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Friday October 24th 2014

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Just One Extraordinary Day

By Sarah McCartan

It may be just one day, but it’s an extraordinary one. For more than 10,000 animals, it is one more day they will be able to see the light of day.

Animal shelters across the nation have signed a pledge to be “no kill” for “Just One Day”—June 11, 2013. The significance of the day goes back to a kill shelter in Ithaca, N.Y. that decided to become “no kill.” On June 10, 2001 there were no “no kill” communities in the United States. On June 11, 2001, Tompkins County became the first.

Locally, the Escambia County Animal Shelter has joined the pledge to not euthanize any savable animals on Tuesday, June 11 but rather shift the day’s focus toward adopting these animals out to loving homes with an on-site event. The public adoption event kicks off with an opening ceremony at 12 p.m., with reduced adoption rates extending from 1 to 7 p.m.

Although taking place at the shelter, this community event is planned, organized and hosted by Escambia County’s Animal Services Advisory Committee (ASAC). ASAC is a volunteer group that was formed in 2009 to act as a communication channel between individuals in the community having problems with animals, and county commissioners. Members of ASAC will be at the event to speak with the community regarding who they are, what they do and how they serve the county, as well as communicating the impact of “Just One Day.” ASAC committee representative for District 3, Pattie Krakowski, is acting chair of this event.

“Money raised at the event will be used for items that the shelter needs, and go toward supporting rescue groups in town,” she said.

A number of rescue groups and area non-profits including the Humane Society and Junior Humane Society will be present at the event. Those who may not be able to adopt an animal are still encouraged to come learn about the mission of these groups, as well as fostering and volunteer opportunities that are available.

The event offers an opportunity to bring to light issues our community faces, such as the high number of animals that aren’t spayed and neutered, and communicate where these services are available to the community at low or no cost.

Although on one hand “Just One Day” is a celebration of the growing number of communities nationwide that are becoming “no kill,” on the other, it is a reminder of the progress that still needs to be made, and the work that must be done in our own community.

Krakowski affirms that this is not just another day, but a step toward becoming a “no kill” nation, but first, locally, a “no kill” county.

“The idea is that if you can become ‘no kill’ for one day, then you can become ‘no kill’ for two days, then two weeks and then overtime, a ‘no kill’ shelter,” she said. “I look at June 11 as the first step in the journey toward making the Escambia County Animal Shelter a ‘no kill’ shelter.”

The first 100 individuals or families to adopt a pet from the shelter on June 11 will receive a special gift bag from ASAC as a token of appreciation. Area pet stores have generously donated supplies, treat bags and other items for the event and local businesses have donated services such as free office visits, as well as items for a raffle. A food drive for cats and dogs of all ages is also part of the event.

JUST ONE DAY
WHAT: “Just One Day” Public Adoption Event
WHEN: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 (Opening ceremony at 12 p.m.)
WHERE: Escambia County Animal Shelter, 200 W. Fairfield Drive
COST: Free and open to the public
DETAILS: To learn more about the movement, visit justoneday.ws

To view animals currently available for adoption at the Escambia County Animal Shelter, visit myescambia.com/community/adoptable-animals