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Delaware Headlines

Delaware is first to earn statewide “no-kill” designation at animal shelters

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Courtesy of the Brandywine Valley SPCA
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A new study shows Delaware is the only state where all animal shelters are considered “no-kill.”

The no-kill status is achieved when 90% or more of animals at a shelter are adopted out. And euthanasia is only used in the case of irremediable suffering or if the animal is too dangerous to rehabilitate.

The data was collected from shelters across the country by the nonprofit Best Friends Animal Society with the goal of all shelters reaching no-kill status by 2025.

Brandywine Valley SPCA spokeswoman Linda Torelli says the BVSPCA is represented on the committee for that cause.

What we do, with all of the great work that has happened in Delaware to get to no kill, we’re now taking our knowledge and resources and helping some of those states that aren’t no-kill yet," said Torelli.

Best Friends Animal Society's data shows more than 12,700 animals entered Delaware shelters between 2017 and 2018 and more than 11,800 were saved.

Torelli points to community foster programs, adoption events and the BVSPCA’s animal rehabilitation center in Georgetown as contributing factors to the First State's success.

“So we have a behavior program for instance that’s implemented there, and we also have behavior staff at each of our campuses. They work with dogs that might need a little more support or training to be ready to go into a home, or perhaps some cruelty cases that might need some more rehabilitation,” Torelli said.

The Best Friends study says data from all of Delaware’s shelters was shared, and Torelli says that data is kept by the state Office of Animal Welfare as well.

The Best Friends study says data from all of Delaware’s shelters was shared, and Torelli says that data is kept through the state Office of Animal Welfare as well.

It says more than 12,700 animals entered Delaware shelters between 2017 and 2018 and more than 11,800 were saved.

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