa Gonzales and Mollie Walker from Drew-Walker on hand. Assistant City Manager Erik Walsh and City Councilwoman Ivy Taylor were also present. They Area Foundation was well represented by Crystal Del Bosque, Bernice Uresti, and Reggie Williams. I believe there is a tremendous amount of interest and high hopes in what these students are doing.

Gavin

If you would like to get involved with our animal no kill efforts, please email Gavin Nichols, Program Officer–Community Initiatives or phone 210.242.4720.

…helping donors achieve their charitable goals for the greater benefit of the community

Chico’s Holiday Giveaway!

Suppoanimal no killrt our team in helping San Antonio become a No Kill City.

Details will follow soon.

In the meantime check out our Facebook Cause page

Good Samaritan Center Pet Fiesta

Talk About It

Celebrate the end of 2010 with your pets, family and friends at the Talk About It! Pet Fiesta on December 11th, at the Good Samaritan Center from 11am-3:00pm.

There will be great pet obedience and training demonstrations, impressive weight pulls, plus food, fun, & games galore! The entire family will enjoy this exciting event, including your pets as they are welcome to attend as long as they are leashed or in a crate.

Bully Breeds Need Love and River City Weight Pull Club will lead all of the fun and informative pet care activities. We hope to see everyone there to support Talk About It! and enjoy the last Pet Fiesta for this year!

Together San Antonio C.A.N. Talk About It! – Care. Adopt. Neuter.

Click Here to Map it!

San Antonio Animal No Kill 3rd Quarter Stats

San Antonio Animal No KillThe San Antonio Area Foundation Animal No Kill Initiative is pleased to announce the Quarter 3, 2010 report of the goals and status of City of San Antonio’s Animal Care Strategic Plan. This report presents statistics related to the components of the No Kill Equation, developed by Nathan Winograd and the No Kill Advocacy Center.

This report shows statistics from Animal Care Services (ACS) for January through September 2010 across all components of the No Kill program. The statistics for Feral Cats and Spay/Neuter Surgeries are those reported by the high volume spay/neuter clinics in San Antonio. In addition, it reports the San Antonio Area Foundation grants awarded to nonprofit agencies for No Kill related projects and the gifts received into our Animal No Kill Fund through Q3 2010.

The report on the goals and status of City of San Antonio’s Animal Care Strategic Plan is distributed to the office of the Mayor, the office of each City Councilperson, the City Manager’s office, the Bexar County Commissioners Court Government Relations office, each member of the Animal Care Services Advisory Board, each member of the Animal No Kill Consortium of Partners, and each member of the San Antonio Area Foundation Animal Services Community Advisory Committee.

This document provides an update of the community-wide goals for the No Kill Equation and grants awarded from Area Foundation funds that help achieve the No Kill goal.

In the report, you will see that San Antonio has made good progress in the areas of Feral Cats, High-Volume Low Cost Spay/Neuter, and Volunteers. Although progress is being made in the areas of Live Release: Comprehensive Adoptions, Rescue Groups, and Pet Retention, we are under the goals that we need to meet to achieve No Kill in San Antonio by 2012.

The numeric and percent of intake goals in the 2010 Goal column for Rescue Groups, Comprehensive Adoption Programs, Pet Retention, and Compassionate Director are based on actual intake of animals at the Animal Care Services shelter. Numeric goals for Feral Cat TNR Program and High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter are based on the estimated number of sterilizations needed to achieve zero stray and free-roaming animal population growth.

We have put several dog and cat lifesaving programs into place:

Alamo Area Partners for Animal Welfare (AAPAW) are in their third year of holding Super Adoption events with ACS, San Antonio Humane Society, Animal Defense League of Texas, and many rescue groups. The first Super Adoption event was held in December 2007 with 101 animals adopted. In 2010 to date, AAPAW has held 12 adoption events with 679 dogs and cats adopted. Several adoption events are planned for the 4th quarter.

• Two nonprofit groups, ACS Lifesavers and Alamo Rescue Friends, organized the first animal transport event to occur in San Antonio. Nine dogs from ACS were transported to Vermont and New Hampshire where there is actually a shortage of shelter animals. Shelters in New England and some other parts of the country actually have waiting lists, so these dogs were sent knowing that there are people waiting to adopt them. A second transport was conducted in August, when 16 dogs were sent to participating humane societies in New Hampshire. ACS Lifesavers and ARF plan to conduct these transports every other month.

• Our second No Kill PR campaign, “Talk About It!,” was launched with a press conference on August 10th and an executive breakfast to promote it to the business community on August 31st. The purpose of the campaign is to promote responsible pet care, adoption, and spay/neuter (“Care. Adopt. Neuter.”). It features social media, traditional media, a website (www.talkaboutitsa.org), and a grass roots campaign. The grass roots campaign includes “Pet Fiestas” and Spay/Neuter clinics in various council districts.

• Pet Fiestas were held in Council Districts 2 and 3 in August and September.

• ACS Mobile and SpaySA Mobile Animal Surgical Hospital (MASH) spay/neuter clinics were held in Council Districts 2, 3, and 7 in August and September, including a “Spay/Neuter Week” hosted by Red McCombs Superior Hyundai. 278 free surgeries were provided to local residents by these clinics.

• Because of the success of these events, the Mayor sponsored a Pet Fiesta, Spay/Neuter Clinic, and Adoption Event at City Hall on October 30th. Councilman David Medina also held a similar event for Council District 5.

Gavin

If you would like to get involved with our animal no kill efforts, please email Gavin Nichols, Program Officer–Community Initiatives or phone 210.242.4720.

…helping donors achieve their charitable goals for the greater benefit of the community