We Are a No-Kill Shelter

What "No-Kill" is and how the Humane Society of Westchester fits into that category.

"No-Kill" is a term that defines a movement, a goal, rather than being an absolute. A decade ago, the term was coined as a slogan to represent an improved way of sheltering animals and a community approach to helping them. It was not meant to condone warehousing of animals or to be taken literally.

Today, "No-Kill" means the elimination of euthanasia for healthy, adoptable dogs and cats. "No-Kill" doesn't mean no euthanasia. A responsible "No-Kill" organization will euthanize an animal with an untreatable disease, who has lost the quality of life, or a dangerous dog who has significant potential to injure the public or another animal.

“No Kill” is increasingly a term applied to communities and cities. The movement is recognized as a measure of effectiveness in this larger context and not only at an individual organization level.

The Humane Society of Westchester's "No-Kill" policy:

The Humane Society of Westchester follows the guidelines published by Maddie's Fund: “to make all reasonable efforts to find new homes for every healthy and/or treatable dog and cat who are ready to be placed when entering a shelter.”

What is "healthy?"

On intake, the animal shows no signs of behavioral or temperamental characteristics that would pose a health or safety risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet.

What is "treatable?"

Animals who are not healthy but are likely to become healthy if given reasonable medical, behavioral, foster or other care. Animals who are not healthy and not likely to become healthy, regardless of care provided, but who would likely maintain a satisfactory quality of life if given reasonable care, including long-term care. This does not include any animal determined to pose a significant health or safety risk to humans or other animals.