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  • Writer's pictureDavyd Smith

Its Not Just Live Release Rate (LRR) - No Kill Community Metrics

No Kill Community Metrics

Image witha dog in a kennel faded as a background.  Text says "it can't be impossible if it exists".

No Kill communities track the number of animals saved primarily through the save rate metric, which is calculated as:[(Positive Outcomes/(All Outcomes))] divided by [(Live Intakes)]. Positive Outcomes refer to animals who were adopted, returned to the owner (for lost pets), or transferred to another shelter or rescue organization. A 90% save rate is the low water mark for a No Kill community.

It's not a number

Reaching 90% does not make a community No Kill. Saving every healthy and treatable homeless pet is the goal of a No Kill community.

What other metrics matter?

This straightforward metric allows shelters and communities to measure their lifesaving progress. Beyond just the overall save rate, No Kill communities should also look at several other data points to comprehensively track their impact:

  1. Intake numbers - Tracking intake helps understand community animal population trends over time. Calculating intake on a per capita basis is important. Understanding the challenges of the community will help identify key programs and services to reduce intake while saving more lives.

  2. Length of stay - Monitoring how long animals remain in the shelter allows for optimizing flow. Although length of stay should never be used to make a life or death decision. Length of stay can help identify how improving programs like adoption or foster programs might reduce this number.

  3. Live release rates - Breaking down save rates by different channels like adoptions, transfers to rescues, and returns-to-owner provides insights into which programs are most effective.

  4. Community impact metrics - No Kill communities look at indicators like reported animal bites, roadkill incidents, and intake at nearby shelters to gauge their overall impact on public safety and animal welfare in the area.

  5. Data on specific animal populations - Tracking save rates for different types of animals like community cats, dogs with behavior challenges, adults vs. young pets, and severe medical cases ensures no population is left behind.

The key is using a variety of data points, not just the 90% benchmark, to guide strategies, measure progress comprehensively, and ensure the No Kill philosophy is upheld for all healthy and treatable homeless pets and community cats in the community.


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