No Kill advocates in Delaware are proud that we have three No Kill animal shelters in our state: Delaware SPCA, Faithful Friends, and Delaware Humane Association. The the fourth No Kill shelter, Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary, has closed and the remaining dogs were killed on or about November 14, 2013 (see “19 Dogs Killed by ASPCA and Safe Haven“) There are many reasons for the failure of Safe Haven, and the story should be told, but right now we are all in shock over the killing of the 19 dogs.
Delaware’s Shelter Standards law became effective in January 1, 2011. Our law is a companion animal protection act (CAPA) that is the most progressive in the nation.
“Delaware, the first state to ratify our nation’s constitution, continues to lead the way in embracing the legislative framework necessary to ensure justice. And we will build upon this framework in the coming years to strengthen protections for animals even more.”
Nathan Winograd, key leader of the No-Kill Movement calls Delaware’s new law “the most sweeping, progressive companion animal protection legislation in the United States.” www.nathanwinograd.com
Since 2011, our experience in Delaware with CAPA has been disappointing to No Kill advocates because the law has not been enforced at all by the state. In August 2012, the legislature formed a Task Force to study animal welfare issues and as a result, the state is now establishing a new Animal Welfare Office. We have great hopes that there will be better state enforcement of CAPA and of our existing cruelty laws, as well as new laws that help animals.
Delaware Animal Shelters
The three No Kill shelters for cats and dogs in Delaware are:
- Delaware SPCA in Stanton and Georgetown. Executive Director: Albert Mollica www.delspca.org
- Faithful Friends, Inc No Kill Animal Shelter in Wilmington. Executive Director: Jane Pierantozzi www.faithfulfriends.us
- Delaware Humane Association in Wilmington. Executive Director: Patrick Carroll www.dehumane.org
There is one facility in Delaware that routinely resorts to convenience killing of dogs and cats:
- Kent County SPCA in Camden. Executive Director: Kevin Usilton www.kcspca.org
No Kill advocates in Delaware will continue to push for reform of Kent County SPCA.
The No Kill Equation
There continues to be debate in Delaware about the No Kill ethic, but it is hard to imagine anyone arguing against the programs of the No Kill equation (see graphic at right). The failure to implement any of these programs explains the failure of Safe Haven as a No Kill shelter. (More on that another day)
The No Kill Declaration
To understand the principles of the No Kill Movement, please take a few moments to read the Declaration of the No Kill Movement in the United States.
Here is the Statement of Rights in the Declaration:
- Sheltered animals have a right to live;
- Feral cats have a right to their lives and their habitats;
- Animals, rescuers, and the public have a right to expect animal protection organizations and animal shelters to do everything in their power to promote, protect, and advocate for the lives of animals;
- Animal protection groups, rescue groups, and No Kill shelters have a right to take into their custody animals who would otherwise be killed by animal shelters;
- Taxpayers and community members have a right to have their government spend tax monies on programs and services whose purpose is to save and enhance the lives of all animals;
- Taxpayers and community members have a right to full and complete disclosure about how animal shelters operate.