​Our euthanasia policy
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​What is your euthanasia policy?

The BC SPCA does not euthanize healthy cats or dogs entering our facilities. 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 animal centres. However, our goal is always to get animals into homes as soon as possible.

If an animal is being overlooked in one of our animal centres, we will transfer them to a different branch to provide the best opportunities for adoption. Learn more about the Drive for Lives program.

Our euthanasia statistics

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.

2022 Asilomar Annual Report (PDF)

2021 Asilomar Annual Report (PDF)

2020 Asilomar Annual Report (PDF)

2019 Asilomar Annual Report (PDF)

2018 Asilomar Annual Report (PDF)

2017 Asilomar Annual Report (PDF)

2016 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 animal centre, or an illness or behavioural problem 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 organization?

The definition and use of the term “no-kill” are controversial. 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 animal care practices that best meet animal welfare standards. The term “no-kill” is best used to describe community goals, and not to describe individual animal facilities within a community.

Happy cat lying down getting a chin scratch