“There is no man so poor but what he can afford to keep one dog.” Josh Billings, American, 1818-1885

In the next posts, read about West Coast Dog Trainer Robert Cabral’s Patron-sponsored event for his organization, Bound Angels and follow a young woman as she welcomes a special Service Dog into her life!

If you have enjoyed learning about National Dog Week or have benefited by being featured on this site, now would be a great time to go on over and LIKE my new page for National Dog Week. Blogging and maintaining social media sites take a lot of time and work, and I thank you in advance for helping spread the bark…NDW is observed the week of September 19th this year. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974Watch for exciting new announcements!

 Thomas Cole of Shelter Revolution http://www.nationaldogweekbook.wordpress.com is hard at work making changes in the way adoptable animals are cared for as they await new homes.  Allowing these animals to live in a more positive and comfortable environment, where those dog requiring social rehabbing can receive the help they need, Thomas envisions a more humane future for our pets and  more satisfying and safe adoptions.

Pet-advocate “Willie Wonka,” Vice President of Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love, http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Project-Pets-Spay-Neuter-Love/160594203971240 reminds us all that the Spaying and Neutering of our pets is a crucial component of this goal. If we can reduce the large number of homeless cats and dogs introduced into the world each day, it can make the goals of Shelter Revolution reachable, serving as the model of the future for a kinder sheltering experience. “WW” is known for saying that we cannot rescue our way out of this mess. If you do the math, you know this is true.

In this interview, a follow-up to the one on May 15th of this year, I asked Thomas what it would really take to establish the model of his “dreams.” I am staying out of his way, and presenting the material as he organized it.  Please take time to read.  If there is something of note you feel you can help with, please contact Thomas directly at thomas@shelterrevolution.org, or me, pst39crd@aol.com.

Here is Part Two of the Shelter Revolution Series…

 The question always comes down to build new or revamp the old? New is always better but not always possible. Who wouldn’t want a 5-10 acre place in the country for the dogs and cats to romp in? Those inner city facilities will just need to focus on offsite rehab done by rehabbers in their homes (just like I have personally mastered!).

I have never had the luxury of beautiful buildings and a large paid staff. I had to make do with pole barns and volunteers. We ran a 100% no-kill operation back in 1963 with that kind of makeshift facility – long before the term no-kill was even used.   I can do it again and so can others with guidance. We don’t need millions of dollars.

Don’t get me wrong! I’d love to have the $5-7 million most new facilities cost to open their doors. If I did have that the money would go to designing a facility for animals not for humans. No fancy lobbies, no vaulted ceilings, no big offices. Maybe a daycare center for volunteers. But I’d certainly have a beautiful natural pond for the dogs to play in…

A pond in Chicago built by Thomas Cole

How would the facility be run?

 •  Open-admission

•  Displays in large open groups (25-30) only animals that get along.

•  A separate quarantine area will house new intakes and sick/injured animals.

•  Special fosters will provide extended off-site care for sick/injured/senior and neonatal during their recovery.

•  In-home rehab for those not ready for group living (and therefore, not ready for adoption) – provided by trained and experienced local rescuers and fosters.

•  Volunteers will provide most of the labor needed to serve the animal population at the Center.

•  Animal Control and catch poles will be euthanized, giving way to an unarmed “courtesy patrol” made up of volunteers trained in handling scared dogs and cats. No SWAT uniforms – the police will handle the cases involving violent people!  (i.e. enforcement is police work, investigations by trained & licensed animal control agents only)


Within 3-4 years the community will no longer be able to fill local adoption needs without going outside the community for a new supply of animals.


• $1-3 million for Green (Gold LEEDS certification) buildings.

•  1-2 acre land costs to be determined.

•  Staff positions will be below market-rate salaries; this is non-profit work.

•  Annual operating budget (exclusive of special S/N funding) approx $1-2 million.


Marin County or Sonoma County – weather is good, they need a better example (especially Sonoma County).

Would benefit the fragmented Bay Area by pulling together local rescue groups and shelters.


Need 3 buildings – don’t have to be fancy. Pole barns are fine. Dogs and cats don’t need fancy entryways, vaulted ceilings or grand lobbies.

•  Adoption Center display area (60-70 dogs, 40-70 cats)

•  Indoor play/exercise facility (for bad weather or emergency rescue situations)

•  Medical and intake holding area. Will need 3-4 outside fenced exercise and lounging areas (1-2 acres best) as well as a 1/8-acre manmade Aquascapes pond for the dogs.


I will train local rescuers and experienced fosters to work with “reactive” dogs and cats. These are animals who cannot get along well in a group setting. Rehabbers will return dogs often for group interaction (socialization) at the AC as their rehab progresses. This prepares them for reentry to the large groups and adoption.


•  need 2 senior managers only to run the entire operation: an experienced medical person and a business manager to handle internal and external reporting, cash management, limited auditing. All bookkeeping will be hired out to a local firm to protect integrity. Monthly performance reporting will ensure transparency to the public. Annual audits will ensure system integrity.

 •  Volunteers will make up most of the work force including shelter operations, reporting systems, offsite adoption events, volunteer coordinating, and dog training for humans.

 •  I will personally customize with Endel Jurman, CEO of ChameleonBeach software, a fully automated operations reporting system using Chameleon software. Dogs and cats will wear collars with scannable (think UPC bar codes) ID tags for control through the system. This system will include modules for open-admission control of strays and seizures, interactive reports on all animals whether adoptable, in medical quarantine or in offsite rehab, up-to-the-minute photos and updates posted on-line by volunteers. This entire process will be run by volunteers.

 •  All animal areas, especially quarantine and stray impound, will have cameras installed for public monitoring.

 •  All area residents will be able to keep tabs ONLINE on animals and place a hold for adoption on an animal they like. Required licensing can be purchased on-line through the Chameleon system. Strays will be posted for reclaim online.

 •  Offsite “kiosk viewers” can be purchased and placed in strategic malls and pet stores to draw attention to available animals.

 •  Local rehabbers (former rescuers and fosters) will be provided free broadband internet service to post updates each week. They will be able to seek advice from a help desk and answer questions from interested adopters right from their home.

 •   Internships will be sought from local colleges and professional-level help from retired business people.

In their words and actions, Thomas and WW carry out the original goals of Will Judy’s National Dog Week Movement established in 1928. Without benefit of Social Media, Judy, this unsung hero to the American Canine, helped to educate the growing population of American dog owners…a leader of the human pack…He trained humans, not dogs, long before it was popular! To learn more, please see ABOUT.

Copyright © 2011 by Lisa Begin-Kruysman. All rights reserved.  No part of this blog, or book excerpts, may be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law, or in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.  For information, contact pst39crd@aol.com.