Saturday, July 31, 2010

No-Kill Conference in Washington DC this weekend

The annual USA No-Kill Conference is running this weekend and you can follow it right now on the Pet Connection Blog or on Twitter via the #nokill hashtag.

From the point of view of someone in the UK one very major lesson is how incredibly fortunate we are to be working in a country where 14% pound euthanasia rates for dogs are regarded as something quite shocking instead of one where 30% rates are normal and much higher ones are not uncommon. It would be an absolute tragedy if all the hard work that got us where we are was simply thrown away as a result of combination of infighting, and ego-trips on the part of various people in the world of dogs.

It will be very interesting to compare the findings of the forthcoming Panorama program from Battersea Dogs Home.

Things we can learn:
Some rescue organisations have been successful in rehabilitating dogs seized during investigations of organised dog fighting - although I think there must remain questions about the possible risk to other dogs unless very highly competent, skilled and motivated adopters can be found.

The Internet and social networking can be very powerful tools for recruiting volunteers and spreading information. I'd say they can also be powerful forces for the spread of myths and disinformation: the amount of effort wasted on the "bonsai kitten" website is an example of the way effort can be diverted into "saving" fantasy animals and ignoring the real ones who need practical help right now.

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