What is No Kill?

We believe that every healthy or treatable animal that enters the shelter system can, and should, be saved.

No Kill status for the Midlands is not only possible, but has already been achieved in communities across the nation, as well as here in South Carolina. Best Friends maintains a national dashboard of shelter outcomes.

It is important to note that the true measure of No Kill varies from community to community, with no one-size-fits-all metric being universally appropriate. Each community is different, and data must be viewed through a local lens for a fair and accurate understanding. The widely accepted benchmark for a No Kill community is often considered to be 90% live release and above for all animals who enter the system.

The City of Columbia Animal Shelter ended the 2022/2023 fiscal year with a Live Release Rate of 80%, up from only 21% when we began our spay and neuter program in 2006. Euthanasia due to lack of space or resources has decreased by over 89% in that time as well.

No Kill

The Role of Spay/Neuter in Achieving No Kill

Sterilization is the proven best method of population control for domesticated animals. It is Animal Mission’s position that every pet should be sterilized, except in cases where it is medically advisable to not perform the surgery, or in the care of responsible breeders. We oppose all forms of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) regarding sterilization in favor of comprehensive sterilization laws for all domesticated animals.

Euthanasia should be reserved solely for humanely ending the suffering of animals in irredeemable medical situations, or whose behavior obstacles make them unsuitable for rehabilitation.

With your support, Columbia and the Midlands CAN become a pet-safe, No Kill community by 2025. For more resources please visit No Kill SC.




Columbia Animal Services Intake/Euthanasia/Live Release Rates 
2004 to 2024


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Live in Richland or Lexington Counties? Request a voucher for discounted spay/neuter.

Together, we're working to address the root cause of pet overpopulation and neglect.

Candid Transparency 2024
Animal Mission is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to addressing the root cause of shelter overpopulation and euthanasia in the Midlands of South Carolina by removing barriers to spay and neuter services for all pet owners in our community.
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