Why we are moving away from "kill vs. no kill” language.
What is a no-kill shelter?
The animal welfare sector as a whole is moving away from the kill vs. no kill terminology. As an organization, our board and staff agree with this wholeheartedly and choose to focus on programs that reduce the supply of animals such as spay/neuter and Humane Education and instead focus on how many lives we can save.
There is no one organization or governing body that determines no-kill status for a shelter. The definitions come from data reporting that was developed at the Asilomar Accords in 2004.
A ‘no-kill shelter’ is a name created to describe shelters that release more than 90% of homeless pets in their care. The reality is that all shelters, regardless of label, euthanize for danger to the community and animal suffering; it's really a matter of what percent and for what reasons.
A ‘no-kill shelter’ is also defined as an animal shelter that does not euthanize healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full, reserving euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those considered dangerous to public safety. Pets Lifeline follows this policy. A no-kill shelter also uses many strategies to promote shelter animals; to expanding its resources using volunteers, fostering, and partnerships to work actively to lower the number of homeless animals entering the shelter system - all programs that Pets Lifeline invests in.
Pets Lifeline’s five year average is 97.8% live release rate. https://www.petslifeline.org/asilomar
Pets Lifeline qualifies as no-kill under both definitions.
Here’s the latest thinking from a number of leading organizations:
Maddie’s Fund: https://www.maddiesfund.org/what-is-no-kill.htm