Hundreds of animals are surrendered by their owners to county shelters around the country every day, but what happens to those animals when there’s not enough room for the shelters to take them in?
That’s where no-kill rescues and shelters come in. They go to local pounds and pick up animals that are on the euthanasia list and take care of them until they are adopted out to new owners. Volunteers there pride themselves in being able to save the lives of these animals because without them, they wouldn’t be alive.
Kelly Perry is the executive director and owner of Lucky Paws Shelter, which is a nonprofit, no-kill rescue based out of Scottsdale. She says that making the city of Phoenix a no-kill environment for shelter animals is extremely important.
“Kindness and compassion is what we are about,” Ms. Perry said. “I don’t feel it is humane to leave animals in cages or runs for any length of time. That is why I opened a cage free shelter.”
No-kill shelters are unique from county shelters and other rescues because they don’t discriminate animals for any reason. They give them all a chance when no one else will.
“The biggest pro is we don’t give up on animals due to age, color, breed, or species. No kill means no kill,” Ms. Perry said.
Most no-kill shelters do not accept owner surrenders since they go out and save animals from kill shelters themselves. They want to make sure that their space is being used to help animals that don’t have a chance of surviving if not for them.
The only downside to no-kill shelters is that since they adopt all of their animals to owners, they have to restrict the number of animals they bring in. This creates a better quality of care for the animals they take in but limits how many they can help.
HALO Animal Rescue is a local shelter here in the Valley that has been creating a safe haven for all homeless pets since 1994. They rescue animals from the euthanasia list at the county shelters and adopt them out to loving homes.
Heather Allen is the president and CEO of HALO animal rescue, and she doesn’t think the limited space at their shelter is preventing their rescue from helping as many animals as they can.
“In 2014 we adopted 7,065 pets,” Ms. Allen said.
Since HALO’s start, it has helped over 30,000 animals find homes that would not have gotten that chance otherwise.
Ann Marie Schlup is a student at Arizona State University who has adopted pets in the past from different shelters around the Valley. She thinks it’s important for rescues to have a no-kill policy.
“I don’t believe in euthanizing an animal unless it’s necessary due to their health, so I think it should be illegal to kill the animals because they don’t have the space,” Ms. Schlup said.
Editor’s note: Kaley Kurowski is a journalism student at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and wrote the article as a class assignment.