West Virginia reduces number of animal shelter deaths in annual report

West Virginia

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – West Virginia has reduced its animal shelter deaths in this year’s annual numbers, reports show.  

Courtesy Best Friend’s Animal Society

The Best Friend’s Animal Society ranked West Virginia at #23 for saving the most dogs and cats in shelters on its pet lifesaving dashboard. 

Of the 40,429 dogs and cats that entered shelters, 34,177 found positive placements, while 2,739 were killed, for a save rate of 85%, up 5.7% from 2019. There were 3,227 fewer pets killed last year. About 43% of West Virginia shelters are no-kill.

The pet lifesaving dashboard, launched in 2019, is a  tool that provides local communities, individuals and policy makers with data so that they can take collective responsibility for what happens to pets in their community, and better support their local shelters. 

The society said even though progress is being made to an entirely no-kill state, there is still more lifesaving to be done.  

Courtesy Best Friend’s Animal Society

“We’re very excited. There was huge progress at some of the West Virginia shelters last year,” Stacy Rogers Best Friend’s Animal Society Midwest regional director, said. “We’re definitely very excited especially as the Midwest representative to see so many West Virginia groups doing so many great things because the shelters really are working hard every day to save more animals.” 

“This was a monumental year for cats and dogs in America’s shelters,” said Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. “We saw communities, shelters, and individuals step up for animals in ways we couldn’t have imagined, and now we are closer than ever before to achieving our goal of no-kill by 2025.” 

Rogers said the best way for others to push for the state to be completely no-kill is to help and support your local shelter, adopt from shelters and to check in on community animals to get them spayed and neutered. 

Courtesy Best Friend’s Animal Society

Nationally, about 347,000 cats and dogs were killed in America’s shelters in 2020, down from 625,000 in 2019. This is the largest yearly reduction in dogs and cats killed in the nation’s shelters (44.5%) to date, putting the nation at an 83% save rate.   

“Since we announced our no-kill goal the number of cats and dogs killed in shelters has decreased by 76%, down from about 1.5 million in 2016. This is incredible progress, but we must never lose sight that there are still over 950 cats and dogs killed every day just because they do not have a safe place to call home,” Castle said.   

Founded in 1984, Best Friends Animal Society is an animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025.

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