Michigan Becomes A No-Kill State For Shelter Animals

Although there are still over a million shelter animals that are euthanized each year


The number has actually gone down from that of previous years. This decreasing statistic is partly thanks to the rise in the number of adopted pets as well as the efforts of no-kill shelters all over the United States.

A no-kill shelter is one that only uses euthanasia for terminally ill shelter animals and not for unadopted but healthy or treatable pets. With the success of these shelters, similar efforts have been implemented at the state level and some states have actually reached no-kill status.

One of them is Michigan.



State achievement


A state must have 90% of their shelter animals be adopted, returned to their owners, or transferred to the care of other organizations to qualify as a no-kill state. Michigan reached the percentage.

The only other state to reach this status is Delaware, which became the first no-kill state in July of this year. It’s worth noting, though, that Delaware only has three shelters while Michigan has about 174, according to Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA) founder Deborah Schutt in an interview with WILX 10.

The effort began years ago with euthanasia seeing a significant drop since 2012.

Some of the best performing shelters in the state when it comes to high adoption numbers and short euthanasia lists are Detroit Center for Animal Care in Wayne County and Berman Center for Animal Care also in Wayne County.

Meanwhile, the no-kill advocacy group, Best Friends Animal Society, has a goal of achieving no-kill status for all shelter animals in the country by the year 2025. They also monitor how the project is progressing and provide visual representations detailing each state’s shelter animal statistics.

The group was also the one to declare Delaware as the first no-kill state during their annual conference.

Ongoing efforts


While Michigan is celebrating their achievement, the MPFA remains determined to work more in helping local communities to save animal lives, especially cats.

Deborah spoke about it in the interview with WILX 10:

“We will continue to work with shelters and rescue organizations to implement best practices, decrease overall length of stay in the shelter and improve the quality of life for homeless pets while they are in a shelter.”

In previous years, around 120,000 cats and dogs were being euthanized in various Michigan shelters. The number is now down to just a little bit over 13,000.


The alliance’s mission

The MPFA is the only group in the state of Michigan that has a mission to end the use of euthanasia of any homeless animal that is otherwise healthy or has a treatable medical condition.

They fulfill this mission by helping other shelters and rescue groups in the state using grant money. These funds typically go to paying for the medical bills of special needs and elderly dogs and cats. The MPFA is also offering mentoring and training for other shelters who may need technical assistance.

You can find more information and updates about their projects on their official website.

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