New Jersey declares 'thumbs up' for no-kill

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The first step in achieving no-kill in any community is making a commitment to no-kill and the policies and programs that will get you there. No matter what level of government we’re talking about, officially establishing the goal of ending the killing of cats and dogs in shelters is a big moment signifying change.

As we mentioned in a blog post recently, Best Friends worked with lawmakers in Los Angeles to pass a no-kill resolution in that city — the largest city in the U.S. to pass such a resolution.

Assemblyman Eustace (middle) with Best Friends Advocacy Team Coordinator and New Jersey resident, AJ Albrecht (right)[/caption]

Now, we’re thrilled to report that Resolution 237 has passed in the New Jersey state assembly. Sponsored by Assemblyman Tim Eustace, the resolution passed unanimously, receiving 74 votes (one member didn’t vote). I encourage you to take a look at the text of the resolution by clicking here.

It’s a strong message to send to the shelters across the state of New Jersey, that the elected officials at the state level want to put an end to the killing. New Jersey overall has been doing well, with an aggregate shelter save rate of approximately 79 percent in 2015. This kind of endorsement from the state’s assembly will help to push the state over the 90 percent mark, and the resolution sets a goal for the entire state to achieve no-kill by 2025 — although New Jersey can, and certainly will, hit that mark much sooner than that.

Resolutions, although non-binding from a legislative perspective, are powerful ways to “draw a line in the sand.” They establish a North Star that helps to get everyone heading in the same direction, and in this case, it’s made the entire state accountable to achieving the no-kill goal.

This resolution is timely, as it has been passed just a few weeks before Best Friends and more than 1,200 no-kill advocates descend on Atlantic City, New Jersey, for the 2017 Best Friends National Conference. New Jersey holds importance in the movement for many reasons, including the famous “boardwalk cats” trap-neuter-return (TNR) project that was started in the year 2000. That project, one of the earliest and most successful managed colonies, has served as a model and has demonstrated TNR’s efficacy in reducing the size of community cat colonies.

This resolution is quite the welcome banner for everyone coming to the conference this year.

Thank you to Assemblyman Eustice for his leadership, and to the entire legislative, animal welfare and pet-loving public of the Garden State for their support to Save Them All.

Francis Battista