NKLA - Cat
March 17, 2021

Why is a 90% save rate considered no kill?

Typically, the number of pets who are suffering from irreparable medical or behavioral issues that compromise their quality of life (or pose a health and safety risk to society) and prevent them from a positive outcome is not more than 10% of all pets entering shelters.

In Los Angeles, we believe that the 90% save rate can be higher, and at the same time, can also recognize this tremendous benchmark while we continue to strive for every savable animal to be saved.

What no-kill really means

No-kill is defined as saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved. It means healing the animals who can be healed, treating behaviors that can be treated, and prioritizing safety and a high quality of life for both pets and people in our communities.

It means reducing the number of animals entering shelters through community sheltering, spay/neuter education and services and increasing the number of animals leaving shelters through foster, adoption and a greater emphasis on reunification techniques for loved, but lost animals. No-kill means that an end-of-life decision for a pet is an act of mercy rather than one done for lack of space or time and resources. The Los Angeles save rate in 2020 was 90.4 percent and was achieved through a series of lifesaving strategies that included:

• Embracing technology solutions for thorough and efficient adoption and foster placements

• Prioritizing the return of lost pets to owners.

• Collaboration between private animal groups & the community

• Operating 24/7 hotlines and providing resources on what to do if you’ve found a pet

• Increasing foster care programs and shifting to a foster focused model. Meaning that wherever possible, pets entering the shelter system spend the majority of their time in a foster home so we can learn valuable attributes about them for a better match and quicker outcome. Animals in foster homes thrive.

• Offering shelter intake-prevention services to lower-income pet owners

• Creating shelter intake strategies and alternatives to reduce on-site populations.