Animal shelter honored as “No-Kill Shelter”
by Special to the Wave
Dec 11, 2013 | 9124 views | 0 0 comments | 1041 1041 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A coalition of shelters and animal rescue groups, working together to save the lives of homeless pets at a rate never before seen in Utah, are bringing the state closer to becoming one of the first states to end the killing of shelter pets.

Trielle Gritton, senior manager--outreach /adoptions for Best Friends Animal Society – Utah presented a certificate to Heber Valley Animal Shelter at the Heber City Council Meeting, honoring their lifesaving achievement. The meeting was held last Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Heber City Council Chamber. Gritton also presented certificates to Canine with a Cause and Paws for Life, for their roles in helping save the lives of animals in the Heber shelter.

A number of city and county shelters in Utah have reached a shelter save rate of 90 percent (or more) of the pets in their care, a generally accepted milestone for being seen as no-kill. Several other Utah city and county shelters are close to reaching no-kill, including Salt Lake County Animal Services, West Valley City Animal Services, and South Salt Lake Animal Services.

Among the shelters achieving no-kill status so far are Enoch Animal Shelter, Ephraim City Animal Control, Grand County (Moab City) Animal Care and Control, Hurricane Animal Shelter, Iron County Animal Shelter, Ivins Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, Kane County (Kanab City) Animal Control, Parowan Animal Control and Wasatch County (Heber Valley) Animal Control Shelter.

These shelters are successful thanks, in part, to the tireless efforts of a coalition of 32 rescue groups, led by Best Friends, which pull animals from their local shelters and make them available for adoption. Humane Society of Moab Valley, for example, is celebrating 10 years of helping their community by maintaining no-kill status.

For nearly 14 years through August of 2013, nearly three dozen municipal and private animal organizations have been working closely together to bring about an end to the killing of pets in Utah shelters. The No More Homeless Pets in Utah Coalition, facilitated by Best Friends Animal Society–Utah, has supported nearly 112,000 adoptions and more than 261,000 spay/neuter surgeries, helping to sharply reduce shelter intake rates and deaths. Prior to the year 2000 (before this effort was launched), more than 46,000 animals were being killed in Utah each year. In 2012 — the best year on record — that number dropped to 22,299, a decrease of 51 percent.

"When we started the No More Homeless Pets program in Salt Lake 12 years ago, we truly believed we would see a day when Utah was a no-kill state,” said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer for Best Friends Animal Society. “The diligent efforts of these communities, along with those of dozens of supporting rescue partners across the state, are helping to make that a reality.”

Newly released statistics for January through August of 2013 indicate that there are a total of 20 Utah shelters or communities that have save rates of more than 90 percent in the current year (2013).

Best Friends Animal Society offers support and resources to communities, animal groups and individuals who are working to help us Save Them All™. Progressive efforts like aggressive adoption programs, free or low-lost spay/neuter services and promotion of trap/neuter/return (TNR) of free-roaming community cats all serve to decrease the number of homeless animals, and increase lives saved.

Information about pets for adoption, free and low-cost spay/neuter, and humane solutions for community cats are available at www.bestfriends.org/utah and www.bestfriends.org.
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