Best Friends Blog
 

Founders of change: Pioneers of the no-kill movement

On Saturday, October 22, five individuals who challenged convention and rewrote the rules to save millions of animals will be part of a “fireside chat” at the nearly 1,400-attendee, sold-out No More Homeless Pets National Conference at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, and it will be my honor and privilege to interview them.

Richard Avanzino, who took San Francisco from nowhere to no-kill; Mike Arms, who pioneered the high-volume adoption of homeless pets; Becky Robinson, one of the founders of Alley Cat Allies, who introduced trap/neuter/return (TNR) to the United States and created a national advocacy network for ferals; Peter Marsh, who pioneered publicly funded, low-cost spay/neuter services and made New Hampshire a no-kill state; and Gregory Castle, co-founder and current CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, which redefined what an adoptable animal is and became the voice of the no-kill movement, will share some of their “Ah ha!” moments, challenges, and breakthrough achievements with a new generation of no-kill leaders.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, no-kill was a fringe movement and virtually all of the mainstream animal welfare organizations were dead set against it. While pioneers like the advocates mentioned above were demonstrating ways to save lives, the old school was debating the most humane way to kill homeless pets. Forward-moving leaders, including Ed Duvin, the original thought leader of the no-kill movement whose 1989 essay exposed the fallacy of “killing for kindness,” helped create the movement that continues to change the face of sheltering and animal care around the world.

It will be an exciting three days in Las Vegas, and you can bet as far as this conference is concerned that what happens in Vegas will definitely not stay in Vegas! Please note, that while our on-line registration is currently closed, walk-in registrants are welcomed, so come on down!

 

Julie Castle
Senior Director, Communications

 

 

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  • Hikeit60

    This is an add-in post.  The idea I got from a previous post and that is if you can to keep me updated as to the convention and all involved in the event!  Oooooooooooh, how I’d love to be a Walk-In Registrant, but I’m afraid I blanked and didn’t learn of the event until just today.

  • Hikeit60

    On Saturday, October 22, five individuals who challenged convention and rewrote the rules to save millions of animals will be part of a “fireside chat” at the nearly 1,400-attendee, sold-out No More Homeless Pets National Conference at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, and it will Julie Castle. Senior Director, Communications, of The Best Friends Animal Society, who proudly announced she has the privilege to interview them, the pioneers of change, founders of the no-kill movement.  Although it is ‘sold out,’ Julie did announce in the Best Friends Animal Society’s Blog that Walk-In Registrants are welcome!  Oh, my —- how I am tempted!

  • Anonymous

    It sounds great! Please make sure all your friends and relatives know about the No Kill movement (especially anybody you know here in Canada!). I have nominated Rick Avanzino to be a speaker on TED talks, maybe others should be on TED too. If anyone has seen these folks speak and think they would make a fascinating lecture, please nominate them for TED talks.
    I’d also like a one-page flyer, not built on the US only environment, that I could print out and deliver door-to-door to build awareness of what makes a good no kill community. Our shelter is dead-set (no pun intended) in not reforming. So sad.

  • Sltepe

    So wish I could attend again this year………….What an amazing conference for anyone that attends

    • Hikeit60

      OOOOh how much you must’ve enjoyed last year’s convention.  I must’ve unceremoniously missed the announcement of this year’s convention, because I sure would like to be one of the attendees!  How exciting.  The no-kill movement is a glorious idea and I know of one local shelter who actually IS a no-kill shelter.  There’s much to be done, how I can help I’m willing, to make this more than just a “few” no-kills, though.  I do appreciate your thoughts!

  • Sorcha O’Neill

    Why would Nathan Winograd not be invited?

    • Sltepe

      He is not affiliated with BF any longer

      • Any reason for this? Also I’m sad  I wont be able to attend but make sure to keep me updated on the blog!

    • Jon Dunn

      Nathan Winograd let us know in 2010 that he was no longer interested in attending the No More Homeless Pets Conference. We would certainly welcome his attendance at future events!