In praise of following the recipe

I love making bread.   Old school … with Mummy’s recipe and mixed by hand.  
What’s not to love?   It’s great to know what is in my food!   Even better, it lends a homely touch with a fragrance that fills the yard.  Best of all, kneading the dough is a great way to work through the mental knots.
To the casual observer, it might not seem as if I am following a recipe.   Without a book on the counter, it is hard for new visitors to see the years of practice behind such a seemingly effortless dance.  
The No Kill Movement has been around long enough now to have its own time tested and proven successful recipe.   The term is often bandied around loosely in the interest of public relations … but real honest to gawd No Kill actually involves taking specific steps and following the No Kill Recipe!
In order to get to No Kill, a group or shelter must:

  • Make a commitment to stop killing.   No Kill begins with an act of will .. a decision to change kill oriented practices and failures
  • Become accountable by having clear definitions and a lifesaving plan, using the No Kill Equation ( see below)
  • last but not least, have the strong leadership of a compassionate director who is unwilling to hide behind a facade of tired cliches about public irresponsibility.

The No Kill Equation:
1.Feral Cat TNR Program 
2.High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter
3.Rescue Groups
4.Foster Care
5.Comprehensive Adoption Programs
6.Pet Retention
7.Medical and Behavior Prevention & Rehabilitation
8.Public Relations/Community Involvement
9.Volunteers
10.Proactive Redemptions
11.A Compassionate Director
SPECIAL NOTE:   In order to be a genuine, honest to gawd No Kill group or shelter, there must be a live release of at least 90% of ALL intake.  
It must be noted that under the current management, when the renegade shelter was still known at the Cape Breton SPCA, dubious accounting procedures created a special brand of Cape Breton fudge to camouflage the fact that the shelter was not following the No Kill directives and policies of the Nova Scotia SPCA.
Is there any reason to believe that things have magically changed?   If there are insufficient funds for the renegade shelter to follow up on the recommendations for disease prevention, how can potential adopters be confident enough to give their heart to any adoptable at the shelter?
If, in 2011, dogs have still been killed when there have been rescue groups willing to take them, how can we be sure there will be no more anecdotal evidence of dogs waking up in trash cans?
If having the animal control contract has enabled the manager and staff to cook up their own brand of Cape Breton fudge by not counting the AC intake in their stats until they were ‘transferred’ out of hold … how can anyone have faith in fancy new declarations ( by the same board ) that NOW they’ll be No Kill?
What time is it?   If it is basically the same building … if the dismissed manager has simply played musical chairs … if the “new” board is the same old board that was dismissed  …. it is time to wonder what, if anything, has actually changed?   

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