Nonprofit: Delaware becomes first no-kill state for animal shelters

DELAWARE (KWCH) -- Data from an animal-advocating non profit credits the State of Delaware as the first no-kill state in the nation, combating what advocates argue, are unnecessary deaths at shelters.

That nonprofit, Best Friends Animal Society, says "last year, about 733,000 dogs and cats were killed in our nation's animal shelters, simply because they didn't have safe places to call home."

CBS News reports Delaware's save rate at 92.9 percent, or about 12,000 of 13,000 animals saved in its shelters last year. Taking into account humane instances of euthanasia where a sick or dying animal is peacefully killed, Best Friends Animal Society says a community that reaches the 90 percent save rate earns the "no-kill" classification.

"When every shelter in a community achieves a 90% save rate for all cats and dogs, that community is designated as no-kill," the nonprofit says on its website.

That 10 percent margin of error takes into account pets "who are suffering from irremediable medical or behavioral issues that compromise their quality of life and prevent them from being rehomed."

Best Friends Animal Society says it's goal is for every shelter in the U.S. to reach no-kill status by 2025.

Nationwide, CBS News reports,an average save rate of 76.6 percent with Texas and California farthest from the goal, each with save rates of less than 75 percent.

Kansas is one of the state's closer to the no-kill goal with a save rate of 84.1 percent, the data from Best Friends Animal Society shows.