June 11, 2012 will likely go down in history as a day that resulted in much change in the animal welfare movement. Nearly 800 shelters and rescue organizations worked together to make that day the safest day for companion animals in US history. Animal control centers partnered with rescue groups, hosted adoption events and embraced their communities. Euthanasia technicians put down their needles and picked up cameras. Instead of injecting animals with fatal doses of sodium pentobarbital, they sent them home into the loving arms of new families.
Amarillo Animal Control had so many adoptions, their computer system couldn't keep up. Other shelters reported running out of animals; parking lots full of cars; and lobbies full of adopting families. Florence, AL reported "amasing results" including at least one sizable donation. Morristown, TN says they have done "huge" numbers of adoptions. Another shelter reported 94 dogs and 37 cats saved. Large municipalities, like Manatee County and Miami-Dade Counties in Florida are reporting large numbers of empty cages.
Though Animal Ark and the No Kill Advocacy Center, the creators of the event, branded June 11 as "Just One Day", with shelters empty at the beginning of June 12 it seems obvious they will not need to kill animals today either. As a result, many of the organizations are pledging to keep the life-saving going.
Not only are the shelters emptier, the communities that support the shelters that participated are happier to do so, having found a new sense of passion and pride in the efforts their communities put into saving lives, rather than disposing of them.
Locally, Animal Ark marked the day by opening our new adoption center at 807 E. 7th Street in St. Paul. Adjacent to the Animal Ark Thrift Store, the new adoption center will help us to expand our life-saving work by making pets more easily available to people in the Twin Cities metro.
The new adoption center is open Tuesday - Saturday, Noon - 6:30 PM and Saturday 11:30 AM - 5:30 PM.
Today, I am feeling like I have come through some sort of major catharsis. I am exhausted and drained, but at the same time feeling renewed and refreshed. I know that what happened yesterday will not be forgotten. It will send waves of transformation across the nation and beyond.
On the path toward a no kill nation, we just took a giant leap forward! Thanks to everyone who helped to make it possible!