No-Kill by definition is pretty simple in animal sheltering. Saving over 90% of all of the animals through adoption and transfers while euthanizing less than 10% of all animals entering the shelter. We have proudly been No-Kill and exceeding that 90% since 2016, but we won’t stop there. Complacency is the enemy of progress.
The fact is that the ten percent that were deemed acceptable to kill and still be called a No-Kill organization was decided over 15 years ago. It was meant to give leniency for sick, ill, dangerous or unadoptable animals. It certainly didn’t account for improvements in veterinary medicine, behavior and training and animal sheltering that has actually decreased the pool of animals truly needing euthanasia. That is apparent in organizations such as ours. We are no longer content with the arbitrarily set 90% percentage, rather we have transitioned our focus to each individual animal. What does this specific animal need to leave our shelter alive. By systematically evaluating every animal and improving upon last years outcomes, we are now saving an amazing 98.2% of all of the animals entering our shelter. We euthanize less than 2 percent of all animals entering our shelter, but we still feel like it is our duty to only adopt healthy, sane and adoptable pets back into the community.
What does that mean for our adopters?
It means that when you come adopt, we will focus on giving you the very best adoption experience so that you can meet the animals best suited for your home. They may be shy, or missing an eye, or a leg, they may have had a dental procedure and their tongue may hang out of their mouth awkwardly, but our adopters are able to look past those things, to see the amazing, loving, adaptable and adoptable animals underneath.
What does that mean for animals entering our shelter?
We don’t euthanize for old age. Last year we had a 15-year old cat that we adopted out, and this year, a 14 year old dog. Age is not a disease and shouldn't be treated like one.
We don’t euthanize for young age. We just had a box of kittens brought in last weekend that the biggest kitten weighed 200 grams- that’s less than a roll of nickels. Hard work (bottle feeding every 2-3 hours around the clock is definitely rough!) is not a disease and shouldn't be treated as such. While this population is our hardest population to get to adoption since they are fragile, and often ill beyond our control we still save over 85% of all kittens brought to us under 8 weeks of age. We don't shy away from hard work and we have an amazing foster care program that helps us save these precious babies.
We don’t euthanize for treatable medical conditions. Right now, we have a kitten battling an eye infection that may eventually need his eye removed, and a cat fighting chronic skin problems and allergies, neither are at risk of euthanasia. They will have the time they need to overcome their challenges and make it to adoption.
We look at every euthanasia as a learning opportunity and possible life to save in the future. In the past felv and fiv, heart conditions, kidney disease and failure, cleft palates, and diaphragmatic hernias have been reasons for euthanasia. Untreated these things will not give any quality of life to the affected animals and often lead to a death racked with suffering- historically anyhow. With new medical advancements, and specialized medical care recommended by our local veterinary partners and Iowa state and Kansas state, we have been able to save even more lives. With a dedicated fospice (foster/hospice) program, animals in need of it will have love and dignity until the very end. We refuse to let an animal suffer to death but also we will continue to find innovative ways to save their lives and give them an opportunity to make a family whole through adoption.
We won't stop fighting for each individual animal until there are no more animals to fight for. With your help we adopted out 1195 animals last year and only euthanized 27 cats, kittens, dogs and puppies. We placed 323 pets in foster care to help them get healthy, big, strong and ready for adoption. We even placed 2 animals into fospice care so they can experience love and a family for whatever time they have left. We are committed to making the best decision for each animal and your support through volunteering, fostering, donating and advocating by just talking about us makes it all possible. Knowing we have the support of our community behind us makes us excited for the future.
We are participating in Give to Lincoln Day on May 26th. With over 600 animals being adopted out into Lincoln and surrounding areas, we are doing important work for Beatrice and beyond! Join us on Facebook and Instagram and share your stories of adoption and love and help us continue to be the Best Rural Shelter in Nebraska. We may be little in size, but our impact is MIGHTY!!!
Originally published by Beatrice Daily Sun: