08 May 2011

We Are Sentience

Mission Statement: 

No Pet Left Behind is a religious organization and public charity with the mission of teaching about the nature of consciousness and also to manifest the universal compassion for all living things as espoused within the Buddhist Mahayana and Advaita Vedanta teachings, and by St. Francis of Assisi, as interpreted by Edward Muzika, an ordained teacher of Chogye and also Vietnamese Buddhism.  

These traditions all acknowledge that Consciousness (God) is everything, both the form and formless, the phenomenal and noumenal.

We acknowledge that the suffering in the world is endless and vow to do whatever is possible in a well-defined and operational way, to mitigate that suffering as a movement of conscience within Consciousness. We acknowledge that this movement of conscience will take different forms and actions depending on time and place.

Specifically, for the immediate purpose of this organization, the public charity aspect of this organization is to act to end the killing and suffering of companion animals, with the goal of bringing America to No-Kill by emptying the public animal shelters, housing these animals, getting feral cats and dogs off the street through effective sterilization, TNR, funding non-profit shelters, and opening cat and dog sanctuaries for pets that cannot be placed.

We aim to end the killing of companion animals and animals that could become companions, one city at a time, by:

1. Developing a model for ending animal shelter killing of cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals, which is commonly referred to as bringing a shelter system or community to No-Kill[i]. As of 2010, in the various public shelters within the County of Los Angeles, over 80,000 cats and dogs, and perhaps up to 30,000 other animals and impounded wildlife were killed. Our mission is to bring Los Angeles to No-Kill through developing a successful model incorporating the public shelters, non-profit rescue groups, and private enterprise as partners, which then can be copied nationwide, ultimately leaving no pet left behind.

2. To develop a private shelter similar to the San Francisco SPCA (SFSPCA)[ii], which in partnership with San Francisco’s City shelters, Animal Care and Control has brought that city close to the No-Kill goal. In there agreement, the SFSPCA agrees to adopt pets that the shelter has not, do necessary rehabilitation, and then adopt to the community. Nathan Winograd, probably the country’s leading No-Kill writer, WILL be involved in this process.

3. To develop an effective coordinating apparatus to fund and administer an optimal distribution of public, non-profit, and private resources to implement a City wide Trap/Neuter/Return program for the city and county of Los Angeles, to stabilize and gradually end the lost, homeless and feral cat and dog situation in Los Angeles.

This will require extensive study of the current homeless animal population dynamics in Los Angeles, and funding animal demographics/dynamics studies of both housed and homeless animals to gain a greater understanding of the environmental impact of homeless animals, and the impact of various strategies to end homelessness. Essential questions to be answered are: how many housed pets are there in Los Angeles, how many street animals are there, and what are the mechanisms through which housed animals become homeless, and homeless animals become housed?

This will also require an understanding of the potential market value of owning a housed animal, and the public costs of the current homeless population, and the public savings or costs of removing animals from the street. This is essential in order to gain the cooperation of both City shelters and government, as well as corporations that derive revenues from animal related sales and veterinary care.  That is, we need to determine the market value of emptying publically sheltered animals into homes, and the removal of feral cats from the street to homes, non-profit shelters, or designated sanctuaries.

Just saving the 80,000 cats and dogs animals now killed in shelters every year in LA county would potentially create over $50,000,000 additional ($600/per animal) in gross pet related sales and vet care per year just within LA County. The 30,000 other animals, including rabbits, ferrets, snakes, turtles, etc. have an unmeasured market potential. The reclaiming and housing of street animals is an untapped and unmeasured potential market, but presents its own costs to implement.

4. Currently we are supporting colony managers throughout the San Fernando Valley by supplying food, medication, vaccinations, vet care, and TNR assistance to maintain a healthy homeless cat population until they can be removed from the streets.

5. The holy grail for feral colony managers has always been to have a large cat sanctuary(ies) (and dog kennels), using public land and volunteer, nonprofit support and administration, working in partnership, such that every cat and dog can have a home if not adopted or placeable by the various public shelter systems or through the SFSPCA  equivalent in Los Angeles. There was a movement in the 1990s to establish such, but City Council never authorized the land. Leo Grillo has established such a private sanctuary for dogs in the LA area (D.E.L.T.A.)[iii].

Implementing all these steps would leave no pet left behind in Los Angeles.

6. Lastly, to help the elderly and poor to provide medical care for their pets, rather than relinquishing them to shelters for care that never comes, we would establish a non-profit, sliding scale, low fee or free veterinary care clinic for the use by the public. This itself will be the first charitable veterinary clinic in Southern California, and also a model, which if successful, can become useful nationwide, again, leaving no animal left behind. 

Our vision is to take whatever of these steps necessary to make sure every cat, dog, rabbit, ferret and other non-wildlife creature, now on the streets of the City and County of Los Angeles, find a home, or at least allowed to live in a shelter, or a managed sanctuary, emptying the shelters and streets of unwanted pets, and using the successful public/non-profit/and private cooperative model invented, to eventually make our nation No-Kill and all animals to be housed.

[i] No kill is currently “operationally” defined as a 90% or better live save rate, which recognizes that very ill, dying and unplaceable animals are brought to shelters, which may not be savable without extraordinary resources. However, this save rate can be improved with increased resources, better medical and behavioral care, and better adoption outreach. For example, San Francisco was almost no kill in 2007 with the municipal shelter having an 82% save rate, and the associated SFSPCA having a 96% live save rate. However, the SFSPCA’s new emphasis on supporting its new vet hospital means their progress towards no kill has been interrupted. The resources go to the hospital rather than impound and adoptions.

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