2Too many shelters are not voluntarily implementing the No Kill Equation. As a result, animals are being needlessly killed. In response, the No Kill Advocacy Center has developed model legislation to help animal lovers and animal advocates achieve their goal of No Kill communities: The Companion Animal Protection Act.

This law mandates the programs and services which have proven so successful at lifesaving in shelters which have implemented them; follows the only model that has actually created a No Kill community; and, focuses its effort on the very shelters that are doing the killing. As a result, it provides a framework for success unavailable from traditional legislative models such as punitive legislation aimed at the public or through counterproductive national efforts that legitimize the killing.

CAPA highlights:

  • Establishes the shelter’s primary role as saving the lives of animals
  • Declares that saving lives and protecting public safety are compatible
  • Establishes a definition of No Kill that includes all savable animals including feral cats
  • Protects rabbits and other animals, as well as dogs and cats
  • Makes it illegal for a shelter to kill an animal if a rescue group or No Kill shelter is willing to save that animal
  • Requires shelters to provide animals with fresh food, fresh water, environmental enrichment, exercise, veterinary care, and cleanliness
  • Makes it illegal for shelters to kill owner relinquished animals without making them available for adoption or transfer to a rescue group, even in cases where the owner wants the animal killed unless the animal is suffering
  • And more…

For No Kill success to be widespread and long lasting, we must focus on institutionalizing No Kill by giving shelter animals the rights and protections afforded by law. Every successful social movement results in legal protections that codify expected conduct and provide protection against future conduct that violates normative values.

We need to regulate shelters in the same way we regulate hospitals and other agencies which hold the power over life and death. The answer lies in passing and enforcing shelter reform legislation which mandates how a shelter must operate.

CAPA saves lives, saves taxpayer money, improves public health and safety, and is popular with voters.

For more information, including tools to get CAPA passed in your state, download our free No Kill advocate’s toolkit by clicking here.

Additional Tools:

In 1998, California passed a rescue access law making it illegal for shelters to kill animals if rescue groups were willing to save them. The law has been an unqualified success. For an analysis of the law, click here. That law has also resulted in significant taxpayer savings for municipalities. For an analysis, click here.

A NYS survey showed that 71% of rescue groups have been turned away by a NYS shelter and killed the very animals they offer to save. The survey also showed that half have been the subject of retaliation for exposing neglect and abuse in shelters. For an analysis, click here.

Communities that embrace No Kill not only save on the cost of killing and bring in additional adoption revenue and other user fees, but also provide an economic boon to local business. To read “Dollars & Sense: The Economic Benefit of No Kill Animal Control,” click here.

The Companion Animal Protection Act mandates the provision of low-cost spay/neuter and medical care. Because many shelters have fees which are not “low cost” despite the claim, we also recommended a fee schedule for services at public sheltering agencies.

Printable recommended fee schedule.

Read why mandatory spay/neuter and licensing laws don’t work by clicking here.