Humane Society Of Utah Reaches No-Kill Status In 2015 For First Time Ever

Volunteers tie ribbons to the fence outside of the Humane Society of Utah.

(Picture Credit: Humane Society of Utah –

Volunteers and workers gathered on a chilly day to tie 11,318 ribbons on the fence of the Humane Society of Utah, one ribbon for every animal saved in 2015. It’s the first time in the 55 years of HSU’s existence that they managed to save every dog and cat that came in, meaning they met their no-kill goal a year earlier than they’d planned.

Being an open-admission shelter, they don’t reject any animal that comes through their doors, even if they reach capacity. This makes it especially challenging to find homes for so many animals. For the past five years, they’ve met their no-kill goal for dogs, but this past year is the first they’ve been able to be a no-kill shelter for cats, as well. The only animals euthanized were those that had untreatable conditions that would lead to prolonged suffering and death.

A collage of animals being cared for with the words "Thank You For 11,318 Lives" in the foreground.

(Picture Credit: Humane Society of Utah –

HSU was able to achieve no-kill status by waiving adoption fees for cats, reducing fees for kittens to qualified adopters, promoting marketing campaigns, and relying on foster volunteers to raise kittens and care for special needs cats until they could be adopted. They also performed a record number of spay and neuter procedures, which will go a long way in keeping the pet population in check. 

I’m so glad to see a shelter reaching its no-kill goal, and I hope other shelters around the country are able to see this example and follow. What do you think? Is this something that will catch on? Do you want more organizations to be no-kill shelters? Let us know in the comments below!

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