Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Understanding The New Hope Program

There seems to be some misunderstanding about a fantastic new life saving program in LA called New Hope. New Hope is helping LA become the first major No-Kill city in the United States. New Hope coordinates the efforts of all the non-profit animal rescue organizations to ensure we are maximizing our limited resources to save the greatest number of lives.

This morning I received a disconcerting message that there may be a few folks who don't understand the power and success of this program. The email was complaining about a Craig's List Posting.

"I'm just on Craigs list reading through the posts and it makes me sick! I have forwarded one of them to you and I don't understand why so many of these animals have to be euthanzied.

Is there not enough money to feed them? Didn't you just open up the new shelter with lots of space? THIS IS SICK AND HAS TO STOP.

Why do we have so many animals if no one wants them???? I don't get it. Can't you people come up with ideas to stop this overpopulation...I can't read this anymore since it's ongoing and doesn't seem to stop."

The Craig's List Posting sent to me by the person above was filled with this type of hyperbole:



Because of the popularity of Craig's List this kind of ranting can circle the globe and nobody will ever take the time to find out the truth of the matter. It seems that if it is posted on Craig's List, or for that matter on any website, it must be true. But that is not true! The purpose of this Blog is to help the community understand the importance and efficacy of the New Hope Progam when it is allowed to work as it is designed.

When an animal is placed on LA Animal Services' New Hope Alert THAT IS NEVER a DEATH SENTENCE. That is Animal Services' way of notifying our over 70 New Hope Partners that they can adopt any of these animals at no cost. Not only is there no cost to our New Hope Partners but Animal Services also provides free spay/neuter surgery, a microchip, vaccinations, and some medical treatments as appropriate. Animal Services will even sometimes provide transport to our Partner's location.

All six LA Animal Care Centers are open 24 hours per day and seven days per week for our New Hope Partners. Each Center has a New Hope Coordinator whose role is to provide premier customer service to our partners. New Hope Partners have direct cell phone contact with their Coordinator and the Shelter Director and can put a hold on any animal at any time.

New Hope Criteria:
  1. Healthy animals are placed on the New Hope Alert after they have been up for adoption for at least seven days. We have some animals not on the New Hope Alert that we are still trying to adopt after two or three months.
  2. Sick and injured animals go on the RED New Hope Alert immediately, as do aggressive dogs. These animals are highlighted in RED which means we are asking our New Hope Partners to pay particular attention to them when considering which animals need the most help.
  3. Healthy animals may also find their way to the Red Alert when we have exhausted all our adoption options and feel a New Hope Partner can better place an animal. Healthy animals are typically taken to one or more off site adoption events before being placed on the Red Alert. But again, an animal can be on a Red New Hope Alert for days or weeks giving responsible Partners more than enough time to respond if they are able.
  4. However, animals on the Red New Hope Alert for 45 consecutive days may be euthanized. That means we give the entire community at least 45 days to find a placement for an animal. Rescue groups and the public have adequate time to save lives.
The frantic emails posted on Craig's list suggesting that animals' are at death's door just because they are on the New Hope Alert does not help to save these animals' lives. These frantic, hopeless emails seem to only have the same effect on most people as they had on the person who wrote in today, revulsion. This misguided passion only keeps people from coming to the Centers, and causes animals to die.

The New Hope Alerts are designed to help our rescue partners make decisions based on their available resources. In the past 12 months LA Animal Services has achieved a 42% live release rate for cats, and a 71% release rate for dogs! That is incredible!

Animals are often on our New Hope Red Alert for days if not weeks before being placed. If you are a New Hope Partner and are interested in any New Hope animal all you need do is call our New Hope Coordinator and we will work with you on transfering the animal into your position, even if we have to transport the animal for you. LA Animal Services has removed all obstacles to saving lives. If you want your organization to become a New Hope Partner, please call one of our New Hope Coordinators.

The frantic, hysteric cries that Animal Services can't wait to kill animals and that we even enjoy killing animals is absurd. The euthanasia rate has dropped 11% for cats and 60% for dogs over the past three years. That is the most significant drop for any community in the United States. And we will continue month after month to continue this decline. It is our hope that all LA will come together to help the City and Animal Services achieve our shared No-Kill goal, and stop trying to scare adopters away, either deliberately or otherwise. Let's make people feel welcome to our Animal Care Centers. They are not Death Camps, they are life lines, a safety net, for our community's lost and homeless pets.

I hope this explanation helps everyone understand what LA Animal Services is trying to do through our New Hope Program. If you have a 501c3 rescue organization, I hope you will seriously consider becoming a New Hope Partner of LA Animal Services!

I would be amiss if I did not comment on this concerned resident's last statement, "Why do we have so many animals if no one wants them???? I don't get it. Can't you people come up with ideas to stop this overpopulation...I can't read this anymore since it's ongoing and doesn't seem to stop."

We have so many animals because pet owners don't spay and neuter their pets, we have so many animals in our shelters because pet owners don't license and/or microchip their pets. If you love you pet, neuter and license your pet. Together we can make LA the safest city in the United States for our pets!

See LA Animal Services Life Saving programs at Donations to help fund these programs are tax deductable. Thank you for your help and support!