Results Coming In – No Kill Equation Being Validated Scientifically
When I started No Kill Learning, and began conducting shelter and community assessments using my newly created online assessment tools, I did it entirely to help shelters and communities increase the live outcomes from their animal shelters. Little did I know that I was on to something potentially much bigger. It turns out the assessment data could be on the verge of scientifically proving the efficacy of the No Kill Equation, a set of 11 components, first articulated by Nathan Winograd in his book Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America.
When evaluating shelters or communities, I ask stakeholders in the area to evaluate the community or shelter on these 11 elements. Though not particularly surprising, the results, after having done assessment for about one year, are fascinating. The most interesting part of the data is this: there is a direct correlation between people’s evaluations of the elements of the No Kill Equation and the community’s Live Release Rate (LRR)*. Most startlingly, this correlation holds true even for evaluators who do not know their community’s outcome statistics.
The communities and shelters assessed have covered a broad spectrum, from those with very low LRR (around 50%) to those with very high LRR (close to 100%). They have represented affluent costal communities and very poor rural communities. But, regardless of all other factors, one thing is consistent: communities with high LRR get high ratings for their implementations of the No Kill Equation. Shelters with low LRR get low ratings for their implementations of the No Kill Equation.
The assessments capture another note-worthy measure: evaluators view their shelters more favorably when they implement these programs and get better results.
None of this is likely to come as a big surprise to anyone who has read about the No Kill Equation, or who has implemented its programs. Most all of it, after all, seems like basic common sense. It is, however, very interesting to have separate data points that cross validate the No Kill Equation’s efficacy.
As time goes on, I will continue collecting more assessment data, and will even collect follow-up data from communities who have implemented changes as a result of the assessments. As the data set becomes larger and richer, it should also grow more interesting. One thing is already abundantly clear: Implementing the No Kill Equation saves lives and makes people in the community happier.
* Note: The LRR is computed using the percent of live outcomes from shelters relative to total shelter outcomes, which is more accurate, and slightly different than the way some shelters calculate their LRR.