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A Message From The Shelter Manager

I have had a few questions about this so I thought it would be helpful if I explained exactly what an “Adoption Guarantee Shelter” is and why it's a more appropriate term for the SCSPCA.  In the past the SPCA has been referred to as a “No-Kill” shelter but we feel that that is an inappropriate name for what we do at the shelter. 

First we feel the term “No-Kill” is detrimental to our relationship with municipal shelters, which by the “No-Kill” logic would be referred to as “Kill” shelters.  The very term seems to create friction between “No-Kill” and “Kill” shelters for very obvious reasons!  It is important to understand that
sometimes it is an unfortunate necessity.  There are simply too many unwanted animals for available community resources such as: space, time, money and adoptive homes. 

Access to Low Cost Spay/Neuter clinics is one of the biggest ways to reduce pet overpopulation - but unfortunately there is not always funding for those programs. So the problem is too many animals and not enough space for them.


At the SPCA we have the luxury of only taking animals when we have available space for them which is why we are able to hold animals for longer periods of time, giving them more opportunities to get adopted. Municipal shelters simply don’t have this luxury - they are contracted by cities and counties and must take all stray animals that come through their doors. In order to make space for the incoming animals they are often forced to euthanize animals that have been there longer periods of time. While each shelter operates in a different way, their goal is similar - to place as many animals as possible into appropriate homes as quickly as possible.

We work with municipal shelters, not against them. We are trying to eradicate the idea that one type of shelter is the “good” guy while the other is the “bad” guy. We often transfer animals from municipal shelters to help “lighten their load” so to speak.

Another reason we feel the term “no-kill” is inappropriate is because it seems to mean that no animal is ever euthanized - which is not true. Some animals that come into the shelter that do not meet our standards for adoption because these animals are so severely under socialized, poorly bred or in need of such extensive medical treatment that we do not feel our available resources are adequate to safely or humanly place these animals into pet homes. We also don't feel that it's fair for an animal to spend the remainder of his or her life confined to a cement run or cage with little human interaction. In cases where animals are a danger to people or other animals we don't feel that it would be responsible to place these animals back into the public. We are all too often forced to make the very difficult decision to euthanize animals that come into our shelter and do not meet predefined adoption standards.

On the positive side

Animals that are behaviorally sound and healthy will have as much time as they need to find an adoptive home. Occasionally, when an animal has been at the shelter longer than average, we may place that animal with a foster based rescue group so that he or she may receive more personalized care. 

We guarantee the adoption of every animal that is considered adoptable into an appropriate home, which is why we feel the term “Adoption Guarantee” more accurately fits our organization. 


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