Delaware is a wonderful haven for cats and dogs! The small Mid-Atlantic U.S. state has become the first and only no-kill state for shelter animals in the United States. Simply put, even when the shelter is full, the no-kill animal shelter in Delaware does not kill healthy or treatable animals.
Sadly, with the lack of homes and the pet overpopulation problem, every year, an estimated 733,000 homeless cats and dogs were euthanized in America’s animal shelters, as per the non-profit Best Friends Animal Society. Every day, around 2,000 animals are put down simply because the shelters are overcrowded and they can’t find a forever home.
The good news is that America now has its first no-kill state—Delaware. The First State is being recognized as a no-kill state as its animal shelters have a 92.9 percent save rate. In other words, in the 59 no-kill shelters around Delaware, 11,900 cats and dogs of the approximately 12,800 were saved rather than killed.
The First State is living up to its nickname.
“When every shelter in a community achieves a 90 percent save rate for all cats and dogs, that community is designated as no-kill,” the non-profit Best Friends Animal Society states on its website. The non-profit gives the meaning of “saved” as pets that “are returned to their owners or provided with expert care and safe places to call home.”
The 10 percent euthanasia rate is only for pets “who are suffering from irremediable medical or behavioral issues that compromise their quality of life and prevent them from being rehomed.”
“Delaware put a policy emphasis on animal issues,” Holly Sizemore, the Chief Mission Officer of Best Friends Animal Society, explained to CBS News. “There are some terrific organizations working collaboratively there and the residents care deeply about the issue and have stepped up to help.”
Delaware just became the first no-kill state for shelter animals https://t.co/u6zK9V0m3d
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 10, 2019
Whilst Linda Torelli, director of marketing for the Brandywine Valley SPCA, told TODAY: “The community in Delaware is very oriented to pet advocacy, so we had their support.”
Brandywine Valley SPCA has three locations in Delaware and has initiated various programs to ensure 95 percent of animals that enter its shelters find homes, like implementing the practice known as trap, neuter, and return (TNR) to save community felines. Through the program TNR, cats are humanely trapped and brought to veterinarians for spaying or neutering, and subsequently released.
Other programs include providing free vaccine clinics, a pet pantry, and an emergency veterinary fund to stop families facing financial difficulties from surrendering their pets to the animal shelters, open adoptions that aren’t time-intensive, and hosting “mega-adoption events” each year.
“They are weekendlong events where we adopt out over a thousand animals in two days,” Torelli said. “It’s an amazing experience. It’s really something to see.”
— KTVU (@KTVU) August 12, 2019
Animal shelters all across the United States have an average save rate of 76.6 percent. Shelters in Texas and California have the lowest save rates of under 75 percent.
Best Friends Animal Society aims to reach no-kill status all across shelters in the United States by 2025.
“All communities have something unique about them and each community has unique challenges as it relates to achieving no-kill,” said Sizemore. “However, with about 4,300 no-kill communities across the U.S. achieving the no-kill benchmark, we know that it can be done.”
To accomplish no-kills status in every shelter, Best Friends is encouraging people to adopt instead of buying their pets, promoting sterilization and providing spay/neuter resources and hosting lifesaving programs around the country such as super adoptions, Strut Your Mutt, and the Best Friends National Conference.
The designation came from the Best Friends Animal Society during its annual conference in July. https://t.co/y2dovqzDUb
— Delaware Online (@delawareonline) August 9, 2019
In addition, to “Save Them All,” the non-profit launches national advocacy initiatives “focused on shutting down puppy mills, fighting breed-discriminatory legislation, and keeping community cats safe and out of shelters,” and it has “formed coalitions of animal welfare groups and a national network of animal welfare partners.”
Sizemore said: “I do believe this movement is not only about saving animals’ lives, but it’s kind of redeeming us as people, and showing what kindness does to elevate us all and to just make a better world.”
Please do your part to save them all, helping your state become no-kill.
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