New data from nonprofit shows Georgia was state with 5th most pets killed in shelters

ATLANTA — A new report from Best Friends Animal Society, a national nonprofit, reported that Georgia had the fifth most pets killed in shelters in the country.

Among the top five states, only California wasn’t in the South. While Georgia rounded out the top five, Texas took the top spot, with nearly 82,700 pets killed at shelters.

Georgia, by comparison, had about 19,330 pets killed, among both cats and dogs.

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Best Friends Animal Society’s pet shelter tracker showed that of the 165 animal shelters in the state, only 69 of Georgia’s shelters are no-kill. However, only 160 of the state’s 165 shelters report their kill/no-kill data.

Gina Burrows from Best Friends Animal Society told Channel 2′s Jorge Estevez that their organization’s goal is to stop shelter kills by 2025.

Burrows said a no-kill shelter is one where 90% of the animals that enter a shelter are leaving it alive.


“The reason it’s 90%, not 100, is to, allowing a little bit of wiggle room for those animals that come in with severe medical or behavioral issues that really do warrant humane euthanasia,” Burrows said.

For Georgia to earn the status of being a no-kill state, it would have to have saved more than 19,000 animals last year, according to Burrows.

For the nonprofit, one of the big factors for increasing no-kill options is where people find their pets.

“One of the stats that we found that I thought was really interesting is about seven million people are going to be wanting to bring home a pet in the next year,” Burrows said. “If only 6% more of that amount of people decided to adopt rather than, you know, buy from a breeder or a pet store, we would be able to close that lifesaving gap for the nation, not just for Georgia.”

Best Friends Animal Society also told Channel 2 Action News that data shows few people have adopted pets in the last five years, while shelter intakes have increased while people bought pets from breeders at pet stores, instead.

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