We are very fortunate to be in a current position where we do not have a limit on the amount of time that an animal can stay at Loudoun County Animal Services. For more than four years, over 92% of the animals that have come to Loudoun County Animal Services have left the shelter alive through adoption, transfer, or being reunited with their owners after being lost. Only animals who have been found to be suffering or dangerous have been euthanized.
However, as an agency, we have made the decision not to use the divisive and misleading term, “no-kill.” There is no legal definition for the term, and euthanasia of animals in shelters is a community issue, not just a shelter issue. The people who work hard to save the lives of animals in shelters in neighboring communities are not killers, and we want to do our best to build each other up, rather than break one another down.
As a part of our commitment to saving lives while improving animal welfare and public safety, we often partner with shelters in areas with less resources to help them train staff and transfer in pets in need, while sending their facilities our extra donations of food and bedding. Animal shelters and rescues must not only focus on positive outcomes for pets in their care, but also commit to providing comprehensive attention to the mental and physical needs of the animals who stay in their facilities, and Loudoun County Animal Services is proud to make mental enrichment a priority for our pets.
The staff and volunteers at Loudoun County Animal Services uphold a strong commitment to professionalism and respect towards our colleagues, citizens and partners in other jurisdictions, and, will continue to focus on progressive and inclusive animal welfare initiatives and law enforcement, while avoiding the use of critical and undefined terms like “no kill.”