Life Saving Statistics
At the SPCA of Bradley County our goal is to provide a safe, healthy space for all animals that enter into our care. In addition to providing our animals with the most basic of needs such as food and shelter, we care deeply for our cats and dogs and strive to promote the 5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare. This allows them to be happier, more comfortable, and healthier animals during their time with us - however long it may be! We value each and every animal that enters our care and closely track each intake using nationally recommended standards. Sadly, there are occasionally situations when an animal arrives that is too sick, too injured, or with severe behavioral issues. Less than 10% of the animals that arrive in our care have a medical or behavioral issue that compromises their quality of life or prevents them from being safely adopted out. These are extremely difficult, extremely emotional cases for us as we wish we could save them all. In these unfortunate circumstances we collaborate with community vets and/or behaviorists and act on their expert recommendations and in the kindest, most humane interest of the animal. These decisions are never made lightly and at SPCA we believe in transparency with the community and proudly post our shelter statistics on our website.
What does "No-Kill" mean?
The nationally recognized definition of a “No-Kill” shelter is one that saves the lives of 90% or more of the animals that enter into it’s care. The average number of pets who suffer from irreparable medical or behavioral issues that compromise their quality of life and prevent them from being adopted is not more than 10% of all animals entering into shelters nationwide. Therefore, a shelter is designated “no-kill” if they meet the 90% save-rate benchmark.
Is SPCA a No-Kill facility?
With a 97% Live Release Rate, we are considered a “No-Kill” shelter and we never put a limit on the amount of time an animal spends in our care. Although we are proud to be considered “no-kill”, we feel like the term is sometimes misleading as it gives people the impression that we would never euthanize an animal under any circumstance.
According to Best Friends Animal Society, an open intake, municipal animal welfare agency is considered to be “No-Kill” if it operates at or above a 90% live release rate. Live release rates calculate every single animal that enters the shelter system regardless of breed, type, or temperament and calculates every outcome including adoption, transfer to rescue, and euthanasia. These numbers are used to calculate the percentage of live outcomes (adoption/rescue) then reported to Shelter Animals Count, a national reporting database for animal welfare agencies.
What does that mean for the pets in Bradley County?
It means that no animal that enters into our care (stray or owner surrendered) will be euthanized due to the time it spends with us waiting for it’s new adoptive home, or for kennel space.
When would we consider euthanasia?
We would consider euthanasia for any animal with irreparable medical or behavioral issues that compromise their quality of life, deem them unsafe to be rehomed, or pose a significant risk to public safety. These decisions are made with the utmost consideration and respect, and in collaboration with professionals in the veterinary and/or behavioral community. These choices are difficult for all involved, but we make them with the best interest of the animals in mind. We have a responsibility to treat all animals with dignity and provide humane and ethical treatment during their greatest time of need. We will always act in the best interest of the animals in our care as well as to our community. No matter how hard we try to save them all, there are times when the kindest thing is to let them go.
How do we determine if an animal would be a candidate for euthanasia?
Humane euthanasia decisions are always made under the guidance of industry leaders and professionals following their expert recommendations. The decision is made in collaboration with veterinarian or behavioral professionals based on the severity of the circumstances, the ability to provide the intervention needed, and what the pet’s future quality of life would look like.
What is SPCA’s current live release rate?
SPCA of Bradley County believes that every dog and cat deserves to find their forever home no matter their age, breed, or temperament. Because we will exhaust every option before deciding to end a precious life, SPCA currently has a 92% live release rate. That means that 97% of the animals surrendered to us left the facility either through adoption, reunification with their owners, or one of our many rescue partners. We track each and every animal that enters into our care following national shelter standards and believe in being transparent with our community. Our shelter statistics are proudly posted on our website for the community to see.
What about animal welfare organizations who are not “no-kill”?
Unfortunately, these organizations are often labeled “kill shelters” while they work tirelessly to try to save the lives of homeless animals who come through their doors. No-kill is a term used by well-meaning people, but it’s a term that causes some to turn their backs on shelters when they need help the most. Often, it’s placed on organizations who care and who simply don’t have the resources or support they need to become no-kill. No-kill is not just a shelter’s problem and it’s not just an animal welfare problem; it’s a community problem, and the community’s support is needed for shelters to continue to become no-kill. When you see a shelter who is working to become no-kill, support them through sharing their adoptable animals on social media, adopting, fostering, volunteering, and helping others understand the work they’re doing to save lives.
What can I do to help save lives?
Thank you for asking! “No-Kill'' is more than a practice, but is a philosophy that guides our approach to sheltering and caring for the animals in our community. We encourage you to foster to give our animals a break from shelter life and learn more about their personalities! Or donate to help us provide them with loving care and enrichment during their stay. You can also support us by simply liking and sharing our adoptable animals on social media and help find everyone a home!