Since Passing CAPA, St. Paul Remains Largest No Kill Community in Minnesota
Three years ago today, St. Paul City Council President Kathy Lantry introduced a new City Ordinance called the Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA). I am proud to have been there helping and supporting. The ordinance went on to pass shortly thereafter and, almost immediately St. Paul became the largest No Kill community in the state of Minnesota, with all of the shelters in that city reporting Live Release Rates (LRR) of more than 90% (link & link)
CAPA is a common sense, rational way of providing non-intrusive guidelines for animal shelter operations that work. It helps align shelter operations with public expectations, improves shelter transparency and, most importantly, it saves lives. CAPA language can be constructed locally as a City or County ordinance or state-wide as a bill to be introduced in the state legislature.
The basic provisions of CAPA are uncontroversial to members of the general public, because they only require of animal shelters what most people believe animal shelters should do, or that they are already doing. For example, it makes it illegal for an animal shelter to kill a healthy pet when they have space available in which that animal can be housed. It makes it illegal for an animal shelter to kill a healthy animal surrendered by his or her owner within minutes of intake, thereby giving the family an opportunity to change their minds. It mandates humane methods of euthanasia when euthanasia is actually required. It also requires clear and transparent reporting of animal intake and outcome numbers to the public.
For animal shelters currently performing well under effective leadership, passing CAPA as local or state-wide law helps ensure the shelter will continue performing, even in the event that leadership at the shelter changes. For shelters not performing well, it is a way to push them to do the most basic things most people expect animal shelters to be doing already. It is a gentle way of drawing a line in the sand and saying, in effect, "You do not kill healthy or treatable animals that have good options readily available." CAPA does not mandate the achievement of No Kill status; however, achievement of No Kill is usually what results when animal shelters follow the guidelines laid out in CAPA.
No Kill Learning is available to work with your legal team to help construct, build support for and pass CAPA in your community. For more information, contact us today.