“Shelter Killing is the Leading Cause of Death for Healthy Dogs & Cats in the USA


Shelter killing is the leading cause of death for healthy dogs and cats in the United States. Today, an animal entering a shelter has only one chance in two of making it out alive, and in some places it is as low as one in ten, with shelters blaming a lack of available homes as the cause of death. And yet, statistics reveal that there are over seven times as many people looking to bring an animal into their home every year as there are animals being killed in shelters because they lack one. Half of all animals who enter our nation’s shelters go out the back door in body bags rather than out the front door in the loving arms of adopters despite the fact that there are plenty of homes 

Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at th...
Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at the Paws and More No Kill Animal Shelter in Washington, Iowa. I took this picture. This looks just like my dog Yuma. He was from a shelter in Evanston Il. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

available. And when animal lovers question the excuses used to justify this killing, shelters and their national allies respond, “We are all on the same side,” “We all want the same thing,” “We are all animal lovers” and insist that criticism of shelters and staff is unfair and callous because “No one wants to kill.” The facts, however, tragically and frequently tell a very different story. How can you fix a problem you refuse to admit exists? How can shelters reform their practices when they refuse to have standards and benchmarks that would hold them accountable to the best performing shelters in the nation? They can’t. They don’t. And they won’t. So you will have to do it for them. Our newest guide, How Does Your Community’s Shelter Measure Up?, will show you how.


Today, over 70 communities representing about 200 cities and towns across America, including those in Kentucky, Virginia, Indiana, Utah, California, New York, Texas and elsewhere, are saving upwards of 95% of all animals, ending the killing of all healthy and treatable animals. No Kill is a humane, sustainable, cost-effective model that works hand in hand with public health and safety, while fulfilling a fiscal responsibility to taxpayers. The animals deserve it. And so do the people who love them: people like you. Prepare, educate, fight, win. 
For all our shelter reform guides, including How Does Your Community’s Shelter Measure Up?, No Kill 101, Dollars & Sense, and more, visit our No Kill Advocate’s Toolkit by clicking here.

Our guides are free, but they are expensive to produce. If you find them helpful, please consider a small gift to the No Kill Advocacy Center to help us continue our critical work. You can donate in any amount by clicking here.
Please note: These guides are high resolution PDFs which are print-ready; meaning you can send them to FedEx Office or your local printer to professionally print them as booklets and share them with your local officials. You are also free to print them on paper, e-mail, or repost them.
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No Kill Advocacy Center  I  6114 La Salle Ave. #837  I  Oakland, CA 94611


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