Several previous posters have opined that No-Kill just does not work for open admission shelters. This is stated as if it were a fact and we should go on to rethink No-Kill, whatever that means, as if we were not already constantly thinking about it. To say that No-Kill open shelters are impossible, is foolish and self-defeating pessimism.
A thing is impossible until it is not.
Flying through the air was impossible until the airplane was invented. Traveling to the moon was impossible until we did it in 1968. Kidney and heart transplants were impossible until the 1980s, but now are almost routine all over the world.
Nothing with a technological solution is impossible. Nothing. No kill sheltering is only a matter of numbers, marketing, S/N, logistics and manpower. We are not going to Mars here.
A reasonable approximation of No-Kill has been achieved, or so claimed, by some smaller (under 7,000 animals per year) shelter systems.
No one defines No-Kill as every animal going in comes out alive; that does not even happen in a with a good private practice vet clinic. Always animals coming in sick and injured should be put down for their own sake. Certain dangerous dogs should be put down and still the shelter would be considered no kill.
With a large shelter system such as LAAS with 47,000 dogs and cats impounded a year, if they can achieve the same kill rates as smaller, open admission admitted No-Kill shelters, then we will have arrived.
What I would question is the assumption that large shelter systems cannot be as effective as smaller systems in terms of saving lives if they have the same proportionate budget and manpower, especially in a place like LA where there are multiple shelters serving multiple areas, in effect, having six smaller shelter systems.
I think Boks’ definition of animals killed per thousand residents is more a statement about resident demographics than about the condition and adoptability of impounded animals. New Yorkers would have fewer animals per thousand residents, therefore a lower kill/1000 pop than would a rural Midwester area.
This should not be a criteria for measuring No-Kill.
Some smaller open admission shelters claim a live save rate for dogs of 90% or better. Winograd claimed no treatable cat was killed at Tompkins County. I would assume that did not include 100% of the unweaned kittens—I don’t know.
If the dissenters mean we should more carefully define No-Kill, I agree. But to state that No-Kill is impossible a priori, is defeatist foolishness.
No-Kill as an attainable goal is incredibly important as it is a lead-in to obtaining a No-Kill state of mind towards all animals in the future, including other humans. Creating No-Kill shelters would be a great milestone in the effort to achieve a higher morality for all of mankind. Its importance as a concept and goal should be assessed from that viewpoint.