There is no term in the animal sheltering field more divisive than no-kill; in fact, there’s really no absolute definition. Generally speaking, a no-kill shelter is described as an organization that does not euthanize adoptable animals. Naperville Area Humane Society (NAHS) meets the requirements of a no-kill animal shelter, but we choose not to use the term because of its ambiguity. At NAHS, we refer to our shelter as a limited-admission organization. We accept only those animals that we have space to house safely and properly, meeting the standards of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Rather than keep our animals in overcrowded conditions, we have a waiting list for animals needing to come into the shelter.
NAHS never euthanizes animals for space or time constraints. All animals are evaluated for health by area veterinarians and for behavior by trained shelter staff using standardized assessments. The decision to euthanize an animal is never an easy one, but we believe it is sometimes necessary. We will choose euthanasia when an animal is suffering from an incurable, debilitating medical condition or when an animal displays severe, unmanageable aggression. We believe it is irresponsible to place a dangerous animal in the community. When appropriate, however, we will transfer an animal to an approved rescue group that has the resources to provide behavior modification training in a foster home to change outcomes.