5 min read

'Kill' Shelter Put Down A Surprising Number Of Dogs In 2015

When many shelters get too crowded, animals end up getting put on the "kill" list - meaning that if someone doesn't adopt them right away, their life will end to open up space.

But one shelter decided that their goal for 2015 was to put a stop to the practice.

Linn County Animal Control in Albany, Oregon, used to euthanize more than 300 dogs every year. But when the Linn County Sheriff's Office took over the shelter in 2013, they decided to change things.

Everyone banded together to get as many dogs as possible adopted, the shelter told the Albany Democrat-Herald. They formed partnerships with rescues. They had a local groomer come once a week to keep their dogs looking sharp. They stopped calling dogs by their numbers and called them only by their names. And they rehabilitated aggressive dogs instead of giving up on them.

Since then, the euthanasia numbers have been plummeting. In 2013, 65 dogs were euthanized in just six months, according to the Democrat-Herald. In 2014, only 23 were put down over the entire year. For 2015, the shelter set out to reach a goal that most large, public shelters like them wouldn't think of reaching.

They wanted to euthanize a total of zero dogs for 2015 - and thanks to everyone's efforts, they did it. This past year, Linn County Animal Control took in over 700 dogs, and not a single one was euthanized.

"Well, we are happy to report that for the first time in the history of this shelter, not a single stray dog was euthanized in the entire year," Staff Sgt. Steve Looney said in an internal email, according to the the Democrat-Herald. "Every single stray animal was either reclaimed, adopted or accepted at a new shelter for adoption there. It was a lot of work to accomplish this goal and we are very proud of it."

The shelter posted a note to their Facebook page on Wednesday, thanking everyone involved for helping them to reach their goal.

"A huge shout-out to all the staff, for going above and beyond to help insure that every dog was placed," the group said. "We are looking forward to 2016 and continuing on our journey of improving the lives of each of our shelter animals."

Considering how many dogs the shelter took in, it is an unbelievable accomplishment that none of them were put down - and an incredible blessing for all of the families who will now have the chance to welcome these wonderful dogs in their homes.

If you'd like to adopt a pet of your own, check out Adopt-a-Pet.com to get started.