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Just One Day: A day of hope for Georgia's homeless pets

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June 11, 2012 is a day to remember and to celebrate life in a very practical way. On that day, animal shelters and rescue groups across the nation will observe a day of not killing any healthy or treatable homeless pets.

Just One Day is a chance to make a lifesaving difference for over 10,000 animals nationwide.

A day is 24 hours. A day is how we measure how much time we spend at work. A day can be something we look forward to, a celebration of some kind. But in U.S. animal shelters, a day represents 10,411 lives needlessly lost.

To most people, June 11 is Just One Day. But, June 11 is a day that could change everything for 10,411 companion animals, and a day that can change the world. On June 11, 2012, we could be a No Kill nation.

Georgia has over 400 shelters and rescue groups listed on Petfinder. According to a report issued by the Georgia Voters for Animal Welfare, an estimated 260,000 shelter pets are killed annually in the state. Given that June 11 is during the height of kitten season, when shelter intake and killing are higher than at other times of the year, full, statewide participation in Just One Day would mean the difference between life and death for approximately 1,000 animals. As of this writing, only two Georgia shelters or rescues have taken the pledge--Animal Ark Rescue and Green Pets America. If all 400 or so signed on and each did just three more adoptions than usual on that day, it would exceed the goal for Just One Day in Georgia.

Traditional and animal control shelters can pledge to grant their healthy and treatable homeless pets a reprieve for Just one Day (or longer). No-kill shelters and rescues can pledge to assist traditional shelters for just One Day (or longer) above and beyond what they already do. Organizations making the pledge receive a free package of materials including sample press releases and adoption promotions to help make June 11 and beyond a success for everyone.

So, if you run a shelter or rescue, take the pledge.

Ask your local shelter or rescue to participate. Ask your friends to do the same. Adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue. Volunteer or donate to help make Just One Day anything but just another day. Support participating organizations. Spread the word through letters to the editor and social media. Ask your elected officials to support Just One Day. Yesbiscuit! has some great sample letters and ideas you can adapt for your own use. Everyone can do something.

Why June 11? June 11, 2001 was the day that a beleaguered bunch of volunteers at a shelter in upstate New York got what they'd been fighting for, got more than they dared to hope for--an abrupt end to the killing of healthy and treatable pets and the creation of the first No Kill community in the nation. Let the success of Tompkins and many others be your success, even if it is for Just One Day.

"What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery, quoting his friend Guillaumet in Wind, Sand and Stars

Share what you are doing for June 11 in the comments so that I can spread the word. Please also let me know of any shelters that refuse to participate and why so that we can help them see the error of their ways.

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You can also follow me on Facebook and twitter and check out my blog, Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World.

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