No Kill Huntsville is a coalition of local animal welfare advocates, rescuers and shelter directors who came together in January of 2012 to speak with one voice to seek better for our community. We strive to make ours a no kill community; a place where healthy and treatable animals are not destroyed in our municipal shelter using our tax dollars and resources because there are proven ways to save them. There are hundreds of no kill communities across the country where the lives of shelter animals are saved while still ensuring public safety and fiscal responsibility. Those places don't have any of the resources we don't have right here; and it is our position that our community is smart enough, creative enough and progressive enough to do better using our tax dollars.
Since the time we formed our coalition, tremendous progress has been made by our municipal animal shelter - Huntsville Animal Services. Animals in our shelter now have a greater chance of making it out of the shelter alive at any time in the history of the City of Huntsville and Madison County. The city claims it has not destroyed any healthy or treatable animals for space since October of 2014. We disagree with this claim based on the large numbers of dogs being destroyed for behavior each month. We have encouraged the city to employ the services of a subject matter expert to determine why there are continuing issues with how dogs are evaluated for behavior in the shelter and how decisions are made regarding destroying dogs. The training will take place in April and we will be hosting a fundraiser to offset the costs of the training.
We are hopeful that a time will come when local officials who operate and oversee our shelter will make a public declaration of intent regarding their commitment that healthy and treatable animals are no longer at risk in our shelter under any circumstances and that they have left the dated and archaic practice of destroying savable pets in the past where it belongs.
We invite you to learn about issues related to animal sheltering and about the methods being used across the country to save shelter animals. Because our community has made tremendous progress, we know that other communities are looking to us for guidance and information. We hope that the information on our website continues to help the people who live and work in Huntsville and Madison County, but also helps people in other communities who may be looking to reform animal shelter operations using diplomacy and advocacy.
(image of Ralphie courtesy of Dana Kay Mattox Deutsch)