2012 No Kill Conference Wrap-Up

Three brief take-aways from the 2012 No Kill Conference, held this past weekend George Washington University’s Law School.

The No Kill movement has, in a few short years, achieved a great deal. Today, 50 community shelters across the country (representing, if I’m not mistaken, more than 200 cities and towns) have achieved no-kill status, each saving the lives of at least 90 percent of animals brought in.

What’s more, there’s an enormous amount of momentum in the movement, as was demonstrated by the number of success stories shared by speakers and attendees alike—as well as the unmistakable energy in the air. The times, they are a changin’.

Tools for Success
One sign of a successful conference is when attendees are frustrated that they’re missing one great workshop by attending another. That was certainly the case this weekend. Clearly, there are certainly worse problems to have. And I didn’t hear a single complaint that any of the workshops was a disappointment.

Participants are now headed back to their communities equipped with the tools necessary to bring about change—from becoming more media savvy and more politically effective to creating a bottle baby program for saving unweaned kittens. (See previous Dylan quote.)

Push for TNR
My presentation, Witch-Hunt: How TNR opponents have co-opted science to target free-roaming cats, was very well received. Approximately 50 people attended Saturday’s session, and another 80 or so (standing-room only!) were there on Sunday. No small feat, considered I was “competing” with John Sibley (the man behind the In Dog We Trust blog), whose workshop focused on advocacy blogging. (See previous comment about there being too much great stuff going on all at once.)

The number of questions, and subsequent conversations, about TNR over the course of the weekend demonstrate a strong desire for additional resources (e.g., programs, education, etc.) and protections (e.g., policy, legislation, etc.) designed to put an end to the killing of stray, abandoned, and feral cats. Fed up with the cruel, costly, and ineffective trap-and-kill approach—practiced for generations now—people are demanding more of their local shelters and politicians.

Cue Dylan.

•     •     •

The No Kill Advocacy Center, No Kill Nation, the GW Law School’s Joan Schaffner and her team, and many others are to be commended for a job well done! Looking forward to 2013…

Terrible Twos

Where were you two years ago today?

I was, as I am now, typing away on my laptop well into the night—compelled, as I wrote on the blog’s About page, to speak out on behalf of stray, abandoned, and feral cats. Two years—and 147 posts—later, it’s clear that people are listening.

In the past year alone, 213 additional readers have become subscribers, bringing the total to 370. And the Vox Felina Facebook page is up to 1,239 “Likes,” double what it was on the one-year anniversary.

And word continues to spread.

Over the past 12 months, Vox Felina has been mentioned in Animal People, Conservation magazine and The Washingtonian. In addition, I’ve been profiled in Best Friends magazine, interviewed on Animal Wise Radio, and invited to speak at the 2011 Animal Grantmakers conference.

And the next year is already shaping up to be at least as busy, with, for example, speaking commitments at the No Kill Conference in August and the No More Homeless Pets National Conference in October.

Although there’s already plenty on my to-do list, I’m always interested in hearing from Vox Felina readers. What can I do to help you advocate for stray, abandoned, and feral cats? Send me a note: peter[at]voxfelina.com. (Please be patient—none of my “assistants” has opposable thumbs.)

And, as always, thank you for your support—and for all that you’re doing on behalf of our community cats!