How do you turn animal shelters with a high kill rate into no kill animal shelters, ones that do what their very name suggests…provide shelter, a safe haven, for  companion animals with no home? Here’s how.

From its small beginnings in 2004, to where it stands today, the No Kill Advocacy Center, founded by former public prosecutor and shelter director Nathan Winograd, is changing how homeless animals are treated. To do this they are teaching others so companion animals across the nation and elsewhere can have the life they deserve. And, the No Kill Conference is one of the most important and effective vehicles to help implement this critically needed reform.

How to turn high kill animal shelters into no kill animal sheltersThe retro design for this poster announcing the 2013 No Kill Conference is most impactful
Pin It


First held in 2009, the Conference and has become an annual event. It is a joint project of the No Kill Advocacy Center and Animal Law Program at George Washington University Law School, and sponsored by No Kill Nation.

Talks and workshops given by experts in their field address all issues relating to no kill animal shelters and rescues, from lobbying and anti cruelty laws to medicine and marketing. Attendees can then use the tools they are given and the knowledge they acquire first hand to implement reform in their own communities.



We thought it would be helpful to mention some of the many questions that can be answered by attending the Conference as well as acquiring the books and written materials published by No Kill Advocacy Center.

  • How do you build a No Kill community?
  • How do you get county animal services to listen, commit to change and put No Kill policies in place?How do you battle against breed discrimination?
  • How do you start Trap Neuter Return programs for feral cats?
  • How do you treat companion animals with medical and behavioral challenges so they can be fostered and/or adopted successfully?
  • How do you help prevent owner surrender of pets by providing the necessary support and solutions?
  • How do you learn about laws to ban the sale of puppy mills dogs, the use of gas chambers to kill animals and enact shelter reform and rescue rights?
  • How do you lobby, litigate and get animal abuse and animal cruelty laws changed?
  • How do you best use social media to further the cause of animal rights and other issues?

When an entire community works together, more animals can be savedWhen municipal shelters and local rescue groups work together, the results can be truly amazing
Pin It



In its first year, 2009, just 300 people showed up and there was only one No Kill community in the entire country, in Tompkins County, upstate NY.
In 2012, the No Kill Conference was sold out. More than 800 people attended, from 44 states, and 10 nations. As a result of changes that began before 2012, over one new community each week achieved a save rate of 90% or higher that year.

2013 brought together friends of animals from 45 states and 11 countries, including far away Australia. By spreading the word, we can create no kill animal shelters...anywhere!

In the summer of 2014, however, the Conference did not take place. This was due to nationwide personal appearances by Nathan Winograd and the screening of the feature length documentary “Redemption,” which tells the story of the No Kill movement in America, from its inception more than a century ago, to the present day.


Dates for 2015 have already been announced and are July 11 and 12, at George Washington University in D.C. It’s not too early, so please put them on your calendar now!


It is interesting to note that in its early days most of those attending the No Kill Conference were rescue groups. In 2013, municipal shelters slightly outnumbered rescues. One county actually sent a group of 10 people. And, a large number actually attended for the second time.

Mike Fry, Executive Director of Animal Ark No Kill in MN, mentioned in his weekly radio program on Animal Wise radio station that he was impressed to see small rescues working on joint plans together with animal control organizations to reach their common objectives.


We will continue to research and add pages to showcase more no kill animal shelters and other animal news. So please check back with us periodically. For now, though, we invite you to take a glimpse at another annual event, Just One Day, and the impact that a growing number of passionate people are making so that more and more homeless pets can live the life they deserve. Please click to view.


One way for us to join forces so that the No Kill Advocacy Center can continue its work and help animals is to acquire a unique, handcrafted glass pendant from our collection of Gift Ideas For Her. Please click on the words Gift Catalog to view. We are proud to make them available to our visitors. Enjoy looking at them, giving them and wearing them!

Return to Help Animals

Return to Puppy Mill Dogs

Return to Factory Farming

Return to Home page from No Kill Animal Shelters - No Kill Conference

nd pendant post

George Washington University Law School in the District of Columbia has an Animal Law Program that offers instruction in existing law that deals with companion animals, wild animals and animals used for food, research and entertainment. It also addresses legal reform to promote animal protection and welfare.

In addition, it manages a specialized field placement program so students can gain experience advocating on behalf of animals and offers scholarship opportunities to support students committed to the legal protection of animals.

GW Law has established an Animal Welfare Project, where faculty and students raise awareness of key animal welfare issues, one of which involves researching and summarizing the criminal statutory and case law dealing with animal cruelty regulation and prosecution in coordination with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

To find out more, please visit