News of the Week 06-28-15

Top of the news this week is LifeLine Animal Project of Atlanta. Two years ago LifeLine, a non-profit formed by Rebecca Guinn in 2002, took over the contracts for the two county shelters that serve Atlanta. Currently the live release rates at both shelters are about 85%. LifeLine has just announced a new “I’m In” campaign to help carry the city to a 90% live release rate by 2016. If the goal is met for the entire year of 2016, then 6 months from now the two LifeLine shelters will be at 90% or above, and we will have another major city in the No Kill ranks. The centerpiece of the new campaign is to give Atlanta residents a way to participate in meeting the goal, by social networking as well as by direct support to the shelter through volunteering, fostering, adopting, etc. What a great way to involve the community and allow people who are not directly involved with the shelter to be part of this historic accomplishment!

Rebecca Guinn, founder of LifeLine, is one of the speakers at the upcoming Best Friends National Conference in Atlanta, July 16-19.

The amazing Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Texas has received the 2015 Paul Jolly Compassion Award from Petco Foundation.

When a shelter is successful at saving healthy and treatable animals, it is because of the efforts of lots of individuals who rarely seek or get any recognition. Without the great network of rescuers, volunteers, and fosters that exists in our country, even the most gifted shelter director would not be able to succeed. A woman named Carol Parks, who lived on Orcas Island in Washington, was a rescuer who took a great interest in the Wasco shelter in California. She helped to coordinate rescues, and saved hundreds if not thousands of animals from Wasco. A couple of weeks ago Parks died from cancer. Yesterday many of the volunteers, rescuers, and shelter employees who had worked with her participated in a massive rescue of animals from the Wasco shelter, in her memory. Over 50 at-risk cats and dogs were pulled from the badly overcrowded shelter. What a great tribute to a rescuer. Thanks to Mark Penn for letting me know about this event. The Wasco Facebook page has many of the happy stories.

The goal of the Million Cat Challenge is to save 1 million cats over a 5-year period. At the rate that results are pouring in, they may have to raise their goal. The Challenge was just launched a little more than 6 months ago, and the ticker is already up to over 240,000 cats saved. The map of participating organizations is getting really crowded.

Lost Dogs of Wisconsin is running an in-depth series of articles on microchips. Part 1 is on the “900” microchips. Part 2 is on searching the database.

A grand jury has found insufficient evidence to charge the Texas veterinarian who allegedly killed a cat with a bow and arrow. The ALDF has requested records on the case. After the decision was announced, Alley Cat Allies held workshops in Texas on humane cat care and anti-cruelty laws, followed by vigils.

In transport news, 26 dogs and cats were flown from Oklahoma to Colorado. Charleston Animal Society in South Carolina is flying 38 dogs to Everett, Washington. The numbers add up.

The Boston Globe reports that shelters in Massachusetts, including the Massachusetts SPCA and the Animal Rescue League of Boston, have seen substantial drops in cat intake since 2010. The shelters attribute the drop to spay and neuter efforts, and mention funding by PetSmart Charities and the state as supporting those efforts.

Cat Cafe news: In Philadelphia. In Washington, DC. In San Francisco. And Montreal is opening North America’s first vegan cat cafe.

The Best Friends Kitten Nursery in Salt Lake City, which is part of the organization’s No Kill Utah effort, has helped almost 600 kittens since its mid-March opening.

A Wall Street Journal article reports that some rescues are curtailing pulls from New York City’s Animal Care Centers (formerly Animal Care and Control). Since New York City has made progress toward No Kill largely though the efforts of its coalition of rescues, this is not good news. The rescues argue that they are receiving sick animals that they cannot afford to rehabilitate. The shelter argues that it has preventive medicine protocols in place but that it receives many animals who have not had regular veterinary care and who come into the shelter with disease burdens.

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