According to the January 2014 “Survey of Successful No-kill Facilities” Report by Franklin D. McMillan DVD of Best Friends Animal Society The greatest reason preventing the attainment of 100% save rate is medical disorders, followed closely by behavioral issues.
It has long been my opinion that behavioral issues should be treated with the same scope as medical issues. Shelters that strive to reduce killing are at the forefront of such programs. Placing equal importance on the mental health of shelters pets makes even difficult animals more adoptable. We have taught these tools to shelter staff, volunteers, management and rescues for several years.
When asked what specifically would be most helpful in saving those animals that are currently being euthanized “in your facility,” the most common answer by far is help with behavioral issues – either through improved expertise at working with the animals at that facility or through being able to transfer the animals to a sanctuary (or rescue group) with the resources to work with these animals.
Because cures for the major terminal illnesses are not in medicine’s foreseeable future, the single most valuable strategy for saving the lives of animals currently being euthanized is to develop more effective methods of rehabilitating and caring for animals with aggression issues, in particular, aggressive dogs. This may be accomplished through educational and training programs for shelter staff, conferences dedicated specifically to behavioral therapy of aggression in animals, webinar programs on working with aggression, and establishing a national no-cost phone and Internet behavioral consultation service for shelters and animal facilities. In addition, the promotion and grant-based funding of humane research on therapy of aggressiveness in companion animals would enhance the effectiveness of caring for these animals at the shelter and sanctuary level.
The survey asked “In your facility, what are the reasons standing between your current save rate and 100% save rate?
Behavior – 91%
Aggression – 91%
Medical: Illness/ Injury – 94%
Given this information, any shelter that wishes to save more animals must invest more time and resources in behavioral training. Bound Angels provides behavioral training focussed specifically on these type of issues. This training is available free of charge to our shelter partners and through our online video training as well as our written materials and books.
Please spread the word and help us help shelters save more lives.
resource: Survey of Successful No-kill Facilities January 2014