The BC SPCA does not euthanize healthy companion animals entering our shelters. All medically and behaviourally healthy animals are placed in adoptive homes.
Every year we also take in thousands of animals suffering from physical and behavioural problems. We treat them and find them homes as well. Most animals are treatable.
We do not place a time limit on how long an adoptable animal can stay in one of our shelters. However, our goal is always to get animals into homes as soon as possible.
Our euthanasia statistics
We euthanize fewer than 10% of the companion animals entering BC SPCA shelters yearly.
Our guidelines for determining treatability and adoptability are public: Asilomar & Adoptability Guidelines (PDF). As part of our commitment to transparency, we report annual euthanasia numbers using the Asilomar Annual Report. View our 2016 Asilomar Annual Report (PDF) and 2017 Asilomar Annual Report (PDF).
So… when would you euthanize an animal?
If an animal is suffering from a mental or physical illness or behavioural problem that cannot be treated in the shelter, or an illness that poses a serious public health or public safety concern, the animal may be euthanized.
Our community outlook
We believe that we are part of a larger community responsibility for companion animals. We are grateful to our supporters and adopters who open their hearts and their homes to help us place animals with medical and behavioural challenges. Over time, we hope to build resources so that we can help even more of these animals.
So… are you or aren’t you a no-kill sheltering organization?
The definition and use of the term “no-kill” are controversial. Some consider any shelter with a live release rate of over 90% to be “no-kill.” Our live release rate is over 90%, however, we do not use this term because we believe it divides animal welfare organizations. We do not believe it is useful or scientific in promoting shelter practices that best meet animal welfare standards. The term “no-kill” is best used to describe community goals, and not to describe individual shelters within a community.