According to a report from the American Humane Society, 64 percent of all animals who enter shelters are euthanized?
Pet Lovers Push For All US Shelters To Become “No Kill” By 2025
While some instances of euthanasia are used to relieve the suffering of animals in poor health, it doesn't really apply in most cases. Many shelters have no option when they are overcrowded, and our furry friends in shelters are killed simply because of they cannot find a good home.
However, a group of animal-loving organizations have banded together to advocate for "no kill" policies that'll change all this. The Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah is at the forefront of these efforts to bring all U.S. shelters to "no kill" status by 2025.
Greg Castle, the founder of Best Friends, has been pivotal in moving Utah towards a state-wide "no kill" policy for all pets by 2019. "We had that dream, an ideal that was so important that it lived deep within us. Making it a priority to bring the dream to reality, instead of burying it within like most people do, is a principle that has guided us all along," Castle wrote in a statement for Best Friends.
NPR reports that Los Angeles and New York are two cities that are coming close to being entirely "no kill," and that the 2015 goal is not only feasible, but critical for the future of animal welfare.
Risa Weinstock, president of the Animal Care Centers (ACC) in New York City, is on a mission to end animal homelessness by accepting every single animal who comes into her shelter.
"We are the only organization [in NYC] that accepts every animal brought to it, whether the animal has been abandoned, surrendered, found as a stray, brought in by the public, NYPD, or our field rescue team, and regardless of age, health status, breed, species or condition," Weinstock told NPR.
Weinstock also believes that increasing adoptions is only one aspect in reducing the kill rate of shelters.
NPR reports that the ACC has taken many measures to help pets find people and stay with them. "We have also added programs that help families and their pets stay together; target low-income areas where many strays are born; and provide surrender prevention community outreach like food pantries, behavior counseling, low cost medical referrals and vouchers, and vaccine clinics to keep the community healthier and safer."
ACC and Best Friends inspire us all with their passion and leadership, and the future is looking bright for our four-legged friends and the people who love them.