Deciding Which Pets Live: Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Dogs stand in a cage after being dropped off at an animal shelter.

    San Diego County animal shelters don’t want to kill any animals they consider adoptable but when space gets tight, adoptable can become a loose term.

    That's the issue our media partner voiceofsandiego tackled in an article posted Monday. Reporter Keegan Kyle described the decision to kill or not kill as a “gray area.”

    In April 1999, San Diego County supervisors voted unanimously to find a way to make San Diego animal shelters “no-kill” shelters. In 1998, out of the 35,000 animals housed at county shelters, 20,000 were killed.

    Even under the no-kill policy, animals are still euthanized. Animals considered sick, injured or labeled “mean” will not be spared. Question is - how unmanageable must the pet be in order to end up on the list to be euthanized?

    That's the question Kyle posed to county shelter staff.

    "It's not an exact science," Lt. Dan DeSousa of the County Animal Shelter told voiceofsandiego. "We're fine tuning what we call a behavior-safety issue and what we call a behavior-management issue."

    Read more about the shelter's policy and how local rescue organizations are trying to help rescue animals who may be considered unadoptable in the full article.