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The collection and publication of this data is sponsored by a donation from Maddie's Fund.

What are the Asilomar Accords?

In August 2004, a group of animal welfare industry leaders from across the nation met in Monterey County at the Asilomar Convention Center in Pacific Grove, California. The purpose was to build bridges across varying philosophies, developing relationships and creating goals focused on significantly reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals in the United States. The Asilomar Accords were born.

The Accords outline principles that guide animal welfare organizations to work together to save the lives of all healthy and treatable companion animals. The document aims to cut through the rhetoric of "no kill" versus "limited admission" versus "open admission" shelters and to dispel the murkiness of what defines an adoptable animal. The animal sheltering world hasn't always been clear or consistent when it comes to reporting results. Without the Asilomar Accords, definitions and reporting methods varied from group to group, making understanding of information difficult, if not impossible, across organizations.

By utilizing a standard language for their statistics, shelters and their supporters are able to easily and clearly track progress both at a specific shelter and across shelters nationwide.

How can I understand the statistics?

Euthanasia statistics are represented in four categories: healthy, treatable/rehabilitatable, treatable/manageable, and unhealthy/untreatable, according to Asilomar Accords definitions. These clear definitions allow our community to understand the euthanasia statistics for their local animal welfare organizations without the confusion of unclear or unethical reporting.

Are you a "no kill" shelter?

Limited admission or "no kill" shelters and rescues are a vital part of the animal rescue and welfare community. Some are breed specific, providing access to homeless purebred pets that may be rare in shelter environments. Other organizations have no brick-and-mortar locations and instead are geared toward foster care, providing a less-stressful way to house pets while they are searching for a new home. We believe that by working together with limited admission shelters, we can further the shared goal of improving the lives of both people and animals in Seattle and beyond.

The Seattle Animal Shelter is a department of the City of Seattle and accepts all animals within city limits, regardless of species, breed, age, health or behavior. While the Seattle Animal Shelter does not consider itself a "no kill" shelter, we are regularly able to adopt out, reunite with family or send to rescue over 85% of the pets that come through our doors. This is made possible by the tireless efforts of our staff, volunteers and foster parents who collectively work to get homeless pets ready for adoption, and by the financial support of the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation and our donors. Pets that are determined to be a health or safety risk to humans or other pets will not be placed for adoption. Additionally, pets that are unable to be helped by reasonable veterinary care may also not be placed for adoption.