This week, like last week, and all the weeks to come in 2011, dogs and cats will die needlessly in Blount County; many will be abandoned and die of neglect, starvation, or disease, while others will die at the Blount County Adoption Center, the county’s animal control and impound facility, where 2421 died in 2010. They will all die in Blount County because each one of us allows it to happen.
These deaths are entirely preventable and, while individuals and animal rescue groups around the county are able to save some animals, most will die. Spay/neuter programs like Fix Your Mama! will help reduce the number of unwanted litters being born, but these efforts are not enough; thousands will die.
There is a way to prevent these deaths and the way is the No Kill Movement gaining strength across the nation. No Kill dramatically reduces the number of deaths, both in the community and at animal control. Communities adopting the No Kill equation have seen death rates plummet dramatically within just a couple of years without increasing the amount of taxpayer spending. Taxpayer dollars will actually be saved as fewer animals are taken in and killed. The success of No Kill depends on how committed we as a community are to these animals, not how much money is spent.
Animal advocates in Blount County think that it is time to bring the No Kill Movement here, but it will not happen until the people of Blount County demand it of our county officials and then work with them to make it happen here just as it has happened in other communities.
Redemption, a book written by Nathan Winograd about the No Kill Movement, is available to be checked out at the Blountsville and Oneonta libraries. It will explain how we can start saving the lives of our animals. There is also much information available online from the No Kill Advocacy Center, www.nokilladvocacycenter.org.
Volunteers with Crossing Paths Animal Rescue, www.xpar.org, are hosting a No Kill organizational meeting on March 31 at 6 p.m. at the Cleveland Town Hall. The town hall is located on U.S. 231 near the intersection of Ala 79 and U.S. 231. All county officials, rescue groups, and caring individuals are encouraged to attend as we start Blount County down the road to No Kill in 2011.