Shelter Animals Count – 2020 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 2020.

2020 Live Release Rate = 98%

Adult Up to 5 months UnknownAdultUp to 5 monthsUnknown
Beginning Animal Count (Date: 1/1/2020) 48007300121
Live Intakes
Stray / At Large 2 1 0532040
Relinquished by Owner 4817 024190108
Transferred in from Agency 36510901961180788
Other Intakes 0 0 00707
TOTAL LIVE INTAKE 415127 02251760943
Adoption 428145027615301002
Returned to Owner 00 00000
Transferred Out 80030011
Returned to Field 0000000
Subtotal: Live Outcomes 436145027915301013
Died in Care 2 200509
Shelter Euthanasia 70051013
Subtotal: Other Outcomes 73057022
TOTAL OUTCOMES443148028416001035
Ending Animal Count
(Date: 12/31/2020)


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