Animal Rescue Associates, Inc.

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No-Kill, No-Shelter

The No Kill, No Shelter approach aims to solve the problem of homeless companion animals without resorting to building shelters or supporting the administration of mass euthanasia.  Traditionally, when the numbers of homeless companion animals roaming the neighborhoods reaches dangerous levels, dogs and cats are rounded up by animal control services and brought to large detention type facilities, where the animals are held in wait for adoption, rescue or death.  Once the facility is at full capacity (generally weekly), administrators resort to mass euthanasia in order to make space for new intake, engaging in a vicious and, often, endless cycle of collection and death. 

Moreover, the presence of a shelter within the community lifts the burden of responsibility from the shoulders of its inhabitants, making it easier to abandon a pet by offering the false notion that the animal you no longer can or wish to care for will be safely housed.  With very few exceptions, shelters that choose a no kill policy, focusing on rescue and adoption programs, become quickly maxed out space wise and must limit intake to those animals that are most suitable for re-homing.


The No Kill, No Shelter Model recognizes that the problem of dog and cat overpopulation originates in the community and that, unless the community becomes an active part of the solution, the plague of homeless pets in the US and developing nations will never be eradicated.  The No Kill, No Shelter Model is a foundation for outreach programs: it is the first, and most critical, step towards solving the problem of homeless pets.  By actively promoting this model, spaying and neutering, and discouraging community leaders and animal advocates alike from allocating large sums of money in order to build shelters, we all set a stage for a proactive and sustainable solution to the tragedy of homeless pets. 


The No Kill, No Shelter Model is a humane approach to solving the problem of dog and cat overpopulation: one that never ceases to remind us that our true, ultimate objective is not to detain or exterminate unwanted animals, but to improve the quality of life of all community inhabitants, whether they are of the two or four legged kind.

Animal Rescue of Illinois also supports the no-kill, no-shelter approach in developing countries supporting spay/neuter. For more information, visit: