Beyond No Kill Editorial

2006 by Rich Avanzino

Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

What is a no-kill community? Is it one that saves all healthy shelter dogs and cats? All healthy and treatable shelter pets? All healthy and treatable pets and feral cats? Does it mean saving all homeless pets no matter their age, medical condition or temperament?

The first question is: What do we mean by "healthy," "treatable" and "unhealthy & untreatable?" We discuss these definitions at length in the Guide to the Asilomar Accords Definitions

If a community saves all of its healthy and treatable shelter pets can it proclaim no-kill status? I would say yes because the shelters are in alignment with community lifesaving standards. But in my opinion, saving healthy and treatable shelter pets is the minimum no-kill standard. We should strive to lead our communities and go beyond no-kill.

Tompkins County, New York is a case in point. The Tompkins County SPCA (TCSPCA) maintains a 92% live release rate. It saves all of the County's healthy and treatable shelter pets and feral cats. Should this be our lifesaving goal? I think it should.

But whether a community is short of no-kill, has achieved no-kill or gone beyond no-kill, I believe transparency is essential. Transparency means publishing statistics, live release rates, shelter animal definitions and classifications, a Pet Evaluation Matrix, and feral cat and breed specific policies. By disclosing this information where everyone can see it, the public and the animal welfare community can judge for themselves how much lifesaving progress is being made.

To learn more about statistics, live release rates, shelter animal definitions and classifications, and pet evaluation matrixes, please visit our Asilomar Accords page.

Comments

Content you may be interested in

Use social media to get more foster homes for big dogs

February 15, 2017

Can you save 44 large dogs’ lives in 14 days through the power of social media? Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) did just that, and in this recording from the 2015 Best Friends National Conference, Faith Wright tells you how you can, too! In Foster Faster: Growing Your Dog Foster Program, Wright says the trick is… Learn More

Adopted pets are rescued by love, saved by shelter medicine

February 9, 2017

If you’ve adopted a pet from an animal shelter or rescue group, you know how powerful the bond is that exists between the pet and their human family. You’re also probably aware of the efforts made by shelter and rescue staff and volunteers to make sure you and your pet found each other. What you… Learn More

Advances in pet databases can help your shelter or rescue group get more pets adopted

February 8, 2017

The technological revolution of the last 25 years has had a profound impact on the animal welfare industry. Things we now take for granted, like websites that display our organizations' services and adoptable pets, pet-search databases such as Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com, more robust and easy to use animal sheltering software solutions, and the rise of… Learn More