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imagesCA7JVC2FBy Claudia Bloom

Shelter (noun): Something that affords protection; a refuge, a haven.

The blog YesBiscuit!  https://yesbiscuit.wordpress.com/ is one of my favorite reads. On a daily basis this writer points out the abuse, neglect, and needless killing of animals in shelters throughout the country, and the excuses that are given to the public and local government decision makers for that abuse and killing. The similarities between the excuses and all kill shelter directors all over the country are constant proof that the old, regressive shelter policies are alive and well in cities big and small, and are responsible for the death of 3-4 million animals a year.

Of course, all these excuses are alive and well at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC), and are used by MCACC shelter director Rodrigo Silva and the organizations that are closely aligned with MCACC. Earlier this year on a local radio station, Phoenix residents got to hear about how one of those MCACC aligned groups was saving lives by spay/neuter. The message was obviously that if we would all be responsible, MCACC wouldn’t have to kill any animals. But it doesn’t work that way, and all those organizations that are aligned with MCACC and actually help develop policy at MCACC, are actually promoting regressive policies that cause the death of thousands of animals a year at MCACC. Rather than hold our local shelter and its director accountable, they blame the public, as shelters have for decades.

I invite you to read the following blog  and you will see the similarities between kill shelter excuses all over the country. You will see that they  are just that, excuses.

And no, Rodrigo, the adoption market has NOT reached a saturation point. And you cannot kill 10,000 animals a year and say you are saving 90%. Doesn’t fly.





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Adoption Event on October 26th!

Please come support No Kill at this event!

Please come support No Kill at this event!

If you’re looking for a new furry friend, can help hold some puppies, or would like to learn more about the No Kill Maricopa movement, please come down to this event on October 26th. Lots of fun and lots of dogs await you. :)

If you would like to volunteer, please email info@nokillmaricopacounty.org

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What’s In A Word?

by Gwendolyn Lee

15,833 lives.

In the July 2011 – June 2012 Annual Report, Maricopa County Animal Care & Control (MCACC) director, Rodrigo Silva, proudly cites:

“Over 90% of all adoptable animals were released from our shelters with a chance for a happy life.” (Emphasis added)

Emphasis is added because in that one word, adoptable, lie 15,833 lives.  To you and me, an adoptable animal is most animals brought in the shelters, anything short of a very sickly cat or a wildly ferocious dog would probably be unadoptable. To MCACC, unadoptable includes a wide range of animals.  For example:

  • Puppies and kittens younger than 8 weeks — not adoptable!
  • Dogs that are scared or fearful – not adoptable!
  • Cats with easily treatable ear mites — not adoptable!
  • Cats with ringworm – not adoptable!
  • Dogs with kennel cough – not adoptable!
  • Emaciated dogs who guards it food – not adoptable!
  • Momma’s who growl to protect their babies – not adoptable!

Simply put, “adoptable” is a word to make horrifically bad numbers sound good using smoke-and-mirrors phrasing.

There are over 110 open-admission municipal No Kill shelters across the United States that have taken killing off the table and are proving that roughly 95% of all animals entering shelters are savable.

MCACC expects a lot from a homeless animal to hold the precious title of “Adoptable.”  And those who fail to meet their high standards pay with their lives. Last year, 15,833 animals failed the word test.  That is what is in a word.

15,833 lives.

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What promotion is your shelter having for St. Patrick’s Day?


Holidays are a fun, great way for shelters to promote adoption events and save even more lives. How are some of the successful No Kill communities from across the nation promoting St. Patrick’s Day for their shelter animals?
Rockwall Pets is having a St. Patrick’s sale. If the adopter wears green, they save $25 on the adoption fee.
Seagoville Animal Shelter is promoting a $17 adoption on any pet, which includes the microchip.
KC Pet Project is having a Luck of the Irish O’Doption Special, as well as being in their community St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Nevada Humane Society is holding reduced adoption fees, promoting “Celebrate with a New Pal.”
Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter has a pick the adoption fee from the Pot o’ Lucky Charms.
Longmont Humane Society is holding a St. Catrick’s Day cat discounts.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) has maintained around a 50% kill rate for many years. Looking at their facebook page and website, there is no promotion or specials listed for St. Patrick’s Day.
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Your Vote Can Help Bring Change

Elections are just right around the corner – Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

There are over 70 open-admission No Kill shelters across the nation who have taken killing off the table and are saving at an upwards of 90%, with some achieving 95 to 98% save rates. There is not a single No Kill community in the state of Arizona. So why not start here in Maricopa County?

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) is funded by taxpayer dollars and has maintained around a 50% kill rate for many years. Killing shelter animals is entirely revenue negative. Under current shelter leadership, MCACC has killed well over 150,000 animals. This has wasted over $15,900,000 in taxpayer dollars. Rodrigo Silva, MCACC shelter director, refuses to take killing off the table and blatantly wastes taxpayer dollars doing so.

Killing is an act of violence. Do you want your taxpayer dollars utilized to needlessly kill shelter animals when there is proven, national success it does not have to be this way?

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which consists of five seats, governs MCACC. No Kill Maricopa County has met with the following Board of Supervisor candidates to discuss the No Kill movement and they are committed to support No Kill efforts:

District 2 – Steve Chucri

District 3 – Andy Kunasek

District 5 – Ron Harders


Your vote can help bring positive, lifesaving changes to the shelter animals of Maricopa County. Spread the word and let’s get Maricopa County on the map to No Kill success!

Not sure which district you are in? Click here to find out http://1.usa.gov/TYDvLl


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Help take action for shelter reform

According to breed descriptions, the Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog. Breed standard height can range between six and ten inches, and some have grown as tall as 12 to 15 inches. Breed standard weight can be between two to six pounds.

This dog was listed as a Chihuahua mix. Besides abusive handling and a blatant disregard for her life, she was networked less than 24 hours by Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC), than killed.

MCACC has maintained around a 50% kill rate for many years, kills despite empty kennels, kills despite proven, national success, and blatantly wastes at least $2,438,000 taxpayer dollars annually to needlessly kill animals. There are over 50 open-admission shelters across the nation who are saving at an upwards of 90% of their shelter animals. www.no-killnews.com

Killing is an act of violence, not an act of love. Shelter leadership at MCACC refuses to put an end to needless shelter killings, clings to the status quo, deflects accountability and responsibility, and blatantly wastes taxpayer dollars.

This is YOUR shelter leader, Maricopa County residents. The one that blames YOU for the killings.

Contact the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and County Manager to let them know you want YOUR shelter on the map to No Kill success. There is a proven, plan of action – the No Kill Equation – that you want rigorously implemented in YOUR shelter effective immediately.

Please feel free to utilize this letter. If you would like to personalize, please keep comments professional.

Dear Mr. Chairman, Members of the Board,

According to breed description, the Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog. Breed standard height can range between six and ten inches, and some have grown as tall as 12 to 15 inches. Breed standard weight can be between two to six pounds.

This dog was listed as a Chihuahua mix. Besides abusive handling and a blatant disregard for her life, she was networked less than 24 hours by Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC), and then killed.

You have been provided with the tools on how to put an end to systematic shelter killings. Not only is it inhumane and cruel to needlessly kill despite national, proven success, it is a blatant waste of taxpayer dollars.

MCACC has a per capita intake rate of 12 animals/1,000 people, which is below the national average. There are over 50 open-admission shelters across the nation saving at an upwards of 90% of their shelter animals. Many of these shelters have per capita rates two to three times that of MCACC, with populations from four to ten times less than that of Maricopa County, yet they are saving at an upwards of 90% of their shelter animals. www.no-killnews.com

The success or failure of any shelter stems directly from shelter leadership. MCACC has maintained around a 50% kill rate for many years. MCACC leadership has led you to believe there needs to be community collaboration with all the shelters to increase lifesaving, which is nothing more than a deflection of MCACC’s accountability and responsibility.

MCACC is needlessly killing animals. MCACC kills despite empty kennels. MCACC kills despite rescue groups willing to save lives. MCACC kills despite proven, national success. Killing is an act of violence. Our tax dollars are supporting these inhumane and cruel acts of violence.

MCACC is The People’s shelter, and we want our government agency to reflect our values. We the People want our shelter on the map to No Kill success effective immediately.

It is time for change in our community. It is time to reject the failed philosophies and poor performance of the past. It is time to end the killings in our shelter.

Thank you.

Fulton Brock – fbrock@mail.maricopa.gov
Mary Rose Wilcox – mrwilcox@mail.maricopa.gov


Snail mail:

301 W Jefferson, 10th floor
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
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Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his amazing crew

by Trish Manes

No Kill Maricopa County met with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his crew to discuss the No Kill movement. Within ten minutes, Sheriff Joe and his incredible crew “got it” and wanted to know how they can help support this amazing cause. Sheriff Joe looked at me and said, “Trish, why are you only looking into animal control? I want to see this for all of Maricopa County.” Bursting with pride due to his incredible comment, I replied “Rest assured, Sheriff Joe, that is exactly what we want to see here, too. We are starting with animal control as they are our government agency and we want our government agency to reflect our values.”

Kudos to Sheriff Joe and his crew for stepping up to support this incredible cause for the shelter animals of Maricopa County. This was an amazing day; a day I will always remember.

(pictured left to right, Erica Mahoney, NKMC Action Team Lead, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Trish Manes, NKMC President)

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“It was like the sun had been behind a cloud for years, and it came out…”

by Valerie Hayes

Next year, the No Kill Advocacy Center, No Kill Nation and Sagacity Productions will release a feature-length documentary about animal sheltering and the No Kill movement. At last year’s No Kill Conference, I was interviewed for this documentary. We saw this trailer as part of the closing remarks of this year’s Conference. The trailer begins with Henry Bergh, founder of the once-great ASPCA and then moves to the contemporary No Kill movement, telling the story through interviews with various players in this unfolding movement.  You’ll see some familiar faces–Nathan Winograd, Ryan Clinton, Mitch Schneider, Ellen Jefferson, Bonney Brown–and some you’ve never seen before, but who made all the difference in the world.

Nathan Winograd literally wrote the book on the No Kill movement, created the first No Kill community in the country, has called out more liars and killing apologists than anyone else and is the acknowledged leader of the movement.  Ryan Clinton led the fight for No Kill in Austin, one which had to defeat the ASPCA, which supported continued killing.  Mitch Schneider’s approach to animal control is a key component to Washoe County, Nevada’s success.  Dr. Ellen Jefferson’s organization Austin Pets Alive! has used a systematic and ever-improving approach to saving as many pets as possible, crucial to Austin’s success, and Bonney Brown turned the Nevada Humane Society around with turbocharged adoptions, volunteers and innovative programs.  All of these individuals have shared their considerable knowledge and skill with others and inspired them to work towards No Kill communities of their own, creating a ripple effect that keeps on expanding exponentially.

All of their stories are compelling, but the one closest to my heart is one told by some people you’ve never seen before, one whose names you don’t know, the core group of volunteers who never gave up no matter what the shelter staff and board dished out.  I owe a personal debt of gratitude to all of them that I could never repay if I had 10 lifetimes in which to try.  It is because of them that a shelter so shamelessly steeped in the killing mentality that it had sunk to the depths of killing a volunteer’s foster kittens rather than picking up the phone was transformed into something beyond our wildest dreams.   It is because of them that my personal despair at the killing of two nameless kittens I’d cared for for a month became part of a much larger story, and an inspiring one.

For the rest of the blog and to view the No Kill Revolution in America trailer, click here


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No adoption fee for dogs featured at county board meetings

by Michelle Ye Hee Lee – Aug. 22, 2012 09:51 PM The  Republic | azcentral.com


Michelle Ye Hee Lee / The Republic
Rainy, a 9-month-old Yorkshire terrier was named after recent storms, was  adopted at Board of Supervisors meeting.


For the next three months, you can adopt for free a shelter dog featured at a county Board of Supervisors meeting — courtesy of County  Manager Tom Manos.

Manos will cover the $85 adoption fee for every dog featured at the county  Board of Supervisors meeting through Nov. 28.

Meetings usually are held every other Wednesday and always begin with a pet showcase of a dog from a county shelter.

At Wednesday’s meeting, county Animal Care and Control spokesman Audie  Greybear featured a 9-month-old Yorkshire terrier, who was named “Rainy” after  recent monsoon storms. Rainy was adopted that afternoon.

The waived adoption fee includes vaccinations, sterilization and a microchip.  Showcase pets are adopted on a  first-come, first-served basis. Call county Animal Care and Control at  602-506-PETS (7387).

Meetings start at 9 a.m. at the Supervisors’ Auditorium, 205 W. Jefferson  St., Phoenix. Go to maricopa.gov/bos for  the schedule.



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Section 1983 to the Rescue



Did you know you have the First Amendment right of the United States Constitution to speak out on what you encounter in shelters? There is no “waiver” that can strip you of your First Amendment rights.

“A federal statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, best known simply as “Section 1983,” can and should be applied to stop and punish action by government officials or employees to retaliate against or obstruct an activist’s exercise of his or her First Amendment rights in speaking out against conditions in animal shelters.

There can be no dispute that complaining about abuses or violations of law at shelters is a constitutionally protected right. A rescuer has the First Amendment right to speak out against abuses and violations of law committed by a governmental entity, he or she also has a constitutionally protected right to demand that the government correct the wrongs that are identified.”

Click here for the full article on Section 1983: http://bit.ly/xsqSyu

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