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No-Kill Shelters: QuickFacts



no-kill shelters1. What is a "No-Kill" facility?
A no-kill shelter is best defined as a facility that takes in animals and divides them into two categories: healthy and adoptable, or non-rehabilitatable. Those animals that are in the first category may live at the shelter for the entirety of their life. Those in the second may be euthanized.

2. How is this different thana traditional facility? They're still killing animals!
A traditional "pound" or animal shelter willroutinely euthanize animals that have been with them for too long in order to make way for incoming animals. Olderanimals are euthanized to make way for younger ones. These facilities do not differentiate between treatable anduntreatable animals; they are simply euthanized by age.

3. So what is an untreatableanimal and what is a treatable animal?
According to California State Law SB 1785, also known as theHayden law, an adoptable animal is considered to be:

Eight weeks of age or older with nosigns of behavioral or temperamental defects that could post health or safety risks or otherwise make the animalunsuitable for placement.

Animals that have manifested no signof disease, injury, or congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects their health or is likely to inthe future.

They may not euthanize older dogsthat are deaf, blind, disfigured or disabled as they are still adoptable.

Treatable animals that are notadoptable when received but with proper treatment can be adopted are not to be euthanized.

Sick, traumatized, young orunsocialized dogs must receive appropriate medical treatment, behavior modification and/or foster care to make themhealthy and ready for home placement.

Animals that are permitted to beeuthanized under California's law are as follows:

Younger than 8weeks

Those animals that have behavioral ortemperamental defects that would make them unsafe to have in the home

Those that are a health or safetyrisk or otherwise unsuitable for placement

Animals who have manifested signs ofdisease, injury, congenital or hereditary conditon that affects or is likely to affect in thefuture

4. How do they handlepopulation control in their shelters if they rarely euthanize?
When a shelter reaches their maximumpopulation they will turn owners away. This is why they are very active in spay and neuterprograms.

5. My shelter is a limitedadmission no-kill shelter. What does this mean?
Limited admission shelters will only accept animalsthat they feel they will be able to adopt. They don't want the burden of dealing with an animal that falls into the"euthanize" category as it takes away resources that may be better used in other areas of thefacility.

6. How are the no-killfacilities staffed?
No-kill shelters rely heavily on volunteers for their staffing. They assist inshelter operations, work with socializing the animals, promote adoptions and work as foster parents to help easethe burden on the shelter.

7. What adoption programs areused at no-kill facilities?
You will almost always learn that your pet is or will be spayed or neuteredbefore coming to your home. Some shelters may stay open longer to allow working families to visit and more and moreare looking into cageless facilities where the animals and people are better able to socialize. They may also workwith local pet stores to put some pets out in small kennels where they can be adopted at the store- you may seethis in many Petco's and Petsmarts around the US.

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