top of page

HOT TIP: Dogs get HEARTWORM from mosquitoes - a monthly preventative protects them!

Dallas Love Bugs Logo - the words stacked in a stencil font
Happy Grey Pit Bull Mix lying on the sidewalk in a park with his pink tongue out
  • Writer's pictureDallas Love Bugs

"Kill" vs "No Kill" Rescues and Shelters

What is the difference between no kill and kill animal rescues and shelters?

Brown Pitbull Mix Rescue Dog with White Chest and White Paws with His Tongue Hanging out of His Mouth, Smiling!

Let's Break Down What a "No Kill" Animal Shelter VS "Kill" Animal Rescue Means!

Did you know that area (and remote!) animal rescues are constantly pulling animals from higher-kill municipal shelters? It's true! No-Kill Dog and Cat Rescues are an important piece to the support system of municipal shelters.

It seems natural to want to support "no kill." We don't want animals to be euthanized, after all!

Generally Speaking:

  • NO KILL refers to private-business / non-profit rescues which may make their own rules

  • KILL refers to municipal shelters which must go by the law of the city or county

Municipal "KILL" animal shelters cannot say no to intakes.

Non-profit "NO KILL" cat and dog rescues can.

No-Kill Animal Rescues may simply say, "we are full," or "we are closed for intakes while we manage a [ distemper or parvo or ringworm ] outbreak.

Guess where those turned away animals go?


In the case of Dallas Animal Services, where I volunteer and foster, the shelter must take in every stray, surrender, abuse case, "owner sick or died or arrested," sick, injured, or terrified animal which comes their way.

When adopter, rescue, and foster support resources are slow or at capacity - there is simply nowhere for the animals to go.

Yet kennels must be cleared for the never-ending influx of animals in need.

This is when euthanasia happens.

Trust me - NO ONE wants to be in the position to have to euthanize healthy, adoptable animals. NO ONE.

"No Kill" animal rescue industry-standard is defined as 90% live release rate.

Meaning 90% of animals which enter that rescue leave, alive.

The Dallas Animal Services slogan, "Be Dallas 90" is a reference to this 90% live release rate goal and DAS is always aiming for 90% (and hits it, sometimes!)

Once you understand WHY the shelter is put in the position of euthanizing, it becomes obvious that we should all be supporting our municipal shelters!

How to Help?







December 2014 NPR "No-Kill Shelters Save Millions Of Unwanted Pets — But Not All Of Them"

Animal Humane Society "What Does It Mean To Be A No Kill"

Best Friends "What No Kill Really Means"


The content on this website is based on personal experience and researched information. Please note no one here is a professional vet, trainer, or behaviorist. Always consult your vet and trainer about what is best for your dog or cat and their mental & physical health!

Follow Dallas Love Bugs on INSTAGRAM, TIKTOK, YOUTUBE, and join the free, public FACEBOOK GROUP.


Related Posts

See All
bottom of page