For many cats, dogs and other pets, they're forced to call an animal shelter their home. Whether they had to be put their to get away from abandonment, abuse and/or neglect, a lot of pets who don't have an owner are house in animal shelters instead. The biggest problem comes when there's simply too many animals living in animal shelters in the same city or county. As a result, many animals are euthanized if they go too long without being rescued, meaning that they die without an actual home.
But that depressing scenario isn't always the case. In the state of Michigan, all animal shelters have recently become "no-kill" shelters. This means that 90 percent of animals are adopted, returned to their owner, or transferred to another rescue organizaton or shelter. Michigan was able to reach this specific percentage back in 2018, and have managed to maintain it ever since then.
According to the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA), about 120 000 cats and dogs were euthanized by animal shelters on an annual basis. That number has since decreased dramatically to over 13 000 euthanized animals. Such statistics have been tracked by the MPFA since 2009, and come from annual reports that are submitted by animal shelters to the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.
"This is an amazing first for our state," said MPFA Founder and Chairperson Deborah Schutt. "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."
"While it’s exciting to see Michigan as a state achieve No-Kill status by reaching the 90% goal, we still have a few communities struggling to save lives, especially with cats,” Schutt added. "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."
Congratulations to Michigan for reaching this wonderful achievement for their animal shelters!