LITTLE ROCK, AR –  In Austin, Texas, only the truly sick and dangerous animals are euthanized. More than 90% of pets coming into Austin Animal Center leave, either with a rescue organization or a new family.

Regardless of the breed, medical condition, even temperament issues, no savable animal will be put down at the shelter.

“It’s part of being a no kill community, is that they’re not just killed because we don’t have the resources, we figure out how to save them. We use the resources we got,” said Ellen Jefferson of Austin Pets Alive.

For the no kill model to work, three parts are needed. A municipal shelter in charge of public safety, the Humane Society which helps to save most adoptable animals and a safety net organization for those pets that would normally be killed.

The reporter asked Animal Services Director Tracy Roark, “Is that possible here in Little Rock?”

He said, “I think it would take a big step up for the private community to come in.”

At the Little Rock Animal Village, the city’s local shelter, around 40% of animals are euthanized. Roark said he would like that number to be lower. By working with rescue and sterilization organizations, he believes the city is moving in the right direction.

“I don’t know where we’re going. We try to save every one of them. Will I get there in my lifetime here? I don’t know. I don’t think so, but I’ve been surprised by where we’ve come in the last ten years,” Roark said.

While Little Rock may not be a no kill city, Roark says there’s one way we can all help to get closer to that status–by spaying and neutering our pets.

There is also a very-well run foster program at the Little Rock Animal Village which helps to save hundreds of animals a year.

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