Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

What was learned from “Just One Day?”

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

“Just One Day” was great, and it can get even better

On June 11, Indianapolis took part in a nationwide initiative to allow healthy adoptable animals “just one day” of freedom from the fear of death. Indianapolis Animal Care and Control agreed to suspend the killing for just one day, and a dozen local rescue groups redoubled efforts to save as many animals as possible. As a result, 80 pets left IACC alive. Compared to other cities, those are impressive numbers.

So what did Just One Day accomplish? Much!

• A commitment from IACC to not kill any adoptable animals for one day
• Heightened attention to the killing of adoptable animals on our collective watch
• 80 dogs, cats and rabbits left IACC alive in a 48-hour period, thanks to rescue organizations
• Deserving rescue groups that rarely, if ever, are applauded or recognized for their rescue work (and don’t spend time self-promoting) received well-deserved acknowledgment
• These same rescue organizations (that don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on fundraising) had the opportunity to win $2,000 in much-needed cash

How was JOD promoted?

• April 25th mtA News Release
• May 31 Wish TV
• June 8th IACC News Release
• June 11th Indy Channel
• June 11th Indy STAR
• NPR Radio

What was the feedback from participating organizations? Great!

• “Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this amazing experience! It is extremely motivating to see what can be accomplished. We intend to pull from the kill shelters that need the most help so IACC is always on our radar. Cheers to you and your group for your steadfast commitment. Together, we can do this!”
• “Makes me proud to be a part of a great effort by so many great people. Thanks again.”
• “Awesome,..thanks for making this happen.”
• “Thanks for organizing this great event.”
• “It was nice to have the day for rescues to go in and we did get to meet some of the other rescues’ volunteers. Thanks for all your work on this event.”

Were more animals surrendered on June 11?

There were people who surrendered pets to IACC on June 11 because they believed the animals would not be killed on that day. IACC’s foster coordinator put out a plea for help, which happens frequently. Obviously, people who feel they have no choice but to give up a pet ARE concerned that their pet might be killed.

Was there other feedback? Yes, and it brought up some good points.

• “A stunt.”
—Anonymous commentator in the blogosphere

• “I find days like today to be an insult to those who work tirelessly in animal welfare. Every single day should be an important day for animals, not just some arbitrary date. …Rather than taking June 11 to not euthanize an animal, how about taking June 11 to create programs that we can take to schools, churches, and community groups about the importance of responsible pet ownership. Or take June 11 to find better and more creative ways to keep pets in their homes. Or develop ways to get animals to low-cost spay/neuter clinics. Really, if this Just One Day promotion had been done correctly, there would have been outreach advocates at every back door, talking to those who wanted to surrender their pets and working with them to send those pets home. “
—HSI representative and chairperson of the IACC Advisory Board and officer of the Indianapolis Animal Welfare Alliance

• “We’re back to normal tomorrow. …As good as (Monday) is, and not having our friends at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control euthanize for space, (Tuesday) they’ll be faced with the same issues again.”
—CEO of the Humane Society of Indianapolis

We think these comments deserve a response.

First, if JOD was a “stunt”, we are eager to repeat this “stunt” and make it even better! This national event was managed locally. Since no other voice for animals in Indianapolis stepped up to coordinate participation in the inaugural JOD, mtA did.

Secondly, mtA is saddened that the chair of the IACC Advisory Board would admonish the event in a public forum rather than discuss and suggest ideas in an advisory capacity to the IACC administration, especially when IACC had already endorsed and committed to the event. And some might find the tone of this letter insulting to those in the hard-working small rescues who certainly DO work tirelessly for animal welfare — and showed it in their efforts on June 11.

There are good ideas in the IACC board chair’s comments. We wonder why HSI did not take the initiative to prepare an educational program on responsible pet ownership, or sponsor a spay-neuter event, or provide advocates to counsel people who were surrendering their pets, in conjunction with “Just One Day”. We hope they will consider doing so next time.

Finally, if “normal” is receiving and killing 22 animals a day, what can be wrong with allowing a two-day vacation from such a “normal”? “Just One Day” is a step toward changing that “normal”.

When was the last time 80 animals left IACC alive in a 48-hour period? When the staff at IACC could take one day off from the emotional ordeal of killing? (And can’t we please stop hiding behind euphemisms that mislead the public? Killing animals for space is just that — killing.)

And when did small organizations last have “just one day” of recognition and the chance to add a few much-needed dollars to their barebones budgets? These groups lack the luxury of having $141,000 to spend on annual fundraising fees or $407,000 in donor dollars to spend on total fundraising expenses. They spend 100% of whatever is given to them on the animals.

What does all this tell us?

• For IACC to commit to stop killing adoptable animals for a day — JOD was a success
• For the 80 animals that left IACC alive — JOD was a success
• For the rescue organizations that participated, made a difference, received some recognition, and won some needed cash — JOD was a success
• For the media attention this generated to remind the public of the challenge posed by our collective stewardship of homeless animals — JOD was a success
• To confirm that people really don’t want their surrendered animals killed — JOD was a success
• To spark good ideas, even from organizations that chose not to participate — JOD was a success!

Going forward

MtA is already planning another “Just One Day”. We encourage every animal welfare organization to join the effort — by rescuing animals, setting up adoption events, scheduling spay-neuter days, providing educational programs, training volunteers to counsel people about to surrender their pets, and other creative means. Every idea is welcome. Let’s work together and put the animals first.

After all, isn’t it… “all about the animals?”

The Winners Are…. (drum roll…………..)

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

This evening at the Milano Inn, Patty Spitler – of Pet Pals TV – drew three envelopes from the magic box to identify the winning rescue organizations that participated in “Just One Day.”

The $1,000.00 winner was:

Every Dog Counts Rescue

The two winners of the $500.00 drawings were:

Heart for Dog Rescue


ARPO (Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership)

The recipient of the $100.00 Pet Supplies “Plus” gift card was:
German Shepherd Rescue Indy

Congratulations to the winners!!!!

And thanks to Patty and the Milano Inn for helping to make this a special occasion.

“Let Them Live, .. Just One Day” event a success!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

According to Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, yesterday – June 11th, no adoptable animal was killed for space at 2600 South Harding St. That was the commitment made by the agency for “Just One Day” and local rescue organizations that signed up to participate to help make that happen!

Congratulations and thanks to the rescue organization participants!!!!!

78 animals originally were reportedly transferred out of IACC by rescue organizations on Sunday – June 10th and Monday – June 11th, but a late report included 1 more, = 79! Of course Monday, June 11th was “just one day” but for 79 animals, that is a lifetime!


An invitation was sent out to all IACC rescue partners (big and small) to participate in “Just One Day” by helping to pull animals from IACC on June 10 and 11. It was noted that even if an organization was unable to pull an animal in this time period, simply signing on to support this initiative was confirmation that they believed that animals should not be killed for population control and IACC staff deserved to breathe just one day, relief.

The 20 organizations that responded to the invitation were:

ARPO (Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership)

Indiana House Rabbit Society

Love of Labs Indiana

EARPS (Exotic Animal Rescue Pet Sanctuary)

Heart for Dog Rescue

Rescue Farm

Mended Hearts Rescue

Magnificent Mutt Rescue

Virginia Siamese Rescue

Every Dog Counts Rescue

Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue

Lucky Pups Rescue

German Shepherd Rescue Indy

Southside Animal Shelter

Great Pyrenees Rescue

Casa Del Toro

Internet Miniature Pinscher Rescue Service IMPS


Central Indiana Lab Rescue & Adoption (CILRA)

Come Bye Border Collie Rescue

Out of these 20 organizations, 12 were able to pull animals from IACC. The 12 organizations were:

ARPO (Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership)
Indiana House Rabbit Society
Love of Labs Indiana
Heart for Dog Rescue
Mended Hearts Rescue
Every Dog Counts Rescue
Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue
Lucky Pups Rescue
German Shepherd Rescue Indy
Southside Animal Shelter
Casa Del Toro

The three organizations that pulled the most animals and qualify for the $1,000 drawing are:

Every Dog Counts
Indy Claw Rescue

The remaining 2 organizations from the above drawing will be reintroduced into the hat for 2 additional drawings for $500.00 along with these additional qualifying rescue organizations:

A Heart for Dog Rescue
CDT Pit Bull Rescue
German Shepherd Dog Rescue
Indiana House Rabbit Society Rescue
Love of Labs Indiana Rescue
Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue
Lucky Pups Rescue
Mended Hearts Rescue
Southside Animal Shelter Rescue

Local celebrity, Patty Spitler, will have the honors of drawing the winning recipients at the Milano Inn this Thursday, June 14th at 7 PM.

Our thanks to the IACC administration for being receptive to and embracing the “Let them live, just one day” initiative, Julie Zink who is a tireless presence at IACC – directing the animals to the safety-net of these organizations’ caring, to the IACC staff who work behind the scenes doing what they can with the limited resources they have and a special thanks to the above organizations and their network of supporters who sacrifice quietly and graciously for these animals to live another day.

And we cannot forget the faithful supporters of move to ACT who realize the importance of thoughtful resource allocation that make events like “Rescue Rally” and “Just One Day” possible.

Do YOU want to make a difference?

Consider a donation to move to ACT for future “Just One Days,” …or to any of the organizations above.

These organizations just made history for the animal welfare industry in Indianapolis by way of humility and the signature of servant leadership.

3:55 PM: Updated number of animals transfered out alive: 80!