In 1994, San Francisco, California was the first in the nation to end euthanasia of healthy adoptable dogs and cats. Since that time the state of California has passed legislation to further define “No-Kill” as:
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. A “feral” cat needs time to learn to trust humans or to be sterilized and returned to their community.
“Unadoptable” or “non-rehabilitatable” means animals that are neither adoptable nor treatable. By way of exclusion, “unadoptable” is defined as:
- Animals eight weeks of age or younger at or subsequent to the time the animal is impounded;
- Animals that have manifested signs of a behavioral or temperamental defect;
- Those that could pose a health or safety risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet and
- 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.
Manatee County became a “No-Kill” county recently. They have taken a huge step in the right direction. Unfortunately, there simply are very few places to house the “unadoptable.” Manatee County posts their annual statistics online:
By contrast, Sarasota County Animal Services, which has not been established as a “No-Kill” county, was not far behind. These numbers are extremely unfortunate; Animal Services are diligently working with various rescue organizations to get these numbers even lower. In order to make a change we need to start at the root of the problem. No animal should be re-homed, whether baby or adult, without being sterilized! If every pet was sterilized these numbers could be reduced dramatically. How do we get there? Educate, Educate, Educate! Having a pet isn’t just about cute and entertaining, these are members of your family. There are low-cost and free programs to sterilize pets. St. Francis works hard to find funds to assist with spay and neuter costs for both owned and community cats. Please assist us with our mission to reduce the number of homeless cats in our community and reduce the euthanasia rate in our county. As more cats are spayed and neutered, fewer cats will be left without a home or euthanized at open admission facilities.