Shelter Animals Count – 2019 Report

What does “no kill” mean?

At Heartland Animal Shelter, it means that each cat and dog under our care will be placed for adoption, even if they require medical or behavioral intervention or rehabilitation. We do not euthanize animals unless there is irremediable suffering, or in the rare event that a dog is too dangerous to rehabilitate and cannot be placed into the community safely and alternative placement options are unavailable.

What is Heartland’s save rate?

Since the shelter opened in 2002, we have been a no-kill organization. The national benchmark for save rate to be considered no-kill is 90%. Since 2007, we have saved at least 95% of the animals in our care each year. Now, we are saving 98% of animals annually, even with our increased focus on saving the most vulnerable populations of cats and dogs!

How is the save rate determined?

Shelters are able to choose the method they use to compute their save rate data which causes some inconsistencies in reporting. The Asilomar Accords permits shelters to remove some numbers from their live release data, including owner-requested euthanasia and animals that died or were lost in care. We do not consider those reports accurate.

We are firm supporters of a transparent “noses in, noses out” reporting approach. We believe that each cat and dog matters and we do not leave any animals out of our calculations, under any circumstance. We count each and every death and euthanasia in our numbers and even in doing so, we are proud to have achieved a 98% save rate in 2019.

2019 Live Release Rate = 98%

Adult Up to 5 months UnknownAdultUp to 5 monthsUnknown
Beginning Animal Count (Date: 1/1/2019) 50008600136
Live Intakes
Stray / At Large 1 0 01051062
Relinquished by Owner 777 045120141
Transferred in from Agency 4017101631080743
Other Intakes 0 0 00000
TOTAL LIVE INTAKE 47978 02181710946
Adoption 4796502651170926
Returned to Owner 20 04006
Transferred Out 3004007
Returned to Field 0000000
Subtotal: Live Outcomes 4846502731170939
Died in Care 2 3025012
Shelter Euthanasia 5003109
Subtotal: Other Outcomes 73057022
TOTAL OUTCOMES4916802781240961
Ending Animal Count
(Date: 12/31/2019)


When you adopt from a no-kill shelter, you save two lives. The animal you adopt and the one that replaces him.