Shelter Animals Count – 2023

More information: 2023 Year In Review

Live release rate: 96%

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 98% of the animals in our care each year, 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.

Live Release Rate = 99%

Adult Up to 1 year AdultUp to 1 year
Beginning Animal Count
(Date: 1/1/2022)
Live Intakes
Stray / At Large 3 3 24108138
Relinquished by Owner 64135619152
Transferred in from Agency 169104148200621
Born in Care0 8008
TOTAL LIVE INTAKE 236128 228327919
Adoption 246109217286858
Returned to Owner 20 120
Transferred Out 10102
Subtotal: Live Outcomes 249109224291873
Died or Lost in Shelter Care60219
Shelter Euthanasia 01023
Subtotal: Outcomes 6123
TOTAL OUTCOMES255110226294885
Ending Animal Count
(Date: 12/31/2022)


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