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Difference Between Kill and No-Kill Shelters

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John Griffin is the director of shelter services at the Women’s Humane Society in Bensalem, PA. They are committed to the humane and compassionate treatment of animals and are distinguished as America’s First Animal Shelter.

What is the difference between a kill and a no-kill shelter?

So, what I try to tell people is even if a place calls itself a no-kill shelter it’s still may be euthanizing pets and probably does. It just they have to euthanize 10% or less of their total outcomes. So it’s not the total population, that’s not their total intake, that’s their outcomes.

So if they have 100 outcomes only 10 can be in euthanasia as selected by the shelter. Owner intended euthanasia doesn’t count.

So a kill shelter is anything above that right? So if you have 89% percent of your animals 89% of your outcomes are live releases you are a kill shelter. You are not a no-kill shelter. That may be one animal that came in and is dangerous or we had it for a little bit and its kidney started to fail. Right? It’s not anyone’s fault it’s just happened.


Why support a kill-shelter?

The obvious: Every Dog You Rescue Is One Less Dog To Put Down!! If you are only adopting dogs from a so-called “no-kill” shelter and a local “kill” shelter is getting filled up, they will have to start euthanizing their animals. Instead of looking at labels, look at the shelter itself. Are they actually trying to help animals? What are they doing before they turn to euthanasia? Sometimes, the “kill” shelters are better at caring for their dogs than “no-kill”. And no matter what, you are helping dogs!!