Delaware Officially First No-Kill State for Animal Shelters

Delaware, “The First State”. Granted this title for being the first state to ratify the constitution in 1787. This August Delaware is making history once again by becoming the first no-kill state for animal shelters.

This was made possible by the animal-loving community of Delaware, shelters like Brandywine Valley SPCA, and Best Friend’s Animal Society, whose mission is to have all 52 states achieve no-kill status by 2025. Sadly, millions of dogs and cats are killed each year in the United States, according to the ASPCA

Why Shelters Kill

Unfortunately, many shelters euthanize animals due to overpopulation. They get new animals in daily, so to make room they kill those deemed unadoptable – meaning they have been at the shelter too long. These are otherwise healthy animals who just haven’t found their forever home, yet.

The responsibility does not fall solely on the shelters. In many cases, they are doing the best they can with the resources they have. The problem starts with puppy mills and back-yard breeders both motivated by profit and breed in masses. This creates a surplus in inventory. Worse, it’s extremely unethical for the female dogs who are continuously impregnated for profit.

When people buy animals from breeders or pet stores there is no mandate to spay or neuter the animal. Pets that go unfixed is the primary source for pet homelessness, and consequently, shelter overpopulation.

Defining No-Kill

Best Friends Animal Society defines no-kill shelters as those that save 90% or more of all the animals taken in. Brandywine Valley SPCA cares for over 14,000 animals annually across 3 Delaware locations and has successfully found homes for 95% of the animals that enter their facilities.

See below to see how your state ranks in achieving no-kill status. Visit Best Friends Animal Society to learn more, including, which communities locally need your help.

Picture of United States with colors that reflect the total number of cats and dogs each states needs so save to achieve no-kill status

How You Can Help

First, adopt don’t shop. If you have your heart set on a pure bread, do your research and get your pet from a reputable and licensed breeder.

Second, most shelters are non-profit and depend on volunteers and donations. Consider donating your time, money, or gently-used pet supplies to a local shelter.

Lastly, spay and neuter your pets! It’s not only the most responsible thing you can do in controlling animal homelessness, it’s also the best thing you can do for your pet to ensure a long happy and healthy life.

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