Cleveland For A No Kill City Declares Mission Accomplished

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cleveland for a No Kill City is declaring mission accomplished and is announcing that it will now be operating in a more limited scope in consideration of the appointment of the city's first-ever liaison to oversee the no kill mission.

Officials said, "In just six months, the work of the grassroots organization devoted to seeing Cleveland become a No Kill City has resulted in the building of a Facebook following of nearly 5,000 individuals, a 24-hour telephone hotline for potential adopters, a six-day-a week pound photography team that uploads pictures of animals awaiting adoption to social media sites every day, a website that explains the No Kill mission and the mission of Cleveland for a No Kill City, and the beginnings of a database to track animals coming into and leaving Cleveland Animal Control. The database will eventually allow for tracking of specific areas of the county from which the most dogs and cats are surrendered/stray, specific information about types of animals surrendered/stray, and other more detailed analysis. This data will then allow for targeted work in spay/neuter, owner-retention and other areas to reduce intake rates."

Cleveland for a No Kill City created a conversation in the community, and built the infrastructure, that changed the kill rate at Cleveland Animal Control from more than 75 percent at this time in 2011, to just six percent for November 2012. The conversation has resulted in the City of Cleveland officially declaring its goal of becoming a No Kill City.

A sign was placed on the animal control gate in late November stating that the city is striving to become no kill.

On Monday, Cleveland City Manager Janice Casteel informed the city council that former Cleveland for a No Kill City member Lindsey Smith had been appointed to the position of Cleveland/Bradley County, Tennessee Animal Control Liaison for Domestic Animal Rescue and Advocacy with a stated mission "to assist the city of Cleveland, governing bodies, its citizens, and all invested rescue groups in researching, developing, and implementing a plan by which Cleveland, TN will be certified No-Kill by providing a communicative point of contact and liaison for all animal rescue organizations, all available resources and Cleveland Animal Control staff."

The duties of Ms. Smith's new job include assisting in the implementation of the 11 steps in the No-Kill Equation as outlined in Nathan Winograd's 2007 book "Redemption," facilitating the adoption fund that is comprised of money raised by Cleveland for a No Kill City for the sponsorship of animals at Cleveland Animal Control, and speaking to the press on behalf of the city on issues regarding the No Kill movement.

In her new position, Ms. Smith reports to the city manager, city council, shelter advisory board and the animal control director.

To be considered No Kill, a shelter must save 90 percent or more of animals coming into the facility. Through the work of Cleveland for a No Kill City, this save rate has been maintained for the last few months. With the city appointing a position to ensure this success is maintained, Cleveland for a No Kill City is announcing a more limited scope to its work.

Cleveland for a No Kill City will continue to send its pound photography teams into animal control six days a week to photograph new arrivals and share their photos through social media. The grassroots organization will continue to maintain its Facebook page, website and continue development of its data base. In addition, the 24-hour adoption hotline will continue to be operated by Cleveland for a No Kill volunteers. Volunteers are being sought to help with answering calls on the hotline and anyone interested in participating in an upcoming training session should call 423 464-6070.
In line with the duties assigned to the city-appointed liaison, contacts from rescue organizations wishing to save animals from Cleveland Animal Control will be forwarded to Ms. Smith. In addition, Cleveland for a No Kill City volunteers will no longer be facilitating adoptions at animal control because this duty now falls to the liaison. Cleveland for a No Kill City volunteers will include information on its nightly "save list" about adopters who have called the hotline and need assistance in completing the process at animal control and Ms. Smith with facilitate the adoption process from that point forward.

At its first meeting in May 2012, Cleveland for a No Kill City organizers set as their goal: "To become a No Kill City by 2017 by reaching and maintaining a save rate above 90 percent."

On Monday evening, through its consensus process, Cleveland for a No Kill City members declared that mission accomplished -- four years ahead of schedule.

In addition to continuing to maintain the infrastructure that has allowed for adoption and rescue of the majority of dogs and cats at animal control, Cleveland for a No Kill City has set two new goals for itself for the coming months:

1. To work toward a "No Kill" ordinance. Although the city has formally committed to the goal of No Kill through signage and the creation of the liaison position, Cleveland for a No Kill City doesn't feel like that commitment is solid until it is part of the city's code.

2. To be a watchdog of the No Kill success achieved at Cleveland Animal Control in 2013 and ensure that the success from 2012 is maintained and continues now that the efforts have been placed under the responsibility of an appointed city official. Cleveland for a No Kill City will monitor daily intake of animals and report their outcomes to the public. Cleveland for a No Kill City will monitor monthly shelter statistics and report the saved rates and kill rates to the public. And, Cleveland for a No Kill City will request a monthly progress report from the liaison detailing progress toward the development of the plan for implementing the 11 steps in the No Kill equation, and the progress toward the implementation of that plan. These monthly progress report requests will also be shared with the public.

Cleveland for a No Kill City officials said they wanted to take this opportunity to express its members gratitude to every adopter and sponsor, every individual who shared photos on Facebook or who posted pictures on other media outlets. The success we have achieved belongs to the animals who are alive today because of this work, but the success was possible because of thousands and thousands of caring people. 

Videos Promote Famous Tall Betsy Return

Cleveland is having a celebration this year to honor the return of Tall Betsy to 150 Centenary Ave. The address in the historic district of downtown Cleveland is where the famous goblin made her most famous appearances during the ‘80s and drew crowds of thousands.  Tall Betsy retired in 1998 after drawing a crowd of 25,000. A helicopter film crew captured the event and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Fire Department Has Halloween Open House

The Chattanooga Fire Department will open all 19 fire stations in Chattanooga from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, Halloween, to give trick-or-treaters an up-close look inside a fire station. While there, children can look at the fire engines, talk with the firefighters, and get candy from the fire department, while supplies last.  Here are Halloween safety tips from the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

School Board Chooses Charlotte Firm For Superintendent Search Firm; Lennon, Testerman Want To Keep Kelly

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 5-4 to choose a Charlotte, N.C., search firm to pick a new county school superintendent. Coleman Lew and Associates was selected over McPherson & Jacobson of Omaha. That vote came after board members Kathy Lennon and David Testerman started the session by saying they are very pleased with Interim Supt. Kirk Kelly and would ... (click for more)

Judge Finds Young Guilty Of Lesser Charge In Fatal Wreck On Highway 58

Judge Tom Greenholtz on Wednesday found William Henry Young guilty of a lesser charge in a fatal traffic accident on Highway 58. The judge, who heard the case without a jury, ruled the 56-year-old former TVA employee guilty of criminally negligent homicide. He had been charged with vehicular homicide. Sentencing will be in December. Judge Greenholtz dismissed charges ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Guess Who Backed Kelly?

Two weeks before the August election where three members of the Hamilton County School Board were angrily replaced, the organizer of what was called “a great way for the (challengers) to raise great money to help them run smart campaigns” made a bold statement. “I'm sure the current board is well-intentioned, but the results are not there," said Paul Brock. "Leadership matters ... (click for more)