Animal activist Randy, known only by his first name for the safety of himself and his family, and a handful of others are in the middle of a battle to save every homeless cat and dog in the U.S. Their fight is unique because they are saving pets from the U.S. animal shelter system which they say is broken beyond repair. Randy is calling for a Shelter Revolution.
The Shelter Revolution movement says, “Current municipal animal shelters are prisons that breed anxiety, depression and aggression in homeless pets.” Dogs are forced to live in isolation or in crowded conditions in cages where they smell the scent of death every day. Animals are warehoused until they are euthanized. The purpose of the current system is to control strays from roaming on the streets. It is not a system that can be reformed; it must be completely restructured.
Shelter Revolution sees a clear solution in a model that is based on human day care centers and dog day care centers. The Adoption Center concept allows animals to live in a natural communal setting.
Randy said, “Research shows these settings promote calm, balanced pets that are more easily adopted.”
Separated by size and personality, animals live in a dorm-like setting with an outside play area for socializing and exercise. Randy said, “Killing is not an option. Rehab and rehoming animals is the goal.”
If you think this sounds like a pipedream, Shelter Revolution offers more than a dozen privately owned shelters and sanctuaries where the concept is already working.
The Cat House on the Kings is a sanctuary outside of Fresno CA, run by Lynea Lattanzio. It is a no-kill, cage free facility with an amazing 800 felines and 50 dogs. Lynea’s philosophy about the rescued cats that wander on her property is, “If they don’t have a home, at least they have a life.”
Make no mistake, Shelter Revolution does not promote animal hoarding. Their plan includes a medical center for sick animals, a quarantine area for new arrivals, spay and neuter, and rehabilitation. The model relies heavily on volunteers to socialize and train the pets so they can be adopted. Randy believes animal rescue groups that spend much of their time now rescuing strays, will flock to Adoption Centers to help rehabilitate homeless pets.
Cost to start an Adoption Center is estimated at $1.3 million. Shelter Revolution says current animal shelters are far more expensive. Their website gives many details about starting a Shelter Revolution in a community.
A Note To Shelter Leaders from Shelter Revolution founder Thomas Cole:
“For 100 years the shelter industry has imprisoned social animals in prison cages. It’s time shelter directors realize that the facility itself can play a central role in promoting adoptions. It is time to move beyond this plateau and create a new model.
Dogs and cats have committed no crimes.
Shelter directors, boards of directors and municipal officers, you have the power to enact these changes.”
Animal Sanctuaries With Communal Living:
Spirit Animal Sanctuary -New York
Cat House on the Kings- California
Heart and Soul Sanctuary- New Mexico
Photo Credit: WoodyH1