For the past 100 years, shelters have generally adopted out a few animals and killed the rest because it was widely believed that there weren’t enough homes for all the dogs, cats and other animals.
However in 2000, reformers came up with ways to save every healthy or treatable animal who enters a shelter and determined that there are enough homes for all the animals. The means of ending the killing is called the No-Kill Equation, and it involves making low cost spaying and neutering available to the community; spaying/neutering, vaccinating, and returning feral cats; proactively returning lost pets to their owners; helping owners find ways to keep their pets so they don’t surrender them; increasing adoptions; having a foster home program; and working with rescue groups.
By using these methods, over 300 shelters all over the United States have been able to save 99% of the animals they took in, and the number is increasing due to the work of organizations and individuals who are convincing local governments that operating no-kill shelters is better for their communities.
Anne Thomas, contributor