Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | June 18, 2008

No Kill Shelter

Second Chance Humane Society has always operated under the “no-kill” philosophy, a philosophy based upon the notion that not all pets are as easily adoptable as others – but all deserve an equal chance. Thus, in a no-kill shelter pets with treatable behavioral or medical problems are rehabilitated within a foster or shelter environment until they can become adopted.

As no-kill facilities can be mistaken as sanctuaries, in which even untreatable pets considered unadoptable are maintained in the shelter environment, the “no-kill” terminology is now being replaced nation-wide by “low-kill”. This switch reflects the fact that there are some scenarios for which humane euthanasia is in the best interest of the animal or the safety of the public.

Such cases involve pets with behavioral or temperament characteristic that pose a health or safety risk, or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement, or pets suffering from an untreatable illness or injury. As such, only pets with serious untreatable health or behavioral conditions are euthanized in no-kill/low-kill shelters.

As an organization responsible to the community it serves, Second Chance does not adopt out pets that are assessed as unsafe to reside within that community. Efforts are made to transfer such pets when possible into qualified rescue organizations that might be able to safely shelter these pets. The SCHS low-kill philosophy is promoted outside of the community by accepting animals from other regional shelters to save them from euthanasia.

Unlike many larger municipal facilities that unfortunately do not have the resources to treat all the homeless pets that enter their doors, Second Chance pets are not euthanized to make space for other animals. Fortunately, the growing trend across the country, even in larger municipal facilities, is to embrace or at least work toward a low-kill philosophy. This is primarily being accomplished through aggressive spay/neuter and other preventative and educational programs.

As a low-kill facility, Second Chance does not limit the timeframe that adoptable pets are provided care. In fact we are celebrating the long awaited adoption of Stripes, a very gentle lovable cat who because of his considerably shy nature was overlooked by potential adopters for over 1.5 years. Finally, just last week the person he had been waiting for found him and whisked him off to a loving forever home.

Many ill and injured pets have also been nursed back to health within the shelter or foster care system of this organization. Lola, an 11 year old White German Shepherd, also a Second Chance resident for 1.5 years, was a good example of this. She entered the Second Chance shelter with a host of health and behavioral issues. She responded well to the medical treatment and TLC she needed and her personality transformed into a loving, trusting, and fun-loving girl. She adopted the shelter as her home and became the mothering “greeter” to all new homeless dogs. She also learned tricks such as sneaking into the inside kennels before all the other dogs were brought in for the night to steal dog cookies laying on the dog beds.

Sadly, Lola passed away last week from liver failure before finding her adoptive family. The Second Chance staff and volunteers miss her comforting presence but know that she left us feeling our love, connection, and that she belonged to our family.

In closing, Inky, the featured Pet Columnist, wanted to share how lucky he feels to be rescued by a low-kill shelter. As an adorable 12 week Manx kitten he knows he will be finding a home very soon, but just in case, he can romp about with his siblings worry-free.

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet or learn about SCHS Spay/Neuter Vouchers, Volunteer & Foster Care and other Programs. Visit to see our adoptable pets. Responses to Pet Columns can be sent to:





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