Dear fellow animal welfare professionals
We are living through some very difficult times right now, yet those of us in the animal care and control field are persevering. NACA is committed to being by the side of every single person putting themself at risk to continue serving the animals and people in their communities. We also recognize that there are many of you who want to serve but cannot due to lay-offs, furloughs, reduced hours and slashed budgets.
With these challenges in mind, NACA is giving everyone the opportunity to share in the unity we provide and the benefits afforded to all members at a more reasonable cost. We have decided to cut our annual membership fee of $50 in half to $25, or only $20 if you are a member of a member state-affiliated association!
When we offered a free three-month trial membership in March, the response was overwhelming! Close to 900 people signed up and many began immediately accessing our benefits, such as viewing the archived training webinars that were conducted in partnership with the Justice Clearinghouse.
We took this immense interest as a sign that if NACA were more affordable, more people would join in our fight to bring our field the pride, professionalism and unity it deserves. To those of you who signed up as a full member sometime after March 1, we are extending your membership to a two-year, fully paid membership giving you an additional year of benefits.
While times are tough out there, they are also tough here at NACA. We have been forced to cancel far too many of our NACHO training classes that we do in partnership with Code 3 (cancelling just one is too many in my book!). These trainings are not only our longstanding pledge to you to provide world-class animal control and humane law officer certification training, they also represent a significant source of our annual revenue.
So why would cutting fees now be sensible? Wouldn’t the more advisable path be to increase costs?
Perhaps, but that doesn’t sit right with me, not when I meet and talk to officers, shelter staff and advocates who are living paycheck to paycheck yet still want to be a part of the NACA family.
NACA’s strength has always been and will continue to be in our numbers. I know that not only will we get through these dark times, we will get through them together as one.
Stay safe and stay proud.
National Animal Care and Control Association
Animal services staff members are first responders who are endowed with a unique opportunity: not only do these hardworking people tirelessly protect the welfare of helpless animals that endure injury, disease, abuse, and starvation, but they also protect the people in their communities by enforcing animal control laws, preventing the spread of disease, educating the public on proper pet care.
National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week, celebrated annually during the second full week of April, is an opportunity for animal care and control personnel, and the communities that they serve, to acknowledge and celebrate the essential services that these fearless people provide day in and day out.
This year’s National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week is an especially important one, as animal control officers and shelter staff everywhere continue to work on the front lines to navigate the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below are just a few pictures of animal care and control officers and shelter staff across the country who, like other emergency and essential personnel, are showing up to work—risking their safety to go above and beyond for the animals and people that they are committed to serving. While some of them have personal protective equipment (PPE), others do not. While some of them are performing harrowing animal rescues, others are working hard to operate pet food pantries and other outreach efforts for their communities. While some of them are the only healthy and working officer on their force, others continue to work closely together while abiding by safe social distancing practices.
Even though these photos depict the wide range of issues and challenges that animal care and control and shelter personnel are facing, there is one thing that they all have in common: each of these incredible humans is out there, doing what they can, to ensure the safety and protection of all of the beings in their care.
On behalf of everyone at NACA, we thank you for your selfless service and for putting your lives on the line for the animals and humans alike who depend on you.
For years all of us in the Animal Welfare field have fought to gain traction and support for spay/neuter services in its varying iterations, most especially pre-adoption sterilization performed by our agencies or community partners to assist in the reduction of pet overpopulation and unintended breeding. Now amidst the rest of the chaos that has come from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are being asked and asking our agencies and partners to stop this essential service in an effort to conserve medical supplies.
Who would have ever thought that we as Animal Welfare Professionals would ever be the voices saying, “No, we will be adopting and otherwise placing animals without sterilizing them first, and that is okay?” Yet here we are.
It is imperative during this time to understand the “Why” behind this decision, and that why looks a bit different for every community but has a shared theme.
While we as Animal Welfare professionals still consider pre-adoption sterilization an essential service, we are beyond that terminology now in the COVID-19 pandemic. We have reached a point at which we should be conserving supplies for the treatment of human victims of the pandemic and other life-threatening conditions and animals in need of surgical intervention due to life-threatening conditions.
Emergency Life-Threatening Conditions are a reality of everyday life for people and pets, and in veterinary healthcare can include a variety of conditions such as:
- A pet being hit by a car
- Laceration requiring surgical intervention
- Gastric Foreign body removal
- Gastric Dilation & Volvulus (GDV)
- Pyometra (which will result in the female being spayed)
- And many more
It is vital that when discussing this change with our staff, volunteers, communities, and stakeholders, we include the following information:
- This is a TEMPORARY change dictated by a national emergency, NOT a philosophical change regarding the essential nature of spay/neuter services under normal operating conditions
- Inability to sterilize pet’s pre-adoption is NOT and CANNOT BE justification for unnecessary euthanasia
- This is larger than Animal Welfare and our missions, we are in a state of national emergency and must think in broader terms of public health and safety.
- This is a marathon, not a sprint, and it is imperative that we continue to focus on the fact that We are ALL in this Together!