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We want to provide clarity regarding some recent posts that have been circulating on social media.
First and foremost: Animal Aid Society has been a No Kill Shelter for 50 years.
We are still a no kill shelter and do not euthanize due to time constraints or space.
“No-kill is defined as saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved. It means healing the animals who can be healed, treating behaviors that can be treated, and prioritizing safety and a high quality of life for both pets and people in our communities. It means reducing the number of animals entering shelters through spay/neuter education and services and increasing the number of animals leaving shelters through adoption and other programs that lead to them finding safe places to call home. When animal shelters and the communities they serve value those objectives, euthanasia is used only as a last resort, when an animal is suffering from an irreparable medical or behavioral condition. No-kill means that an end-of-life decision for a pet is an act of mercy rather than one done for convenience or lack of space.” Read the entire article here: https://bestfriends.org/no-kill-2025/what-does-no-kill-mean
The rest of this post is on a very difficult topic. It is about behavioral euthanasia, an issue that is not talked about often, but is faced by shelters, rescues, and pet owners alike. We know that not everyone will understand or agree with our choices, but we ask that you please refrain from making negative comments as it only serves to further bruise our already broken hearts.
Recently our Board of Directors came to an unanimous decision to euthanize four of our dogs. These dogs have been painted on social media as adoptable, thriving, and “happy”, but that sadly is not the case. After consulting multiple certified experts in canine behavior evaluation and therapy, veterinary behaviorists, and looking at the most recent science that these individual professionals base their recommendations on, we have deemed these dogs to be psychologically suffering, unsafe to adopt out to the community, and high risk to keep in a shelter environment for the safety of our volunteers. The care these dogs require is much more than a shelter environment can provide, and due to their history it is simply unsafe to adopt them out due to the risks of danger to other people and animals in our community. Some protocols have already been put in place within the past few years as a result of multiple volunteers expressing their concerns for their safety. These dogs have extensive bite histories (level 4 and level 5 on the Ian Dunbar bite scale), and behavior concerns that are also leading to a low quality of life.
This was an incredibly hard decision to make. We are all grieving for these dogs and only ask that our community understands our decision to euthanize these dangerous dogs.
What we learned through all of this? So much! So many great things that we can do to continue to improve and make the world a better place for the animals in our care. But we also learned that, for some dogs, no matter what we do their worlds would continue to become smaller and smaller due to unmanageable/untreatable behavioral conditions. The kindest thing that we can do is to set them free.
Euthanasia is always the very last option and never a decision that anyone takes lightly. We want to thank every one of our volunteers and friends that have loved and taken care of Beckham, Coco, Lillian, and Willow. We appreciate everything that you have done to help them try to find their way in this scary world. Sometimes we just can’t save them all, no matter how hard we try.
If you or someone you know has had to make the difficult decision to euthanize a pet for behavioral issues and you’re looking for a safe place to chat with people who will understand what you are going through, please consider joining the support group: www.facebook.com/groups/losinglulu.
For more information on how we determine if a dog is adoptable, please visit our website: https://www.animalaidsociety.org/adoption/