Safe & Humane

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t h e k i r k pat r i c k f o u n dat i o n p r e s e n t s

Safe Humane A New Vision


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To make Oklahoma the safest and

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most humane place to be an animal by 2032



Wise & Wonderful At the Kirkpatrick Foundation, a new program emerges.


e have an ambitious vision:

To make Oklahoma one of the safest and most humane places to be an animal. This vision is tempered by the reality of the challenge. It is long-range and far-reaching. It represents an effort to elevate the standards of care and welfare, and it will build upon decades of good work already in place. Our mission? To improve the lives of Oklahoma animals and the people who care for them. This requires a significant effort to educate the public

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in the humane treatment of animals and, ultimately, the work will be assessed by a matrix of measures. More than anything, this vision relies on leadership and a willingness to raise the standard. Many advancements are already making a difference throughout Oklahoma as organizations work diligently in their respective fields. But much more work is needed before a goal of this magnitude can be realized. It cannot be accomplished alone, and we recognize it begins with small steps and joint efforts.

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“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” — S t . F r an c i s o f A ss i s i



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Humane Giving

A History with Animals


he Kirkpatrick Foundation’s

history of animal-concerns giving began during its first decade of existence. In 1963, with a gift of $25,206, John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick began their active support for the Oklahoma City Zoo. Since then, the list of animal-related organizations benefitting from Kirkpatrick philanthropy has grown significantly and includes sanctuaries, humane societies, universities, and other research institutions. Between the Kirkpatrick Foundation and Kirkpatrick Family Fund, the two philanthropies have given more than $7 million to improve the lives of animals in Oklahoma, Colorado Springs, and around the country. Today, the Kirkpatrick Foundation focuses exclusively on central Oklahoma in its giving while the Kirkpatrick Family Fund supports animal-related endowments and charities nationwide. Joan Kirkpatrick, a trustee and chairman of the Kirkpatrick Foundation, focused the foundation’s attentions on veterinary training, care, and research. Today, her son, Christian Keesee, chairman of the foundation and president of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, has broadened the commitment to animals with a twenty-year vision that begins now.


“The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men.” —Émile Zola

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Recent Efforts


n Oklahoma, a state brimming with animals, humane care for creatures of

all shapes and sizes has always been a priority. Across the spectrum, the animal care and welfare community has embraced innovative programming to make a difference in the lives of animals, from cats and dogs to bison, cattle, and zebras. Here, we share just a few highlights from the past five years, achievements we consider recent indicators of progress that serve as groundwork for the vision.


The Homeward Bound Transport Program is established by the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. The Steven J. Bentley Quarantine Facility opens on the campus of the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division, and its first dogs are transported to new homes out-of-state. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture takes over the regulation of commercial pet breeders to minimize puppy mills and to ensure statewide standards of safety and care for animals in these breeders’ care. The Kirkpatrick Foundation and ASPCA co-fund Oklahoma City’s Community Cats Program, administered by the Central

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Oklahoma Humane Society and the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division. The innovative program aims to decrease euthanasia by sterilizing, vaccinating, and returning community cats to their neighborhoods.


Oklahoma City is designated one of two pilot cities in the nation for the launch of Petsmart Charities’ “People Saving Pets” campaign to end pet homelessness. The Oklahoma Livestock Relief Coalition is formed to provide emergency financial support to law enforcement agencies that have seized neglected and abused large animals. This support will help to ensure proper

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feeding and humane care for such animals while their cases are evaluated. WildCare in Noble expands its facilities to 42,000 square feet from 27,700 square feet in 2000. This expansion allows for increased capacity to care for injured and orphaned wildlife before they are released back into the wild.


Spay First Oklahoma opens its second clinic in the Tulsa area to provide low-cost spay and neuter surgeries to Oklahoma pet owners. To date, the organization has performed over 45,000 surgeries to curb pet overpopulation. The Pet Food Pantry of Oklahoma City opens its

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” — I m m an u e l Kan t

doors to provide food and related services to lowincome senior citizen and homeless pet owners. The Animal Legal Defense Fund improves Oklahoma’s ranking to twenty-first in the nation thanks to the strength of its animal protection laws. Reasons for improvement include strong anti-animalfighting laws, bond and forfeiture provisions, pet protective orders, and heightened oversight of commercial pet breeders. The Oklahoma City Zoo develops a ten-year master plan, and in 2012 the zoo announces a capital campaign for the new Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital. The Oklahoma Beef Council makes a $250,000 gift to

the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Science to fund an endowed professorship in honor of animal scientist and behavior expert Temple Grandin.


The National Center for Veterinary Parasitology opens at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater to train the next generation of veterinary parasitologists. The “Spay or Pay” law is passed in Oklahoma City, waiving impoundment fees for pet owners if they agree to have their pet spayed or neutered before release.


A 30,000 square foot, fully-functional veterinary

clinic is established at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, allowing for the expansion of educational opportunities and community services through the Veterinary Technician Program. The Nature Conservancy’s Oklahoma Chapter reports that the bison herd at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve has reached its target size of about 2,700 head, having grown from a starting population of 300 in 1993. The bison play an integral role in maintaining the prairie ecosystem at the preserve, which is the largest protected remnant of tallgrass prairie on earth.


“I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.” — A b r aha m L i n c o l n

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Areas of need

Making a Difference


hile there is much to be proud of, the challenges and obstacles are significant. Through discussion with national and statewide animalwelfare and industry leaders in 2011 and 2012, the Kirkpatrick Foundation has identified the following to be areas of acute or ongoing need.


• Pet overpopulation and abandonment • Animal cruelty and neglect • Overall community health as it pertains to the humananimal bond • Access of animals to apartments, public parks, outdoor restaurants, etc. • The perception of care and compassion to the overall community

Education & Research

• Humane education for K-12 and PreK students • Promotion of pet ID tags • Education about responsible pet ownership • Shortage of rural veterinarians • Research into animal diseases • Research into human psychology and physiology and

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the human-animal bond • Innovation in future research using new models

farm & industry

• Best practices for food safety and public health • Best practices for small producers and large corporations, including veterinary care and humane farming and slaughter • Research into FDAapproved pain medications for farm animals • Research into new housing systems that promote productivity and welfare • Best practices for consumer trust and reliable research

Public Safety

• Dog bite prevention for children • Training for first-responders

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on animal handling in crisis situations • Emergency planning for animals in disasters

Shelter Administration

• Standards training for administrators • Customer service training for shelter employees • Innovative spay/neuter programs • Innovation for pet adoption and retention • Comfortable and safe transportation for shelter pets • Innovation in shelter medicine and veterinary training

Socio-Economic Issues

• Poverty and economic distress as it pertains to pet ownership

• Veterinary care and education for the homeless • Fostering the human-animal bond in special populations, including prisoners, elderly, veterans, and people with disabilites • Access to general or crisis housing for people with pets • Humane resolution to the

horse slaughter controversy • New paradigm for horse euthanasia • Critical hay and feed shortages for horses

Wildlife & Conservation

• Species conservation of zoo animals and locally

• • • • •

endangered wildlife Humane hunting education for outdoorsmen and women Habitat conservation Training in federal rehabilitation standards Urban and suburban effect on habitats Education about contact with wildlife and exotics



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The Road Ahead

Our steps to a humane community STUDY: In 2013, the Kirkpatrick Foundation will embark on a benchmark study to assess the status of Oklahoma animals and their needs. facilitate: At the Oklahoma Roundtable for Animal Welfare, leaders across platforms and industry will meet twice yearly for a discussion about the wellbeing of Oklahoma animals. recognize: The newly established Kirkpatrick Prize for Animal Welfare (KPAW) will honor advancements in Leadership, Education, and Research and Discovery. publish: The Kirkpatrick Foundation will publish a biennial report to assess the state of animals in Oklahoma, featuring research, trends, profiles, progress, and ongoing efforts. convene: The Kirkpatrick Foundation will host a conference every three years to bring together leaders, educators, advocates, and grant-makers. Fund: The Kirkpatrick Foundation will expand its grantmaking to non-profits whose missions support innovative programming that advances the vision.


the roundtable

Full Circle The Heart of the Strategy


ne key component to our twenty-year effort is the Oklahoma Roundtable for Animal Welfare, a twice-yearly meeting of leaders in the field. This will be a time to share ideas, challenges, and best practices. Each roundtable participant represents a unique organization with a distinct mission, strategy, measure, and philosophy. The Kirkpatrick Foundation will respect all of these differences while identifying common core values and issues of concern.

The roundtable will convene to raise the most pressing issues for discussion and, in certain instances, unified action. Meetings will serve as opportunities to learn about emerging trends and develop best responses for the most striking problems. The results of the roundtable participants’ efforts will be compiled biennially by the Kirkpatrick Foundation in order to assess progress; changes in practice will be noted, as will changing attitudes about animal ethics and treatment.

The Oklahoma Roundtable for Animal Welfare is designed to connect, inspire, and inform. Participants can expect to:

comprehensive city or statewide plan to improve animal welfare. Educate the public, including young people, about animal concerns through unique and perhaps unified programming efforts. Recognize organizations that make strides and improvements in animal welfare. Lead discussions or make presentations about individual nonprofits/organizations to colleagues and the general public. Be included in social media and a biennial report of progress to be published by the Kirkpatrick Foundation. Participate in a conference every three years hosted by the Kirkpatrick Foundation. Develop relationships and a higher profile with other animal-concerns grant makers nationally and/or within the state and region. influence their community or industry in ways that improve the lives of animals.

Meet other professionals in animal welfare


Learn and share best practices in the handling

of animals.

Identify salient issues in animal welfare

that may impact specific fields or areas of service. Understand how public policy impacts member organizations (city, state, federal) and how they might become more engaged in a leadership role as an individual or group. Become aware of the economic climate and public attitudes and their impacts on animals in the state. Play a role in the development of a

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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — Maha t m a G an d h i

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Our MISSION The mission of the Kirkpatrick Foundation is to support Arts, Culture, Education, Animal Concerns, and Environmental Conservation, primarily in central Oklahoma.


Joel Sartore is one of the world’s leading photographers of animals, from wildlife and zoo residents to companion pets and avians. He is currently at work on “The Photo Ark.” See more of his portfolio at

1001 West Wilshire boulevard Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73116

Telephone: (405) 608-0934 Twitter: @kirkpatrickfdn Facebook: Kirkpatrick Foundation

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