Dubuque Regional Humane Society adopts no-kill policy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Regional Humane Society adopts no-kill policy

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

After years of criticism for its euthanasia policy, the Dubuque Regional Humane Society is now officially adopting a no-kill policy.

It's a change that's been in the works for the past couple of years, and is now official.

Just three years ago, 1,200 animals were put down and just 61 percent were adopted.

"In the past, we oftentimes had to make hard choices because we didn't have enough space for all the animals we were admitting, or we didn't have enough resources to take care of them," said Maria Benham, CEO of the Dubuque Regional Humane Society.

But a change in practices have flipped those numbers.

Last year, less than 200 animals were put down, and 92 percent of animals brought in were either adopted, returned to their owners, or transferred to another shelter.

"The pets have a true chance to have a new life and a new family. But it really, truly means all of these animals get a second chance," Benham said.

She credits the community as the real reason this change could take place.

"Because our adoption rate is so high, we are able to take some of those resources and treat animals that might come in ill or injured, and we only reserve euthanasia for those animals that are too ill or injured to recover or have quality of life," she said.

No-kill does not mean no euthanasia whatsoever, though. 

Benham says they will still put down animals that are too sick to make a recovery or have quality of life, or pets that aren't safe enough to be reintroduced to the public.

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