Delaware animal shelter marks first national ‘no kill’ day

Faithful Friends Animal Society is asking other Delaware animal shelters to put down their euthanasia needles ahead of the first national “no kill” day.

The inaugural no kill day is Monday, June 11, organized by the California-based No Kill Advocacy Center, an organization committed to a nation where shelters do not kill adoptable animals for space. No kill is defined as a 90 percent save rate and 10 percent euthanasia rate.

No kill advocates say Mondays, typically, are days when public shelters euthanize animals. This Monday, they’re asking shelters to instead promote lifesaving programs. 

Faithful Friends is an animal shelter in Wilmington that started 11 years ago as a no kill alternative, and many credit the efforts of executive director Jane Pierantozzi’s organization for Delaware’s tough shelter standards law. The law eliminates what animal advocates label as “convenience killing.”

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However, some question whether no kill is actually an effective way to manage Delaware’s pet population. As more shelters go no kill, animals, who might otherwise be euthanized, are staying longer, taking up space, forcing shelters to turn animals away, making non-no kill shelters the bad guys. 

Currently, Pierantozzi says Faithful Friends is full, but contends euthanasia is not the only answer. She says shelters statewide just need to get creative in order to make room.

“Traditionally, a lot of shelters have said, ‘Well we’re full, we’re going to kill [animals],’ but we’re closed after 5 p.m. at night, so nobody really who wants to adopt can get there, we don’t go out and do adoption events, and bring the animals out to pet stores, we don’t have partnerships with rescue groups,” Pierantozzi said.

Faithful Friends says it also offers retention programs so families don’t have to give up their animals in these tough economic times – programs others shelters could offer.

“If [animals] are in a home and [families] can keep their animals, they don’t have money for food, shelters can offer food to help people feed their animals,” Pierantozzi said, whose agency offers a pet food bank. “People give up animals because they’re not housebroken or issues like that can be resolved by shelters having programs to offer the community to help.”

Ahead of Monday, Faithful Friends will hold an open house from noon to 5 p.m., complete with refreshments and guided tours, as well as adoption specials. Pierantozzi says fixed and vaccinated cats and kittens can be adopted for $10 and $25 respectively, dogs are going for $25 and puppies, if available, will cost $50.

Delaware currently has five large animal welfare organizations in the state, four of which are characterized as no kill.

“First” recently ran a story about the no kill movement in Delaware. You can watch the video below.   

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