How To Privatize America’s Animal Shelters – Save Lives

Be Inspired! Read Rescue Renew Rehome and be inspired with the possibilities to rescue and adopt America’s homeless pets.

Learn 20 ways to save more our animals now: and learn how to set up private animal adoption shelters and community pet Villages across America to save all 4 million every year going forward.

 You will read the story of Shiva the 911 Dog that consoled survivors at the Pentagon, and the stories of Ruby and Sweet Pea who were Rescued Renewed and Rehomed.

 This book will also show you how working together we can adopt 4 million homeless pets yearly.

  You will learn about the new Green Shelters and Green Villages, where pet owners come together as a community to care for, adopt and celebrate our pets. 

 You will learn about “Cause Marketing”… think Breast Cancer Runs and Ice Bucket Challenge and how Animal Shelters and Rescue Groups can learn to use it to raise the money they need to adopt all dogs and cats. 

 You will learn about America’s $58 Billion dollar Pet Industry and how it will help end the euthanization of healthy and happy shelter animals. 

This is a game changing, break through book you must read. You will be buying copies for your animal loving friends, family and for your local Animal Shelter and Rescue Groups.

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Let’s Stop Lying and Stop Using the Words Euthanize and Animal Shelter

In our book RESCUE RENEW REHOME we laid out 20 intelligently thought out points to dramatically increase homeless pet adoptions in America. A 20 point program to end the killing of 4 million dogs and cats in our animal shelters each year. For this article we want to share with you point number #20.

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 To me this was the most difficult point to create. While the others are logical and use un-common, common sense, developed in our 10 years in dog rescue this last point was the hardest to say out loud.

I always try to be optimistic. I try to never judge anyone. I practice Zen and meditation and try to always focus on happiness. So this final point has weighed hard on my soul. But I could not write this book unless I expressed what I felt in my heart.

And that is: If we are to finally end the killing of healthy, loving, homeless animals in America we must speak the truth.  We must look inside ourselves and really ask, why do we allow 4 million animals to be killed every year in America?

The first reason we kill shelter animals is because as I said earlier in this book… we are a disposable society. If we don’t like it we get rid of it. If something shinier comes along we get rid of it. If our pet acts out we get rid of it. If we tire of it we get rid of it.

The other reason is because as humans we always prefer to run from and avoid reality…and  then lie to ourselves about it to make ourselves “feel good” rather than speak words of truth and own what we have done.

What are the two lies we tell ourselves?

The two lies are the two words we use to make ourselves feel good about doing something bad…something real bad…killing.

To deny it to ourselves we use two nice sounding words “Shelter” and “Euthanize”


But Shelter is not a truthful word. The definition of a shelter is …a place of safety and refuge. A shelter saves lives and brings help and hope to those that go there. So knowing that – why do we continue to lie to ourselves and use the word “shelter” when our supposed shelters are not shelters?  What do you call a place that kills the homeless beings that come to it? I don’t need to name it, but we all know that “shelter” is not the name.

The other lie we tell ourselves to stay in denial and feel good about ourselves is the word “euthanize“.We tell ourselves that we “euthanize” homeless pets. We should use the word of truth –  which is kill, not the lie of euthanize.

 The definition of euthanize: (Medicine) to kill (a person or animal) painlessly, esp to relieve suffering from an incurable illness.

What incurable illness do our 4 million homeless animals have?  What suffering do these 4 million homeless animals endure? And the procedure most shelters use is not a 2 step euthanize, but a one step. And that one step is not painless!  What we are doing is killing. We must stop killing and stop using the word euthanize.

We must be honest with ourselves and our children and talk words of truth. The truth shall set you free. And if we start telling the truth we will set our souls free from the horrible burden we are bringing upon our society, by allowing innocent animals to be killed, while we use words that lie, keep us in denial and cover it up.

Steve Monahan, founder

Green Pets America

GPA Charities FB


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Free Black Dog Friday Adoption Poster

BLACK DOG FRIDAY is another example of an animal welfare adoption and Cause Marketing program.

Black Dog is Green Pets  America’s current cause marketing campaign, whose purpose is to educate the public on the black dog adoption syndrome.

The marketing strategy is to change the negative perception of black dogs from menacing to friendly. Black dogs are no different than other dogs, yet they are the least adopted in animal shelters.

To increase the rate of black dog adoptions we focus on education. We create educational marketing pieces – fliers and posters in shelters that portray black dogs with kids and families. We have created a national website for the base of operation.

Please download this poster, print it and take it to your local animal shelter to help them adopt their black dogs every Friday

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A New Model of Innovation – Compassionate No-Kill Community Animal Shelters

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No Kill is an innovative, cost-effective model of animal sheltering that allows open admission animal control shelters to save all healthy and treatable animals. Unlike the “adopt some and kill the rest” form of animal sheltering that has dominated in the United States for the past 100 years and is responsible for the needless deaths of millions of healthy and treatable animals every year, No Kill shelters are saving as high as 99% of all animals entrusted to their care.

How It Works

No Kill shelters implement a series of programs and services collectively known as “The No Kill Equation.” The No Kill Equation decreases a shelter’s impounds and increases a shelter’s reclaims while vastly expanding adoptions. The programs of the No Kill Equation include augmenting paid staff with community volunteers, foster care for sick, injured, unweaned or traumatized animals, neuter and release for feral cats, medical and behavior rehabilitation, partnerships with rescue groups, pet retention and effective public relations among others. When implemented comprehensively and with integrity, these programs are transformative.

Achieving No Kill is not complicated, but it does require replacing the traditional model of animal sheltering which is passive, complacent and plagued by convenience killing, with a proactive, can-do attitude and work ethic that rejects killing. The programs of the No Kill Equation require dedication and effort and for this reason, are sometimes portrayed by the traditional sheltering establishment as “controversial.” They are not. They are simple procedures that Americans would be shocked to learn shelters are not already doing.

When a shelter director says they are “opposed to No Kill, It means they reject foster care in favor of killing, reject vaccinations and medical care in favor of killing, reject knocking on doors to get lost dogs’ home rather than killing, and reject adoptions in favor of killing. In other words, they are advocating killing in the face of readily-available, cost-effective alternatives to killing. The same is true of each and every program of the No Kill Equation, because when a shelter implements them comprehensively, they achieve No Kill.

Success across America There are now hundreds of communities representing roughly 500 cities and towns of every conceivable demographic (rich/poor, conservative/liberal, large/small, Northern/Southern, urban/rural) across America that are saving in excess of 90% of all animals.

They range from new communities which have recently achieved that level of success to communities which did so and have continued to do so for more than a decade; from small communities taking in a few thousand animals to large ones taking in as many as 23,000 animals a year. Even Communities with high rates of impounds, foreclosures, unemployment, poverty and transient populations have achieved save rates in the mid-90th percentile.

The vast majority of communities which have achieved success have done so in six months or less. Over one new community per week saved in excess of 90% of all animals in 2012.

More Cost-Effective Than Killing No Kill is good policy that reduces costs associated with killing, enhances community support, increases user fees such as adoption revenues, and brings in additional tax revenues.

Statistics Disprove the Traditional Excuse for Killing There are roughly three million dogs and cats killed in U.S. shelters annually because they lack a home, but about 23.5 million Americans add a new dog or cat to their households every year. We do not have a “pet overpopulation” problem; we have a market share challenge. When shelters compete for the market share of homes and keep animals alive long enough to find those homes, shelter animals are saved rather than killed.

Consistent with Public Safety Since the No Kill philosophy does not mandate that truly vicious dogs and irremediably ill or injured animals be adopted, it is consistent with public health and safety.

Good Public Policy – Popular with Voters Seven out of 10 American believe that it should be illegal to kill animals in shelters unless those animals are suffering or are dangerous. As such, No Kill is a bipartisan issue with broad public support. A No Kill shelter can be a public, municipal agency and there are many No Kill animal control shelters run by government to prove it.

America’s 4 Million Shelter Animals Deserve Better Regardless of whether or not a shelter director believes No Kill is possible, he/she is obligated to try. Even if a shelter director fails to implement the No Kill Equation to the point that it replaces killing entirely, they will certainly save more animals than they would without it, and that is worth doing.

In short, No Kill is a humane, sustainable, cost-effective model that works hand in hand with public safety while reflecting the compassionate, animal-loving values of the American people. To learn more contact Steve Monahan at


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Did Dogs Come From Wolves?


Dogs were probably the first tame animals. They have accompanied humans for some 10,000 years. Some scientists assert that all dogs, domestic and wild, share a common ancestor in the small South Asian wolf.

Today humans have bred hundreds of different domestic dog breeds—some of which could never survive in the wild. Despite their many shapes and sizes all domestic dogs, from Newfoundlands to pugs, are members of the same species—Canis familiaris. Although they have domestic temperaments, these dogs are related to wolves, foxes, and jackals.

Domestic dogs still share many behaviors with their wild relatives. Both defend their territories and mark them by urinating on trees, rocks, fence posts, and other suitable sites. These scent posts serve notice to other dogs that an animal is occupying its territory.

Many pet dogs also bury bones or favorite toys for future use, just as their wild relatives sometimes bury a kill to secure the meat for later feasts.

Dogs communicate in several ways. Scent is one method, another is physical appearance. Body position, movement, and facial expression often convey a strong message. Many of these signals are recognizable even to humans, such as the excited tail-wagging of a happy dog or the bared teeth of an angry or threatened animal. Vocally, dogs communicate with a cacophony of sounds including barks, growls, and whines.

Domestic dogs serve as more than companions; many earn their keep by working hard. Dogs herd livestock, aid hunters, guard homes, and perform police and rescue work. Some special animals even guide the blind—a poignant symbol of the dog’s longstanding role as man’s best friend.


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What Are Eco Green No-Kill Animal Shelters?

It’s quiet here, even through the hum of activity sun and fresh air stream in. People walk in and out, greeting each other, bending down to pat heads and smile at the little ones. Welcome to the  21st century  no kill animal shelter.
Green BuildingTo the casual observer, an animal shelter may not seem like much of a design challenge: a structure that safely houses stray animals for subsequent adoption.  But start to consider the details of the building. It must hold different types of animals, in differently sized pens, for variable lengths of time. It should be accessible to the public and welcoming to volunteers while maintaining strict health and safety standards. It has limited staff and resources but must relentlessly promote adoption. Day-to-day operations require basic medical capabilities, laundry facilities, storage, and quarantine areas. It must not be too big (causing unnecessary maintenance and staffing demands) or too small (causing overcrowding and/or excessive distress to the animals).

“Because of their unique services, animal shelters must have the disease-prevention components of a hospital, the functional capabilities of a police station, and the user-friendly appeal of a library, ” said Geoffrey L. Handy with The Humane Society of the United States.

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Historically, shelters have gotten little architectural consideration. The prototypical shelter — a concrete building with individual chain-link kennels — reflects this inattention. Many of these structures were built-in the 1950’s and 1960’s and provided few areas for play, enrichment and human attention. This utterly utilitarian approach reflected the mentality that shelters are mere holding facilities.

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Over the following decades, public attitudes toward animal welfare, low-cost spay/neuter policies, and responsible pet ownership evolved. Euthanasia rates dropped from around 24 million pets in 1970 (around 81 percent of those entering shelters) to 6 million (around 58 percent of those entering shelters) in 1996, but shelter directors wanted to drop that number further. They began to think about how facility design could enhance their mission by boosting adoption numbers and creating a better experience for both animals and visitors, and a few architects recognized an opportunity to influence the effectiveness of these organizations from the outside in.

Group (or pod) housing is a newer development with a big, direct impact on the quality of life of shelter dogs. It can take many forms — from modestly sized rooms or kennels that house two to three pups, to shared play spaces that allow caregivers to control how much time dogs spend together and apart. Isolated housing is still used, as it can be beneficial in certain contexts, like with newly admitted dogs undergoing medical or behavioral evaluations.

The Humane Society of Silicon Valley (HSSV), a shelter in Milpitas, CA, recently constructed a new facility (pictured above) they call an “animal community center.” There, temperamentally compatible dogs may be housed in small groups once they pass their medical exams and behavioral evaluations. They live in “real life”-type rooms with proper doors and occasional furniture, which acclimates them to scenarios they will find in new homes when they are eventually adopted. The rooms are designed to insulate noise effectively, reducing stimulation from outside commotion. This isn’t only beneficial to the dogs; it also has a huge impact on visitors, who are no longer overwhelmed by cacophonous howling. Functionally, the real life rooms mean the dogs have less casual exposure to the public, so volunteers are trained to facilitate visits and give potential adopters the tactile experience of meeting the dogs.

While shared, real-life rooms have their advantages, for many shelters they are not an option due to budget, space or staff limitations. For those cases there are other design solutions.

Dr. Kate Hurley is the program director for the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at UC Davis. She advocates dog runs (housing one or more pups) split into two sides by a guillotine door. These runs give shelters greater flexibility. Dogs can be grouped in compatible pairs in the runs, with the doors left open to allow more space to run around. Or, if and when it makes more sense, the guillotine door can be lowered to keep dogs separated. This solution is useful for shelter staff as it facilitates quick and sanitary cleaning protocols, allowing kennel attendants to isolate dogs on one side of the run by closing the door while they clean the other side, minimizing disease contamination. The guillotine door can also be raised and lowered to manage structured play and quiet time, as well as during feedings, to minimize food guarding between pups.


Kennels that are divided into two areas — whether real-life rooms or more typical runs split by guillotine doors — have an important added benefit to the dogs’ well-being and stress levels. By creating a space for the pups to eliminate apart from their sleeping and eating area, shelters promote good bathroom habits. A canine has such a strong urge to separate its eating and sleeping space from its elimination areas that, according to Dr. Hurley, around 75 percent of all shelter dogs — even strays — will do this given the opportunity. According to Hurley, this significantly reduces stress and supports a desired behavior once the dog goes to its adopted home.

Additional kennel features create an environment that is easier to clean, manages odors better, and helps control disease. Sealed concrete flooring, for example, saves significant amounts on heating and cooling bills — funds that can be funneled back into animal care. High-density coatings for interior walls and floors withstand pressure hoses and detergent better than other finishes. Kennel areas with plenty of windows that bring in as much natural air and light as possible help reduce odors and create a healthier and more soothing experience for both the animals and their visitors. Observation/isolation rooms with self-contained ventilation systems allow ill dogs to be treated without jeopardizing other members of the park USA

Better design doesn’t just help the dogs who live there but it’s also beneficial for the people who visit, volunteer, and work at the shelter.

For staff, play and rest areas that keep dogs more comfortable and stress free help create a calmer and safer work environment. Hutchison observes that “real-life rooms, well-designed kennels, and other features help volunteers and staff work with animals in a non-threatening, comfortable environment.”

Facilities that are cheerful, light and welcoming also create a more pleasant experience for visitors who are turned off by the “sad factor” of entering a shelter, expecting to find dogs in prison-like conditions. Kennels with home-like furnishings or enough space for chairs, for example, allow people to interact with the animals more easily and feel comfortable taking the time they need to get to know their potential new companions.


Facilities that are pleasant to be in also naturally attract increased volunteer interest. Jeanne Wu, vice president of human resources and volunteering at HSSV, says that the number of volunteer hours given to the organization has grown 40 percent, from 53,000 to more than 74,000, since it moved to its new facility two years ago. The number of volunteers has also increased, by about 50 percent. HSSV values these hours at about $1.5 million per year — an incredible boon to the organization. Wu explains that HSSV, which has 95 full-time staff members, could not maintain optimal levels of socialization, care, and adoptions without altruistic help. Bill Hutchison feels the same way, “Volunteers enjoy being a part of such a progressively designed facility. Having a variety of design functions that address the needs of animals in many different situations is important to volunteers who know that animals in shelters have unique needs.” A dedicated volunteer room with lockers for personal items and a place to sit down, socialize, and relax supports morale and makes the shelter a fulfilling and comfortable place to spend time.


While designing a shelter that includes enriching features can cost more money, certain elements may save money over the long-term through energy savings, an increase in volunteer numbers and/or hours, or reduced medical expenses. Through the design and integration of better systems for disease-management and stress reduction, UC Davis’ Hurley sees shelters slowly shifting from being primarily adoption centers to places where prevention happens. One day their focus may even transition from finding homes for surrendered pets and strays to providing services — such as low-cost training, behavioral hotlines, and workshops to troubleshoot problems with neighbors or landlords — to help keep animals in their homes, thereby avoiding the shelter system entirely.

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One day we will see no-kill state of the art green movement animal shelters across America –

All things can happen if you believe and if you work towards them.

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