Michigan designated 'no-kill' state for shelter animals
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Michigan animal shelters reached statewide “no-kill” status in 2018, according to WLUC.

A state is considered to have met the no-kill benchmark if shelters statewide reach an average live release rate of 90 percent for dogs and cats, Deborah Schutt, founder and chair of the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA), told the station.

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“While it’s exciting to see Michigan as a state achieve No Kill status by reaching the 90% goal, we still have a few communities struggling to save lives, especially with cats,” Schutt added.

“We will continue to work with shelters and rescue organizations to implement best practices, decrease overall length of stay in the shelter and improve the quality of life for homeless pets while they are in shelter,” she said.

Delaware became the first state to achieve the milestone in August, although Schutt noted that Delaware has three shelters compared to Michigan’s 174.

The measure includes animals returned to their owners, transferred to other shelters or rescue organizations, or adopted rather than killed. MPFA has tracked data from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development since 2009, when it showed 120,000 dogs and cats dying per year. In 2018, the number was cut to just over 13,000.