Is Kitsap Humane Society a "No Kill" shelter?

Officially, no we are not a “No Kill” shelter as we refuse to use the term. We have the same performance, goals and philosophy but do not refer to ourselves this way.




The term “No Kill” was created in a desperate time when the majority of shelters refused to look to progressive alternatives or believe that new ways of looking at things existed.


The “No Kill” movement is one of compassion that has sadly been misused and abused by many shelters.  They have used this term to convince unknowing donors to give funds out of sympathy and pride, while allowing other shelters to deal with problem pit bulls, feral cats and other populations.


In recent years, the term has also become egotistic. Many “No Kill” rescues and shelters have called themselves this, when in fact they simply refused to euthanize the sick, suffering or dangerous. In fact, in Pennsylvania several agencies were called to respond to a “No Kill” feline sanctuary that stockpiled cats and refused to provide them compassionate euthanasia when needed. Hundreds of suffering cats were left to die “natural” deaths in a closed room, reinforcing the concept that there are many worse things than death.


We honor and respect the true and authentic “No Kill” movement. Nathan Winograd, a major proponent of the true movement, has declared that a true “No Kill” shelter that euthanizes when appropriate can expect a 6% euthanasia rate whether in a rural or urban community. This has been shown to be the case in many shelters.


Kitsap Humane Society indeed, in this sense, fits the model, however the term “No Kill” has now become so debatable, emotionally charged, confused and misrepresented on a national scale that we believe it is doing more to harm shelters and communities from moving forward.


The Truth?


True “No Kill” shelters do in fact euthanize, because it is the compassionate thing to do. Responsible nonprofits must be truthful to their donors and let them know this.


“No Kill” language has divided the animal rescue and welfare community, causing the waste of millions of dollars spent arguing the point, and allowing many false “No Kills” to smear the original compassionate movement.


Kitsap Humane Society enjoys outperforming many shelters our size, be they “No Kill” or otherwise. We won’t use the term however to degrade or belittle our peers. We come to this field seeking a way to do better, do things differently and save lives. Until the “No Kill” movement is better able to unite the shelters across America, and certify true “No Kill” from the fraudulent, we choose not to use the term.


Kitsap Humane Society limits euthanasia to those truly suffering without hope, dangerous to humans or animals, and maintains a rate comparable to “No Kill” shelters. The Board of Directors has established policy that we do not use the “No Kill” slogan. Rescue. Rehabilitate. Rehome.