Updated to include more links to other people's write-ups on the No Kill Conference below.
Well, I'm home finally. And, as usually, I have a lot of thoughts from the No Kill Conference and will be diving deeply into a lot of those over the coming weeks. Today is just some thoughts and observations on the 3rd National No Kill Conference.
-- First off, the conference continues to get better. The quality of the speakers continues to improve -- just in the depth of quality speakers and experiences. This is in part to the growing popularity of the movement, the growing number of communities that are having success, and the growing level of talent attracted to the movement. There were a lot of new speakers this year, and I'm still saddened by the number of good presentations I still haven't seen in 3 years of attending the conference.
Obviously this year's conference was highlighted by a keynote presentation by Seth Godin. If you are a reader of this blog, you know I'm a fan -- and seeing him present in person was huge for me. I confess that I was scared to get to meet him in person. My biggest fear is meeting someone I respect so much and them being arrogant jerks. I'm pleased to report that Seth was extremely nice and gracious throughout.
-- I had a great time being a presenter, and feel really honored to have been included among so many great presenters and thanks to everyone that came up and said hello and attended Shirley and I's workshop.
-- Three years ago when we attended the conference, and there were a small handful of communities that had become no kill, and only a handful of others that were even working on it. Now, there are a lot more success stories, like Austin, that have met no kill success, and others like the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter, and Lynchburg, VA that have done so very quietly. But whether noisy, or quiet, the success is fantastic, and it's great to see so many communities that are getting it done.
-- With so many great workshops, everyone can walk away with a slightly different takeaway - -which is great. There are a lot of important steps to the No kill Equation, and people getting what they need to be successful, is important.
-- When walking back from lunch on Sunday, I passed two women sitting on a bench in a courtyard on the George Washington University Campus. In the time I took to walk by them, I heard one woman tell the other "Our adoptions have been down lately and I just thought it was the economy -- but now I think our marketing efforts have been lacking". I couldn't help but smile. The economy no doubt has impacted many pet owners, but we can either make excuses that there is nothing more we can do, or become more innovative in creating solutions. This woman got it.
-- Shirley over at YesBiscuit! left with some key takeaways too -- primarily that many organizations seem to have all of their eggs in the spay/neuter basket but the final solution is getting more pets who are in the shelter into homes -- which also means ending all of the ridiculous reasons why we continue to deny people who are looking to adopt pets from doing so. We need to look for more ways to adopt pets, not continue to look for reasons NOT to adopt pets. We're loving them to death. I will most certainly be commenting further on this in the coming weeks.
-- David Greene (who it was also a pleasure to finally meet) at the Pet Connection left the conference in anticipation of the who wil be next to step up and lead their city to No Kill.
-- And Mike Fry, of Animal Ark, left with a huge sense of pride and inspiration in seeing a movement he was an early partner in become as large and powerful as it has become and embracing the new wave of community leaders.
David Greene and Christie Keith over at the Pet Connection -- as well as Hannah Senac from No Kill Nation - were live blogging many of the sessions they attended. Check out some of their work on some of the sessions.
Turbocharging Pit Bull Adoptions -- I went to this one and will be writing more about it later, but David did a great job of capturing the presenation. Animal Farm Foundation and the National Canine Research Council also unvelied some new research reports which I will be sharing.
Here Comes Social Media -- I attended this one -- and it was fantastic.
Get your paws on more media - David live blogging Christie's presentation.
Advocacy Blogging - -This is Christie live-blogging Shirley and I's presentation -- which made me nervous as heck. How do you give a presentation about blogging with someone in the audience who a) is live blogging about me talking about blogging and b) I think does such a great job on their own blog that they couldn't possibly learn anything from me. I'll probably include some thoughts on my own presentation as well at some point.
Advocacy Blogging with KC Dog Blog and YesBiscuit! - -an overview of my presentation from Save Shelter Pets
The Power of You - Winograd's introductory presentation to the conference
No Kill Conference Wrap-Up: #3 - YesBiscuit discusses Mitch Schneider's presentation on No Kill Animal Control and Turbo Charging Pet Adoptions
Get out there and lead -- from Save Shelter Pets
Dear kill shelters: Please close your 'open' doors -- by Christie Keith
Geat time. Great people. Great information. Now let's go make successful communities with the info we gathered.