In August 2004, a group of animal welfare industry leaders from across the nation, including your SPCA’s Executive Director Gary Tiscornia, met right here in Monterey County at the Asilomar Convention Center in Pacific Grove. The purpose was to build bridges across varying philosophies, developing relationships and creating goals focused on significantly reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals in the United States. The Asilomar Accords were born.
The Accords outline principles that guide animal welfare organizations to work together to save the lives of all healthy and treatable companion animals. The document aims to cut through the rhetoric of “no kill” vs. “limited admission” vs. “open admission” shelters and to dispel the murkiness of what defines an adoptable animal. The animal sheltering world hasn’t always been clear or consistent when it comes to reporting results. Without the Asilomar Accords, definitions and reporting methods varied from group to group, making understanding of information difficult, if not impossible, across organizations.
By utilizing a standard language for their statistics, shelters and their supporters are able to easily and clearly track progress both at a specific shelter and across shelters nationwide.
Euthanasia statistics are represented in four categories: healthy, treatable/rehabilitatable, treatable/manageable, and unhealthy/untreatable. Definitions of these categories are available at www.asilomaraccords.org/definitions.html. These clear definitions allow our community to understand the euthanasia statistics for their local animal welfare organizations without the confusion of unclear or unethical reporting.
The Live Release Rate is perhaps the most compelling of the statistics. The Live Release Rate reveals the percentage of animals that leave the shelter alive regardless of their health or behavior status. This measurement eliminates any subjective definition of the word “adoptable”.
The Coalition for Companion Animals (CCA) is a group of Monterey County nonprofit animal services professionals and governmental agencies working together to end euthanasia of healthy dogs and cats as well as those with treatable physical and/or behavioral conditions.
CCA agencies include City of Carmel Animal Control, City of Marina Animal Control, City of Monterey Animal Control, City of Pacific Grove Animal Control, Monterey County Animal Services, Salinas Animal Shelter and The SPCA for Monterey County. Other CCA agencies working toward this goal include Animal Welfare Information and Assistance and From the Heart Dog Training.