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. In spite of this, we continue to have concerns about the large numbers of dogs being destroyed for behavior each month. We are hopeful that increased community outreach and planned shelter renovations will reduce the number of dogs destroyed for behavior by reducing shelter intake and improving housing conditions inside the shelter. We will continue to analyze data from the shelter in hopes the percentage of dogs destroyed for behavior goes down over time.
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 have been talking about a Companion Animal Protection Act (in our case the Huntsville Animal Protection Act) for a few years and are working on obtaining support from the city council to enact an ordinance which would preserve the legacy of city officials and ensure the progress achieved is sustained.
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.
(cover image of Ralphie, a Katrina survivor, courtesy of Dana Kay Mattox Deutsch, a rescuer whom sadly we lost to cancer earlier this year)