Impact of The Anti-Cruelty Society
The Anti-Cruelty Society serves more than 40,000 pets and their humans each year through sheltering, spay/neuter services, training, behavior hotline, classes, and programs. As an open door shelter, we care for any animal for any reason and we are dedicated to providing compassionate care to those pets who need our help. We follow the Asilomar Accords as guidelines to gather and process data while assuring consistent reporting across agencies.
The Asilomar Accords are guidelines that facilitate the data collection process and assure consistent reporting across agencies. At The Anti-Cruelty Society, we strictly follow these guidelines to ensure that our numbers are accurate and that we are as transparent as possible to the public.
What is Asilomar?
In August of 2004, a group of leaders in animal welfare industry from across the nation convened at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California, for the purpose of building bridges across varying philosophies, developing relationships, and creating goals focused on significantly reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals in the United States.
The Guiding Principles for Asilomar Accords Statistics
The mission of those involved in creating the Asilomar Accords is to work together to save the lives of all healthy and treatable companion animals.
- We recognize that all stakeholders in the animal welfare community have a passion for our mutual goal of saving the lives of animals, and that we are all dedicated to this mission.
- We acknowledge that the euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals is the sad responsibility of some animal welfare organizations that neither desired nor sought this task. We believe that the euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals is a community-wide problem requiring community-based solutions. We also recognize that animal welfare organizations can be leaders in bringing about change in the social factors that result in the euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals, including the compounding problems of the failure of some pet owners to spay and neuter, properly socialize and train, be tolerant of, provide veterinary care for, or take responsibility for their companion animals.
- We, as animal welfare stakeholders, agree to foster a mutual respect for one another. When discussing differences of policy and opinion – either publicly or within and among our own agencies – we agree to refrain from denigrating or speaking ill of one another. We will also encourage those other individuals and organizations in our sphere of influence to do the same.
- We encourage all communities to embrace the vision and spirit of these Accords, while acknowledging that differences exist between various communities and geographic regions of the country.
- We encourage the creation of local “community coalitions” consisting of a variety of organizations (e.g., governmental animal control agencies, nonprofit shelters, grassroots foster care providers, feral cat groups, and funders and veterinary associations) for the purpose of saving the lives of healthy and treatable animals. We are committed to the belief that no one organization or type of organization can achieve this goal alone, that we need one another, and that the only true solution is to work together. We need to find common ground, put aside our differences, and work collaboratively to reach the ultimate goal of ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals.
- While we understand that other types of programs and efforts (including adoption, spay and neuter programs, education, cruelty investigations, enforcement of animal control laws and regulations, behavior and training assistance, and feral cat management) play a critical role in impacting euthanasia figures, for purposes of this nationwide initiative, we have elected to leave these programs in the hands of local organizations and encourage them to continue offering, and expanding upon, these critical services.
- In order to achieve harmony and forward progress, we encourage each community coalition to discuss language and terminology that has historically been viewed as hurtful or divisive by some animal welfare stakeholders (whether intentional or inadvertent), identify “problem” language, and reach a consensus to modify or phase out language and terminology accordingly.
- We believe in the importance of transparency and the open sharing of accurate, complete animal-sheltering data and statistics in a manner that is clear to both the animal welfare community and the public-at-large.
- We believe it is essential to utilize a uniform method for collecting and reporting shelter data, in order to promote transparency and better assess the euthanasia rate of healthy and treatable animals. We determined that a uniform method of reporting needs to include the collection and analysis of animal-sheltering data as set forth in the “Animal Statistics Table.” These statistics need to be collected for each individual organization and for the community as a whole and need to be reported to the public annually (via web sites, newsletters, annual reports, etc.). In addition, we determined that each community’s “Live Release Rate” needs to be calculated, shared, and reported annually to the public, both individually by each organization and jointly by each community coalition. Individual organizations and community coalitions should strive to continuously improve of these numbers. The “Animal Statistics Table” and formulas for calculating the “Live Release Rate” are set forth in Section IV of these Accords.
- We developed several standard “definitions” to enable uniform and accurate collection, analysis, and reporting of animal-sheltering data and statistics. We encourage all communities to adopt the definitions, which are set forth in Section III, and implement the principles of these Accords.
- While we recognize that many animal welfare organizations provide services to companion animals other than cats and dogs, for purposes of this nationwide initiative, we have elected to only collect and share data that relates to cats and dogs.
- We are committed to continuing the dialogue, analysis, and potential modification of this vision as needs change and progress is made toward achieving our goal.
- Those involved in the development of the Asilomar Accords have agreed to make a personal commitment to ensure the furtherance of these accords, and to use their professional influence to bring about a nationwide adoption of this vision.