Broward County Not Involved in "Safest Day for Shelter Pets"

Just One Day is an annual animal-saving event organized by No Kill Learning and No Kill Nation that gets shelters to participate in not euthanizing any animals in their facilities for one day and to instead make a push to get the public to come out and adopt a pet with an aggressive and positive marketing campaign.

This year's event is scheduled for June 11 and has drawn 1,300 shelters and rescue organizations across the nation to participate. As a result, organizers are anticipating June 11 being "the safest day for shelter pets in history."

While Miami-Dade and Broward County have both participated, organizers say Broward has failed in its approach to the event by not going by Just One Day's guidelines to get the message out. The county has dragged its feet in getting involved in the months-long marketing process to make the public aware of the event. The result has been a pitiful turnout. And this year, Broward has once again failed to show much enthusiasm for Just One Day, organizers say.

While Miami-Dade had 103 pets adopted during last year's event, Broward managed to get only three animals adopted.

Organizers, much like groups like Pets Broward, circle back to the same accusation: Broward's shelter program is mismanaged and poorly run.

"The premise of 'Just One Day' is to clear out shelters in the good way," Debi Day, president of No Kill Nation, tells New Times. "To get shelters to put down their needles and instead post photos of their animals on the internet and get people involved in a positive way. It’s supposed to be marketed months in advance. When it's done the right way, people do come. But Broward County refuses to play by those rules."

Day says that, unlike the other shelters that get involved in the program, Broward doesn't hold Just One Day at its own shelter, instead doing it offsite. 

Day also says Broward doesn't participate in the marketing campaign the organizers lay out to make sure the word is spread.

"The idea is for shelters to use our marketing material to make this once-a-year event a big thing."

Day says Broward officials are elusive and hard to get in touch with to kick things off. "Broward ignores our emails until the last minute," she adds.

Just One Day participants are starting at midnight tonight. Talk about all-in!!I wish we could say that about our own...

Posted by Demand a No Kill Broward on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Organizers from No Kill Learning, which is based in Minnesota, as well as local activists have tried to get Broward involved with this year's event. Although Miami-Dade has already agreed and done its part to advertise the event, Broward officials returned emails regarding Just One Day just nine days before the event is scheduled. 

"It's their M.O.," Day says. "They play along just enough to appease, but behind the scenes, it's something else entirely."

As of this writing, there are no Facebook posts or Tweets advertising Just One Day from Broward County. But Thomas Adair, Operations Director and Assistant Director at Broward County Animal Care & Adoption, tells New Times that the county does plan on participating in the Just One Day event.

When asked why the county has dragged its feet to answer organizers' emails, Adair said he hasn't heard from anyone involved with Just One Day.

"I have not received any phone calls, or email from anyone," he says. 

Just One Day kicked off in June 2012 and was a big success with about 800 organizations participating across the United States and nearly 9,000 pets adopted in its fist go-round. The event has been a success every year since, as the push to keep animals from being put down and instead have adorable pictures of pets looking for homes posted on social media has spurred people to save animals. 

"It's been great," Day says. "Except in Broward. Everyone plays by the rules except Broward."
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph