Is the ARL a no-kill shelter?

In 2021, we had a Live Release Rate of 95% for barn animals, 93% for small animals, 94% for dogs, and 90% cats. However, we do not refer to ourselves as a "no-kill" shelter because that term is unregulated and loosely defined, and creates divisiveness among animal shelters. 

We are committed to saving every animal in our care who can be saved and we only euthanize animals that are suffering or have severe behavior concerns, and that is only after we have exhausted all other humane and responsible options - even at an owner's request. We do not euthanize for lack of space in the shelter. Ending suffering and enhancing public safety is a responsibility we take seriously.

Every decision we make is based on two sets of guidelines:

1. Individual assessments by veterinarians and behavior professionals

  • A veterinarian has assessed that there is no chance of the animal recovering and experiencing an acceptable quality of life
  • A veterinarian has assessed it would be inhumane or unsafe to not humanely euthanize an animal immediately
  • In cases of irreversible aggression when:
    • a veterinarian has eliminated medical treatment as a solution
    • rehabilitation by our behavior professionals has been unsuccessful
    • staff and public safety cannot be reasonably assured, or other management tools seriously compromise quality of life.

2. The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare Under Human Control

  1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from Discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from Pain, Injury, and Disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of the animal's own kind.
  5. Freedom from Fear and Distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

Through our expanded community spay/neuter programs, our growing foster program, our creative adoption promotion and financial support from individuals like you, we have not had to euthanize a healthy, adoptable animal for many years. Every day we pull out all of the stops to keep this record, but it continues to be a daily challenge. Pet homelessness and overpopulation is a community problem that needs a community solution. It is not up to the shelters alone to make this happen, it is up to every individual and until people commit to adopt their pet from a shelter or rescue, spay or neuter their pet, and keep their pet for life, shelters will remain full.

Back To FAQ