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West Valley Animal Services succeeds with three no-kill months in 2012

WEST VALLEY - The final numbers are in, and West Valley City and Taylorsville are well on the road to being no-kill communities. The two cities are served by West Valley Animal Services which in 2012 achieved three months where 90 percent or more of the dogs and cats going into the shelter were saved.

This news is especially remarkable considering a two-year memorandum of understanding -- with the stated goal of making these cities no-kill - was signed as recently as mid-2012.

According to Kanab-based Best Friends Animal Society, a 90 percent or more save rate is recognized as the most significant landmark toward the goal of saving all adoptable dogs and cats. The remaining 10 percent may not survive for a variety of reasons, including serious health problems or severe behavioral issues.

Best Friends' Chief Executive Officer Gregory Castle said: "Since Best Friends launched the statewide coalition in Utah in 2000, the goal has been to end the killing of healthy and adoptable animals in the state's shelters. We commend West Valley Animal Services, West Valley City and Taylorsville on their success. We know their achievement can be replicated-not only in Utah, but across the nation as well."

In June 2012, West Valley City, Taylorsville and Best Friends signed a two-year memorandum of understanding. The goal of the MOU was that both communities would become no-kill through increased adoptions of shelter animals, lower numbers of animals entering the shelters because of targeted spay/neuter, and aggressive trap/neuter/return programs for community (free-roaming, un-owned) cats.

Significantly, the combined population of West Valley City and Taylorsville is 192,000, making it larger than any other single municipality in Utah.

Once all the numbers were in, there were three months with save rates above 90 percent-90.8 percent in August, 92.3 percent in September and 93.9 percent in December. Other top save rate months were July, October and November, with save rates ranging from 84.3 to 88.4 percent. "Our staff is dedicated to saving lives, and pleased with the success so far. Working with Best Friends, relying on their expertise and professionalism has contributed a great deal to that success," said Kelly Davis, director of operations for West Valley Animal Services.

"This is a terrific example of what we can do when the animal welfare groups and shelters work together," said Anna Gonce, executive director of Best Friends Animal Society-Utah. "The staff of West Valley Animal Services deserves a lot of credit for embracing the ideas presented as a road map to no-kill status. And the staff rose to the challenge."

About Best Friends Animal Society®

Best Friends Animal Society, named Animal Welfare Non-Profit National Brand of the Year based on the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study, is a national animal welfare organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More HomelessPets® . The society's leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah headquarters, the country's largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.

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Best Friends Animal Society-Utah, based in Salt Lake City, began in 2000 as No More Homeless Pets in Utah. Today, it's a proud part of Best Friends Animal Society, still focused entirely on the great state of Utah, and serving as an exemplary model for the rest of the country. Our nationally-recognized work focuses on increasing adoptions of shelter cats and dogs, creating access to free and low-cost spay/neuter services, and collaborating with Utah shelters, rescue groups, veterinarians and local governments to save the lives of homeless pets. So far, these innovative efforts have helped reduce the number of animals killed in Utah's shelters by 35 percent. Together with you, we will turn Utah into a state with No More Homeless Pets® .

To learn more about Best Friends Animal Society-Utah, visit: