Delaware has officially become the first and only no-kill US state for shelter pets.

According to the Best Friends Animal Society—which is the only national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the euthanization of shelter animals—a state is considered to be “no-kill” if it is able to save at least 90% of the animals that enter its shelters.

The nonprofit helped Delaware to achieve the historic milestone by collaborating with state shelters and government officials to implement several animal control tactics that have been proven to improve adoption rates and curb shelter intakes.

With 59 different “no-kill” communities in the state, 11,900 animals were saved from being euthanized.

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Since Best Friends is aiming to make the United States a no-kill country by 2025, they hope that more state legislators and US communities will follow Delaware’s example.

“The beautiful thing about this movement is that it is such a nonpartisan issue. It doesn’t matter where you may fall in your political views — everybody loves animals and most everyone understands how valuable the human-animal bond is,” Holly Sizemore, chief mission officer for Best Friends Animal Society, told TODAY.

“So I do believe this movement is not only about saving animals’ lives, but it’s kind of redeeming us as people, and showing what kindness does to elevate us all and to just make a better world,” she added.

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Currently, the United States has a save rate of 76% with over 4,300 communities identified as “no-kill” regions.

The states with the highest rates of shelter deaths are Texas and California. If you would like to see where your state and community ranks on the Best Friends no-kill map, you can visit the organization’s website to learn more.

Be Sure And Share The Pawesome News With Your Friends On Social MediaFile photo by Dave Parker, CC


  1. While my state may be a high kill state, my city is a no-kill city.

    And I am proud to own a puppy that was saved from a high-kill shelter up north by a local rescue.

    She is the best puppy, smart, friendly and will have a future as a therapy dog if she’s willing.

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