A No Kill nation for Just One Day
Just One Day is a campaign that asks shelters to stop killing on June 11 of every year. And the results have been dramatic. One shelter with high rates of killing stayed open for 11 hours. Roughly 100 animals found homes, one every seven minutes the shelter was open, its most successful adoption day ever. Another shelter opened on a day it was normally closed and placed 231 animals as a result. In still another, the director of animal control who once said that he would not hesitate to kill every community cat in the world, reported that by 4:30 pm, 47 animals had been adopted. By 6:30 pm, the number was uncertain as the shelter’s computer system could not update quickly enough to keep up with adoptions. “An exceptional turnout,” said the director. “The parking lot has been full since 10:00 this morning, it continues to be full. I’ve never seen so many people come out here all at one time, in one day.” In an Arizona animal control shelter, 88 out of 100 dogs and 28 out of 30 cats were adopted by 11 am. In another community, they ran out of animals. Yet another reported staff crying: they had never seen so many animals going out the front door in the loving arms of families. For many of these shelters, it was a watershed moment. Not just because animals who would have normally been killed were saved, but because of the valuable lessons hundreds of traditional shelters across the country learned.
Indeed, one of the primary goals of the Just One Day campaign is to not only save animals through adoption on June 11, it is to get shelters resistant to the principles of the No Kill philosophy—of marketing animals, of asking the public for help, of being open for adoptions at times that are more convenient for the working public and families, of using the media to save lives and of partnering with rescue groups—to commit to trying these ways of operating.
Today, thousands take the Just One Day pledge every year, including some of the largest shelters in the nation, over 13,000 animals are adopted, and for many shelters, the experience has been transformative. Seeing members of the public eager to adopt lined up outside their doors in the morning as they open, and the rows of empty cages and kennels as they close their doors at night, has given them a new and fresh perspective on what is truly possible. The overwhelming response of the public they serve has shown them how much people do care, and has inspired them to innovate even further, not just on June 11, but the day after that, the day after that and the day after that.