I just got home from the No Kill conference in Washington, D.C. after an early morning flight. It was my first time at this conference although I try to be a regular attendee at as many of the other large animal welfare conferences as our budget affords.
In a previous life, I was the general manager of a small town newspaper in northern Alberta. I'm not sure why the publisher of this chain of weeklies would have chosen to promote an introverted, awkward, twenty-something woman with no previous management or journalism experience to oversee a staff of 25, but he did. His philosophy was that I was moldable - and one way he did this was to send me to every weekly newspaper conference that was available within a reasonable distance. He told me that I would learn - not only from the cutting edge information presented, but from the camraderie of my peers. And I've never forgotten that lesson.
Sitting in the No Kill conference closing session yesterday, I looked around. Was I surrounded by the "crazies" that the mainstream humane movement likes to portray the No Kill followers as? Was I sitting in a room full of hoarders, warehousers, crazy cat ladies? Nope. Didn't see a one.
I saw professionally dressed, intelligent, thoughtful people from all walks of life. I had met lawyers and shelter directors, volunteers and vet techs, writers and engineers. But the one common thread binding us all together - a determination to go back to our communities and make the killing stop. It is 2010. It is time for it to stop. We have the brains and we have the willpower.
From the Facebook page of the No Kill Nation today:
Going forward- the No Kill Movement will be about Litigation & Legislation; forcing the nay sayers to be accountable to what WE will demand to be LAW and know that a NO KILL Nation will be achieved in our lifetime! There were several NEW faces present bringing a breath of fresh air to the movement; welcome to all!