Finally, Michigan has been declared as a “no-kill state” for shelter animals. This is a fantastic step for Michigan as well as a win for animal rights groups and animal welfare advocates.
According to the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA), Michigan acquired the designation because the state’s shelters met the 90% statewide average live release rate for shelter animals. This statistic means that the state’s shelters were able to have 90% of their animals adopted, returned to their original owners, or transferred to a different shelter or organization.
Annually, Michigan shelters are required to report to the MPFA. In detail, these reports include adoption rates, return rates, transfer rates, and euthanization rates.
In 2009, MPFA observed that there were 120,000 cats and dogs euthanized in Michigan’s animal shelters. Last year, after a steady decrease throughout the years, this number went down to 13,000.
Unfortunately, Michigan’s no-kill state status doesn’t mean that shelters are not allowed to euthanize animals. This title acknowledges that the state’s 174 animal shelters have done their part in reducing euthanization rates, lowering them enough for Michigan to be officially considered a no-kill state.
Currently, in Michigan, euthanization is only performed when an animal is very sick or overly aggressive, as these factors lower the animal’s chances of being treated and rehomed. Deborah Schutt, MPFA founder and chairperson, is thrilled that Michigan achieved its no-kill state status. However, she emphasizes that there is still more work to do.
“While it’s exciting to see Michigan as a state achieve no-kill status by reaching the 90% goal, we still have a few communities struggling to save lives, especially with cats. We will continue to work with shelters and rescue organizations to implement best practices, decrease the overall length of stay in the shelter, and improve the quality of life for homeless pets while they are in a shelter,” Schutt said in an interview with FOX 8 News.