What is “no-kill”? And what does it mean to us?

According to the common definition;
*A no-kill shelter is most widely defined as an animal shelter where 90% of all animals received are not euthanized. Ideally, No Kill would mean all “adoptable” and “treatable” animals are saved and only “unadoptable” or “non-rehabilitatable” animals are euthanized, but 90% is the threshold. Definition of the terms adoptable, unadoptable and what is treatable may vary widely between organizations and this has led to controversy. A common definition used by shelters is that of the Asilomar Accords, created by a group who described themselves as “some of the most influential leaders in the animal welfare movement”. The Asilomar Accords definition has been criticized by other No-kill proponents as being too vague, which may lead to “misuse and misapplication”….
California Law, SB 1785 Statutes of 1998, also known as “The Hayden Law“, defines the terms as follows:

Adoptable animals include only those animals eight weeks of age or older that, at or subsequent to the time the animal is impounded or otherwise taken into possession, have manifested no sign of a behavioral or temperamental defect that could pose a health or safety risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet, and have manifested no sign of disease, injury, or congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the animal or that is likely to adversely affect the animal’s health in the future. Adoptable dogs may be old, deaf, blind, disfigured or disabled

A treatable animal shall include any animal that is not adoptable but that could become adoptable with reasonable efforts.” Sick, traumatized, infant or unsocialized dogs need appropriate medical treatment, behavior modification and/or foster care to turn them into healthy animals ready for placement.

“Unadoptable” or “non-rehabilitatable” means animals that are neither adoptable or treatable. By way of exclusion, SB1785 defines “unadoptable” as:

  1. Animals eight weeks of age or younger at or subsequent to the time the animal is impounded;
  2. Animals that have manifested signs of a behavioral or temperamental defect;
  3. Those that could pose a health or safety risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet and
  4. Animals that have manifested signs of disease, injury, or congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the animal or that is likely to adversely affect the animal’s health in the future.

So what does no-kill mean to us? Just as the common definition states- we believe that no kill means No Treatable Animal Is Euthanized… but just as that common interpretation mentions; “Definition of the terms adoptable, unadoptable and what is treatable, may vary widely between organizations”.  To us, treatable refers to both the physical health and emotional health (behavior) of the dog.
So what do we believe to be Untreatable? In other words, at point do we at Family Dogs New Life believe euthanasia to be an acceptable decision?
1) Dogs for whom euthanasia is the most humane alternative due to disease, injury or suffering that can’t be alleviated.
2) Dogs with a history of severe aggression, the placement of whom would constitute a danger to the public.

It is our mission to be a truly no-kill shelter, by these standards. The standards in which we feel are in the very best interest of the Dogs we are so passionate about helping and all the People who love and respect them.
Find Love. Give Life.