On September 27, 2011 the Talk About It! Campaign, hosted an event called “Reno Achieved No Kill: San Antonio CAN too!” featuring , an open community conversation at the Norris Conference Center from 6PM to about 9PM.
In attendance were two No Kill experts from Washoe County in Reno, Nevada. Our featured experts were Bonney Brown, executive director of the Nevada Humane Society, and Mitch Schneider, the current manager of the Washoe County Regional Animal Services. They both shared multiple strategies on how Reno became a No Kill community. It is our goal, San Antonio, to duplicate their success in our own community deep in the heart of Texas. There are eight different topics to be covered in our blog, so there will be a total of eight posts to browse through!
These questions were submitted by community members that were in attendance at the event through their registration, a written submission during our conversation, or there was unfortunately not enough time for these questions to be answered at the event.
Here we go San Antonio: Questions related to San Antonio and foster care are answered below!
Q: Can you do a webinar for county officials that are not believers in no-kill which emphasizes the cost efficiencies and policy changes that need to be put in place to allow no-kill to move forward in a community and emphasize the common road blocks that are unacceptable?
A: County officials are like anyone else in that they need good information in order to make good decisions. Their problem is overpopulation of stray and free-roaming dogs and cats. They will welcome solutions to their problems and they will welcome humane, No Kill solutions when they see that they work and that they are not just ideals. It works well to have a calm and articulate spokesperson to meet with them, educate them, and answer their questions.
Q: What impact does foster care play in reaching No Kill? How do you get so many fosters in Reno?
A: Foster Care is a critical success factor in Reno. We put out requests for new foster homes aggressively via email, Facebook, Twitter, and other media. We move fast—if someone wants to foster, we meet their desire immediately. We suggest a quick process—do not go through a lengthy application approval process. Just do it right then and there. Bring puppies, kittens, and other dogs and cats that need foster homes to the volunteer orientations—those people have already shown that they want to help, give them a chance to do it right then. Be consistent and ask every chance you get.
Q: In Reno, do you have a “foster volunteer” at the shelter entry to talk with individuals about opportunities before they surrender their animal
A: Not exactly. The Nevada Humane Society staffs a Help Line, which answers many calls and emails. The purpose of the Help Line is to help people keep their pets. All owner surrenders go to the NHS.
Q: How did you get enough Foster Homes?
A: We asked citizens in Reno to provide foster care directly. We were very specific in asking for that. We removed obstacles and bureaucratic impediments to fostering to make it quick and easy. At volunteer orientations at the Nevada Humane Society, we bring puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats that need fostering to the orientations and ask for people to take them right then and there. We now have 500 dogs and cats in foster care.
There are eight different topics so there will be a total of eight posts to browse through! Make sure to enrich our blog with feedback! Our next blog post will feature Q & A regarding government and legal issues!