The following are from my notes taken at No Kill Conference 2011 in Washington, DC July 30-31, 2011. I have tried to get these quotes as exact as possible. I’ll be posting more extensive write-ups of some of the talks I attended. The conference was a heady and exciting experience. Despite being at the same venue as last year, it seemed bigger, almost overwhelming, even. Last year’s theme was “A new day dawns”, and this year, we are seeing the results. I used to have the list of No Kill communities and those closing in on joining the ‘90% Club‘ memorized. I can’t keep track of them anymore. No Kill initiatives are popping up everywhere, testament to the theme of this year’s conference–the power of individual No Kill advocates to lead and to make a difference in their community and beyond. The refrain throughout Winograd’s keynote address set the tone: ” One person. One moment. One decision.”
Killing an animal is never an act of kindness, especially if the animal is not suffering…We have recognized the value of the full expression of our values…One person can change the status quo.
It took a fight in Austin, Texas.
Whether Austin’s emerging story is your story depends on: one person, one moment, one decision.
We want to leave the darkness. Our love for animals is not unique as we have been led to believe…History will vindicate us.
Our battle is against the few, not the many–the vested interests. Millions of lives could be saved if you find the courage. They will fight you. They will attack you. They will ridicule you. You have support. We have your back.
The No Kill revolution starts with you. Go give ‘em Hell!
Opinions are fine, facts are better.
[crickets] ~On how to win friends through advocacy blogging (i.e. you won’t).
From ‘Shelter Medicine for Non-Veterinarians’ with Dr. Diana Lucree of the Nevada Humane Society:
Every place has different challenges, and many excuses.
Feral cats–for those who like a little spunk in their cats.
Every animal is unique, and a potential source of infection.
Your intake protocols will make or break the health of the animals in your shelter.
Plan for days of high intake so that your intake protocols do not suffer–July 5 or days after high winds.
There’s somebody out there for everybody.
Most diseases are benign, but can be deadly in the shelter environment.
The take home lesson: follow your intake protocol, never deviate from it!
From Seth Godin’s talk ‘Be the Tribe Leader’:
You don’t have to reach everyone. Give people something to believe in and talk about.
People are waiting for someone to organize them, but nobody joins a boring movement.
We are all weird.
Bring humanity to a problem, not a manual.
People want you to fit in so they can ignore you.
There is no map. You have to figure it out. Report what works. Make the map.
We need people who can solve interesting problems.
Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.
Emotional labor–doing what scares you.
How was your day? Leaders are never ‘fine’.
To stay put, argue about minutiae.
From ‘Overcoming Internal Obstacles to Success’, with Michael Linke, CEO of the Royal SPCA in the Australian Capital Territory and the State of Tasmania in Australia:
We’re in the business of saving lives.
Temperament testing as a tool for euthanasia is rubbish.
Staff turnover is not a bad thing. Cemeteries are full of people who thought they were indispensable.
It is better to lose poor staff than to compromise animals.
Why bother? We can fall into the trap of not bothering, but this is life or death. Remove obstacles. Remove excuses. If there is still a problem, remove staff.
You need to micromanage at the start, need to do something immediately.
From Alan Rosenblatt’s talk ‘Here Comes Social Advocacy’:
Social media is about reciprocal relationships, not just two-way communication–your audience talks to each other while you talk to them.
Audience size doesn’t necessarily matter–quality is more important. Size is good if it includes the right people–influencers.
Now consumers of content, not producers, determine distribution.
Tumblr is great for animal pictures (one of the best marketing tools in the world) and can be linked to twitter and Facebook.
Manage your social media–tweet 2-3 times per day. Ten minutes per day can be very effective.
‘How to’ is still being figured out.
Just a sampling of snippets from day one. I’ll cover day two in my next post. The ideas were flying fast both in the sessions and during the ‘downtime’, and I got to meet many interesting people. Some you’ve heard of, others you haven’t heard of yet. To be in a room with hundreds of people who ‘get it’ and are generous with their expertise regarding how to ‘get it done’ is a powerful thing, and something to keep in mind when you are in a room full of people who don’t yet and some who may never.
“Fight the power!”