Over the next day or two, we’ll be breaking down our analysis of the City’s presentation so you can see what the “new” approach to sheltering in Long Beach now is.
Part 1. No Independent Adoption Program at LBACS
The first thing to know is that LBACS will not be doing an independent adoption program. This is the first indication that the approach the City has come up with, which they’ve named “Compassion saves” is not No Kill. A complete and comprehensive adoption program is crucial to No Kill; therefore, it is virtually impossible for a municipal city animal shelter to be No Kill without an adoption program.
Second of all, the City’s discussion of No Kill was clearly designed to discredit No Kill once and for all as an approach to sheltering in Long Beach. The entire presentation was an exercise in creating fear among residents, claiming that if the City went No Kill, LBACS would have to become a closed admission shelter that would turn animals away.
This is, of course, a complete falsehood. Sacramento, though not yet No Kill, follows No Kill programs, strives for No Kill and yet is completely open admission. Austin’s No Kill shelter, the most successful in the nation, is absolutely an open admission shelter. In telling this falsehood, the City of Long Beach aligned itself with PETA, a nationally-recognized anti-No Kill organization that kills 72% of animals in their shelter.
Although the City acknowledged that closed admission is not part of No Kill, the theme of “No Kill makes shelters close their doors” was pervasive throughout the entire presentation, and it revealed the true intent of “Compassion saves” – Compassion saves is designed to be a smokescreen to make it appear that LBACS has an orientation similar to No Kill. But it’s clear that LBACS will continue, at this point, to be nothing more than an animal control agency, which is exactly what SpcaLA wants it to be.
The good news is that advocating for No Kill has been enormously successful in decreasing the kill rate at LBACS. When No Kill Long Beach (then Stayin’ Alive) broke the news on the front page of the Press Telegram in 2013 that LBACS was not a No Kill shelter, LBACS had a 53% kill rate. In the six years since then, we’ve seen a 34 percentage point drop in the kill rate -- an unprecedented decrease in killing due uniquely to the fact that we advocated consistently and firmly, and made sure that LBACS’ true status as a shelter that kills was known to the public.
Advocating remains an extraordinarily powerful means of saving lives at the LBACS shelter. We hope you’ll continue to support and advocate for our shelter animals. By continuing to be their voice, we are able to support them and make it difficult for the City to force LBACS to continue killing.
One day, people will look back in history and find it unbelievable that we killed animals relentlessly throughout the 20th and early 21st century in our country’s shelters. We sleep easy knowing that we who support No Kill be on the right side of history when people look back. No Kill is compassionate and effective, and we’ll continue to advocate for No Kill in Long Beach.
An initiative to make Long Beach a No Kill community.