It has been decided that in Delaware, as a whole, their animal shelters meet the standard of no-kill. In order to achieve this there must be at least a 90% save rate for all cats and dogs entering the shelters. It is America’s first, and currently only, state to achieve this distinction.
It is worth adding that this significant achievement can be put down to the contribution of the Brandywine Valley SPCA which has a live release rate of 95% for the more than 14,000 animals that pass through their facilities annually.
Their marketing director, Linda Torelli, said that their intake of animals represented more than 60% of the animals entering shelters in the entire state and more than four times the next largest animal shelter. Clearly their policies and their methods have had a massive impact upon the state being declared no-kill in relation to their shelters.
She says that some of the policies which have helped Delaware to become a no-kill state includes TNR programs, low-cost veterinary clinics, education programs, behaviour programs for dogs requiring more support and large adoption events to promote adoptions.
The award to the State of Delaware comes from Best Friends Animal Society, a non-profit animal welfare organisation which, I understand, made the award at their recent conference.
Best Friends estimate that 733,000 dogs and cats are killed at animal shelters nationwide annually. To the best of my knowledge this represents a very significant fall in numbers in the past when the numbers were up into the millions as I recall. Clearly there been huge advances in reducing the unnecessary killing of animals at shelters.