Stories of Change & No Kill Michigan – Progress We Have Made!
Looking for inspiration as to how shelter improvements can be made? Are No Kill programs really working? What changes can a poorly-performing shelter make to save more lives? Attend these sessions at the 2016 Getting to the Goal conference.
Stories of change – Three large Michigan shelters have had dramatic turnarounds in the last two years. Listen to their stories, as presented by their directors. Learn what led up to the change, the challenges they face, and their vision for the future for their shelters. Paul Wallace, Genesee County Animal Control; Melissa Miller, Detroit Animal Care & Control; Ken Kempkens, Humane Society of Macomb
No Kill Michigan: Progress We Have Made (Opening Session, 9 a.m. Friday) – The 1st Michigan No Kill Conference was 2011. Several years prior to the conference, Otsego County Animal Shelter was Michigan’s first county to adopt a millage, develop a collaborative public/private partnership and become no-kill saving 90% or more of the animals in their care. Shortly after Otsego’s live-saving measures, UPAWS in Marquette was teetering on the brink of closing due to financial issues. Their board decided they had NOTHING TO LOSE, they read together Nathan Winograd’s book Redemption: The No Kill Revolution in America and decided to implement the programs he said were possible – and almost immediately they were saving over 90% of the animals in their care. In 2014, 40% of Michigan’s Counties were no-kill. So what do the 2015 numbers tell us? Deborah Schutt, Michigan Pet Fund Alliance
Meet the presenters:
Kenneth Kempkens has 39 years in various management and sales positions in the graphic arts industry, during which time he met and developed a great relationship with Mr. George Fox at the Humane Society of Macomb. Ken was asked to join the Board of Directors when Mr. Fox passed away and eventually was elected to fill his seat on the Board. In 2014 he was elected to the Board of Directors as its President. In his 2nd year as President he assumed a more hands-on approach to the day-to-day operations of the shelter. Ken oversaw the introduction of many new and exciting programs and worked directly with the Director to make some positive changes and helped to move the Humane Society of Macomb from a high kill shelter to its current situation as a no kill shelter. In the past 12 months Ken is proud to say that through teamwork and a great crew they have accomplished the necessary steps to boast a 95% save rate. Ken intends to make sure that, using Best Practices, this trend will continue into the future. Ken has been married to his wife Josie for 43 years. They have two sons and three grandchildren. They have adopted numerous shelter animals and now live in Clinton Township with their lab/pit Roxie. She rules the house.
Melissa Miller is Director of Detroit Animal Care and Control. She is a former Shelter Operations Manager and sheltering consultant for the Humane Society of the United States Animal Rescue Team, as well as co-founder of Dog Aide, a non-profit devoted to shelter intervention and owner retention. Melissa holds Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) certifications.
Deborah Schutt is chair and one of the founders of the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. She is an urban planner by profession. After 21 years working for the public sector, she established her own consulting firm 19 years ago, working out of her home, which allowed her to volunteer as a foster parent for puppies. As she became more familiar and more involved with animal welfare, Deborah became acutely aware of the lack of planning, collaboration and use of systematic approaches, which were successfully used in other areas of her profession, to solve and address problems and issues in animal welfare. She became convinced that animal homelessness in Michigan could be solved, including saving the more than 100,000 animals annually euthanized in shelters, if a different approach was taken. Since the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance has been providing information on best practices and supporting advocacy, Michigan shelters have reduced the number of animals euthanized annually in shelters to 37,000.
Paul Wallace took the reins as Director of Genesee County Animal Control in January 2015 with his work cut out for him. The good news was the county had recently approve a millage to support the shelter. The challenging news was the shelter was the subject of public controversy with high kill rates, locked doors, shut out volunteers and what some felt were secretive operations. Paul’s three decades of law enforcement experience for Genesee County and the city of Clio as – patrolmen, detective, and commander – provided many of the skill sets needed for the challenge. As a respected community leader with long-standing associations and respect, political confidence increased delivering the support needed to institute many of the transformations at the municipal shelter. Paul will be the first to tell you there is still a lot to be done. Paul’s love of animals began during his childhood growing up across the street from a farm that provided him the hands-on opportunities of caring for horses, cows, chickens, etc., and of course having his own furry pals through-out the years.
a time when the future of Animal Control is being shaped to the benefit of the public, the animals, the volunteers and the staff. Ask Amy about her travels with Sully.
For more information about the conference, to become an exhibitor or sponsor, or to register, click here.