What is No Kill? and Can it work in Prince George's County, Maryland?
Prince George's County, Maryland
A No Kill Prince George's County, Maryland is within our reach.
What is a "No Kill" Shelter?
Can it Work in Prince George's County, Maryland?
What is the difference between a typical high kill shelter and one that is "No Kill"?
One difference is that No kill shelter personnel use the dictionary definition of the terms "euthanasia" and "kill":
1. a. To put to death. b. To deprive of life.
The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition.
In the absence of suffering or an incurable condition, the use of the term "euthanasia" is not accurate.
Does a "No Kill" shelter euthanize animals?
Yes, on occasion, a No Kill shelter will be required to euthanize an animal for medical or behavior reasons, if they determine that an animal's suffering can not be relieved, or a behavior problem can not be rehabilitated.
Typically, how many animals are euthanized at a No Kill shelter?
Experience shows that the total number of animals that require euthanasia is less than 10% of the intake. Generally
less. Some No Kill shelters are saving 97% or more of all animals.
If all of those animals are not euthanized, are they kept in cages, or warehoused for the rest of their lives?
No, the positive atmosphere at a No Kill shelter generates a high volume of traffic which results in a very high adoption rate and short kennel stays.
Prince George's County's Animal Services Facility is Open Admission, so they are required to take all animals presented to them, so being No Kill is impossible, right?
In the No Kill Movement, in order to claim that a shelter is No Kill, it
be an open admission, municipal shelter which is required to take all animals presented to them,
must save 90% or more of all animals continuously for at least six months. After saving 90% or more for a single month, they are considered to be "in progress".
Everyone knows that there are too many animals and not enough homes! How could No Kill work in Prince George's County?
It can work in Prince George's County because the idea that there are not enough homes for all of the animals does not stand up to scrutiny. Let's do the math, ...
The Pet Population in the County
The county's human population is 864,560, living in 322,101 households [U.S. Census, 2009 estimate].
Those households give homes to 203,697 dogs and 229,592 cats, or a
total of 433,289 dogs and cats.
These make up about 90% of all pets [AVMA Market Research].
Demand for Pets in the County
Dogs live an average of 11.5 years and cats live an average of 16 years [Wikipedia], so every year 17,713 dogs and 14,349 cats die, creating an
annual demand for 32,062 pets,
simply to replace those who die.
Supply of Pets at the County Facility
In 2009, the Prince George's County Animal Services Facility took in 9,476 animals, and after returning some to their owners, and subtracting some that needed to be euthanized,
8,044 healthy animals were available for adoption.
Demand exceeds Supply for Pets
Since the demand for pets (32,062) far exceeds the supply (8,044), there is no pet overpopulation problem. Even if not all pet owners choose to own another pet after one dies, if all of the animals available were adopted, only about 25% of the demand would have been met.
"But, we're doing the best we can!"
Sadly, not all of the pets that can be adopted are adopted. In fact, in 2009, only 14% (1,128) were adopted, while 61% of the pets (4,983) were killed. Another 24% (1,933) were transferred to non-profit organizations who rescue pets from the county facility so that they will not be killed. This is in spite of the example set by nearby shelters like Charlottesville / Albemarle County, VA, which has been saving 90% or more of all animals since 2007.
In June 2011, the Animal Services Facility reported an all-time high monthly kill rate of 72%. 930 animals were killed.
This indicates a failure of the management at the facility to provide the service that the county taxpayers expect from them.
Has No Kill been achieved?
As of Fall, 2011, there are twenty jurisdictions in which their open admission, municipal shelter has achieved No Kill status. There are eight more in progress. The transformation from traditional high-kill to No Kill sheltering always begins with a change of leadership.
Shelter killing is the #1 cause of death for healthy dogs & cats in America.
The No Kill Equation
Shelter killing is more a function of shelter practices, than 'public irresponsibility.'
1. Feral Cat TNR Program
2. High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter
3. Eliminate arbitrary pet prohibitions and limits.
4. Rescue Groups
5. Foster Care
6. Comprehensive Adoption Programs
7. Pet Retention
8. Medical and Behavior Rehabilitation
9. Public Relations/Community Involvement
11. Compassionate Leadership
No Kill is simply not achievable without rigorous implementation of each and every one of these programs.
For more information about No Kill, read the book
Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America,
by Nathan Winograd.
How You Can Help
In Prince George's County, contact:
Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA
301-262-6452 / Info@PGFerals.org
Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA
is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization supported by donations from individuals.
Donations are tax-deductible.
Please help us to bring the No Kill Philosophy to the Prince George's County Animal Services Facility.
Click on the icon to the left to see some options.
Thank you, very much!