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3/16/2020 1:29 PM


No-Kill Nation

A status report on the growing movement that has taken root, especially in major U.S. metropolitan areas.

 BY LYNN M. HAYNER, May 14, 2014

Long considered by some as an idealistic, unworkable goal, the no-kill effort has now moved into the mainstream. “Even just a decade ago the majority of Americans probably believed that a no-kill approach was improbable,” says Ellen Jefferson, DVM, of Austin, Texas, executive director of Austin and San Antonio Pets Alive! “But today as people see cities, such as Reno, Kansas City and Austin, successfully establishing no-kill programming, they increasingly believe the ideal can become a reality.”

Despite challenges and struggles still ahead, life-saving programs are gaining dramatic headway. “Within a decade, most cities should be able to save 70 percent or more of their animals,” Jefferson says. “That 70 percent is the low-hanging fruit (a very manageable percentage to accomplish) so with mainstream public sentiment favoring no-kill programs, there’s no reason why this goal — or more — can’t be accomplished in each community.”

Rich Avanzino of Pleasanton, Calif., president of Maddie’s Fund, offers the following: “At Maddie’s Fund we consider having a no-kill nation by 2015 a realistic goal; public sentiment is firmly behind the movement, and the numbers make it a realistic goal.”

Numbers give hope. Although euthanasia to control population is still practiced in traditional, open-admission shelters, the number of animals euthanized has significantly dropped. “In 1970, some 23 million animals were being euthanized in shelters each year, but this year (Maddie’s Fund estimates) the number to be roughly 3 million … Once we subtract the number of animals euthanized for truly merciful purposes such as terminal cancer, we find we need homes for about 2.3 million animals per year,” says Avanzino, who is widely regarded as the father of the no-kill movement.

That figure of 2.3 million pets euthanized every year seems large at first glance, but consider that Americans today own about 170 million cats and dogs. “Each year there are an estimated 17 million Americans looking to get a new pet but haven’t decided where,” Avanzino says. “It’s quite reasonable to believe that we can convince 2.3 million of these 17 million to adopt from a shelter or rescue.”

Positive outcomes can happen quickly when a community commits to a life-saving program.

No Kill Advocacy Movement 

To learn more about the "No Kill Advocacy Movement" visit

Presented to the City of DeLand,
Maggi Hall, ARK President - November 2008

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it treats its animals." -- Ghandi

REALITY - Unethical behavior to kill healthy animals:

  • Our county has a serious dilemma. But there is a humane solution. At present taxpayers spend over ONE MILLION DOLLARS annually to kill healthy companion animals and free roaming cats.
  •  Some veterinarians kill healthy companion animals when requested by owners although homes could be found for these innocent creatures.

ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE - Ethical behavior by declaring Volusia County a "No Kill" Community:

  • Requires TEAMWORK, dedication, vision, creativity, hard work
  • Communities across the nation have adopted the "No Kill Advocacy Movement"
    • Charlottesville VA; Port Washington NY; Reno NV, Richmond VA
    • Florida - Manatee Co.; Flagler Co.; North Brevard Co.; Alachua Co.
  • A True "No Kill" Facility Will....
    • Increase lifesaving
    • Implement mandatory programs and services including:
      • A free roaming cat TNR program
      • Offer high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter services
      • Enlist rescue groups
      • Develop a foster care list
      • Engage in a comprehensive adoption program
      • Encourage pet retention by owners
      • Offer medical and behavior rehabilitation
      • Strengthen public relations and community involvement
      • Enlist volunteers for a variety of functions
      • Hire a compassionate director
  • Our Community Must:
    • Adopt the "Declaration of the No Kill Movement in the United States"
    • Pass "The Companion Animal Protection Act of 2007"
    • Require shelters and veterinarians to stop killing healthy animals
    • Form a coalition of compassionate leaders
    • Change our laws
    • Become consistent among the county and its municipalities as well as with other Florida counties
    • Establish free roaming cat colonies
    • Develop a facility on the Westside
    • Locate funds 
    • Partner with veterinarian hospitals

It is OUR Choice. Take the easy route and KILL or work hard, behave ethically, and SAVE LIVES. Download the "No Kill Movement" Documents