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Board Members

Janelle Dixon, Chair, Animal Humane Society

Lisa LaFontaine, Vice Chair, Washington Humane Society

Anne Reed, Secretary, Wisconsin Humane Society

Jodi Lytle Buckman, Treasurer, ASPCA

Sharon Harmon, Past Chair, Oregon Humane Society

Madeline Bernstein, SPCA-Los Angeles

Sharon Harvey, Cleveland Animal Protective League

Mary Jarvis, Washington Animal Rescue League

Betsy McFarland, Humane Society of the United States

Shelly Moore, Humane Society of Charlotte

Gary Tiscornia, SPCA for Monterey County

Dr. Gary Weitzman, San Diego Humane Society & SPCA

Leslie Yoder, CO Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies


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2020 Vision

"A Home for Every Healthy Pet"(c)

What is the 2020 Vision?

Simply put, the 2020 Vision is a collaborative effort to find a home for every pet by the year 2020.

Officially, the goal of the 2020 Vision is;

To unite the animal welfare industry and engage communities in homing every healthy and treatable companion animal entering an animal care facility on a nationwide basis by the year 2020

How does the Federation's 2020 Vision differ from the initiatives of other large humane organizations such as Maddie's Fund's No-kill Nation and the ASPCA's Mission Orange?

While organizations such as the ASPCA and Maddie's Fund have created marketing strategies to assist with the vision of ending euthanasia of healthy animals, the 2020 Vision creates a workable plan by which local humane organizations can work cooperatively throughout the nation to solve the problem of pet overpopulation. National groups can certainly raise awareness, provide resources and training but it is the local organizations, like the members of the National Federation who must shoulder the responsibility of implementing and achieving the 2020 Vision.

Why has the Federation chosen to take on such a lofty goal?

Because the Federation is the animal welfare industry's only trade organization, it is the only organization that is made up of the animal welfare organizations charged with solving pet overpopulation in local animal care facilities on a daily basis. Therefore the Federation is uniquely positioned to best communicate with, advocate for and respond to the needs of members who will be working on a daily basis to see the 2020 Vision through to achieving the goal.

How does the 2020 Vision define healthy?

The Federation supports the Asilomar Accords definitions of healthy and treatable.

Therefore, a healthy animal is one that, at eight weeks of age or older, has manifested no sign of a behavioral or temperamental characteristic that could pose a health or safety risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet, and have manifested no sign of disease, injury, a congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the animal or that is likely to adversely affect the animal's health in the future.

As defined by the Asilomar Accords, treatable means and includes all dogs and cats who are "rehabilitatable" and all dogs and cats who are "manageable".

Rehabilitatable means and includes all dogs and cats who are not "healthy", but who are likely to become "healthy" if given medical, foster, behavioral, or other care equivalent to the care typically provided to pets by reasonable and caring pet owners/guardians in the community.

Manageable means and includes all dogs and cats who are not "healthy" and who are not likely to become "healthy" regardless of the care provided; but who would likely maintain a satisfactory quality of life, if given medical, foster, behavioral or other care, including long-term care, equivalent to the care typically provided to pets by reasonable and caring owners/guardians in the community; provided, however, that the term "manageable" does not include any dog or cat who is determined to pose a significant risk to humane health or safety or to the health or safety of other animals.

Does the Federation intend to collaborate with other national groups in an effort to see the 2020 Vision succeed?

Absolutely! The Federation understands how difficult this vision will be to achieve and knows that the goal will be much more attainable as a collaborative effort with such groups as the ASPCA, Maddie's Fund, The HSUS, American Humane Association, SAWA, NACA, Best Friends, the Asilomar Working Group, and others.

How can my organization become part of this effort?

The best way to be engaged is to become a member of the National Federation of Humane Societies and become active in the groups working to implement the strategies necessary to achieve the Vision. This is a great way to form close working relationships with your peers and to aid you in meeting the challenges that you face. The Federation will do its best to support all organizations which have pledged to achieve the goal, whether or not your organization has elected to become a member and a leader of the 2020 Vision effort.Contact us and let us know you share the Vision.

How can organizations with limited resources and high euthanasia rates help achieve the 2020 Vision?

The National Federation's members are primarily local sheltering organizations just like yours. Many of the Federation's members have pioneered successful programs locally to help them begin to focus on adoption and reduce euthanasia and have committed their limited resources to the key efforts that will assist them in reaching their goal of homing every healthy and treatable companion animal.

All members can learn how to implement these same programs to help your agency begin to turn the corner in decreasing intake, increasing adoptions and reducing euthanasia.Our members are active in creating tool kits to provide assistance to agencies just committing to the Vision and building a mentoring program to provide ongoing support to agencies committed to achieving the 2020 Vision.

What efforts will be made to engage the public in this initiative?

Most significantly, Maddie's Fund, The HSUS and the Ad Council will be conducting research and launching a three year national media campaign in 2009 to engage the public in pet adoption. The Shelter Pet Project will be the largest ever implemented to promote local pet adoption. The National Federation will be a partner in promoting the Shelter Pet Project.

Building on the awareness created by this national effort, the National Federation will be promoting the 2020 Vision to local media with messages originated through its members and tailored to each specific community, local organization and their needs.The focus of these messages will be on engaging communities to work cooperatively to end pet overpopulation and find a home for every healthy, treatable animal in their community.

So when will the 2020 Vision begin?

It already has!Many of the Federation's members and others launched efforts to decrease the numbers of homeless animals and increase adoptions years ago.There are a number of organizations and coalitions across the country who are deeply committed to ending pet overpopulation and who are today showing great progress with save rates in the mid-80 % range and higher.These have not been overnight gains; they have involved agency and community-wide commitment, a sharp focus on saving lives and a great deal of hard work and team effort.The 2020 Vision is to use the knowledge gained from these pioneers to aid other agencies in developing, implementing and reporting on similar success models that can be adopted by everyone.

How will success be measured?

Consistent, transparent public reporting of operational statistics is key both for local agencies to understand where improvements must be made and to gauge your effectiveness with similar organizations.Open reporting is also key in gaining the trust and support of your community.The National Federation supports the Asilomar reporting format and will encourage all agencies to report in a consistent manner so that progress in achieving the 2020 Vision can be reported in a meaningful manner on a national basis.

Can you give me specific ideas on what the 2020 Vision can offer my agency to achieve the goal?

Federation member organizations support;

  • Implementing comprehensive adoption programs that include convenient hours for adoptions and off-site adoption events and facilities to improve traffic and boost adoptions.
  • A commitment to capturing and reporting key operational statistics in a commonly accepted format.The Federation supports reporting data in an Asilomar compliant format.This is crucial to understanding your results today and measuring your success.
  • Developing transparent reporting and engaging donors in monitoring and supporting local efforts is critical to gaining public support.
  • Building local collaborative coalitions to expand capacity and engage all local resources in ending pet overpopulation.
  • Expanding foster programs to allow much greater flexibility in housing animals during peak periods and gives animals awaiting adoption quiet, safe homes in which to acclimate.
  • Some successful organizations have foster networks with thousands of foster volunteers participating.
  • Dedicated trap-neuter-return programs for managed feral colonies.
  • High volume, low cost spay/neuter programs to reduce the numbers of pets needing homes.
  • Expanding relationships and building coalitions with other local sheltering groups and rescue organizations and sharing assets have allowed many communities to make significant gains in adoptions.
  • Community outreach and PR efforts to improve licensing compliance, boost regular veterinary care and improve pet retention have been successfully implemented.
  • Providing regular training classes for pets and owners and offering "helpline" counseling aids in keeping pets in homes, owner's committed and builds awareness and support.

These types of innovative programs and public outreach efforts can significantly impact donor acquisition and support.Each of these efforts have been developed and implemented successfully by Federation members and can be replicated in your local community.

The Federation's members have pledged to work cooperatively in an organization to organization mentoring program, sharing knowledge and aiding like-minded organizations who are willing to commit to achieving the 2020 Vision with us.

The Federation is also modeling successful coalitions, organizations and programs and compiling "How To" Guides created from member's real world experiences that agencies can use to implement similar programs in their shelters and communities.We can also direct you to a wealth of resources created by many organizations that can assist with specific topics related to achieving the 2020 Vision.

"There is a strong voice for animals when we all speak as one"(c)

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