To help advance a vision for Oklahoma to be the safest and most humane place to be an animal, the Kirkpatrick Foundation convened a meeting in April 2018 at the Oklahoma History Center with animal welfare stakeholders from every county in the state. Their charge - to begin thinking about a new collaborative approach to overcome the state's animal shelter population and euthanasia crisis. In 2017, the year prior to the first stakeholder meeting, Oklahoma was among the10 states where euthanasia for space in animal shelters was most prevalent (19,000 animals killed and a statewide shelter animal save rate of 70%).
Following a six-month input period and a comprehensive planning process, a strategic framework for a seven-year initiative was created utilizing the Collective Impact model to define the shared goals and responsibilities of network partners. in 2019, an initiative director was hired to lead the daily work of connecting needs with resources between individuals, organizations, and communities. Since then, Common Bonds has served as a field catalyst for change, amplifying the efforts of network partners, supporting stronger shelter-to-shelter and shelter-to-community relationships.