The state of Michigan has officially been recognized as the second no-kill shelter state in the nation, following Delaware who was formally recognized last month. In order to receive the no-kill designation, a community must have a save rate of at least 90% of all dogs and cats entering its shelters.
“This is an amazing first for our state,” Deborah Schutt, founder and chairperson of The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA). “When the shelters in a state combine to meet the 90% target, that state is considered No-Kill for shelter animals. Only Delaware, which has three shelters, compared to 174 in Michigan, also reached the No Kill benchmark last year.”
In prior years, approximately 120,000 dogs and cats were being euthanized in Michigan shelters every year. The MPFA said that number is now just over 13,000.
Best Friends Animal Society, as part of their No-Kill By 2015 Initiative explained, “last year, about 733,000 dogs and cats were killed in our nation’s animal shelters, simply because they didn’t have safe places to call home. Together, we can change that and achieve no-kill for dogs and cats nationwide by 2025.”
The No-Kill by 2025 initiative, while challenging, isn’t impossible to achieve. Nationwide, the save rate is 76.6% – an increase of nearly 3% from 2017 – with about 4,300 no-kill communities throughout. Still, with 2,000 dogs and cats killed in shelters across the country every day, there is serious room for improvement.
And, Best Friends Animal Society says it’s not that far-fetched an initiative. Just 35 years ago, 17 million dogs and cats were killed annually. Today, 733,000 die in shelters.
We need more states to follow the paths of Delaware and Michigan in the pursuit of an entirely no-kill nation.