Mission Statement

Ruff Start Rescue is dedicated to saving the lives of animals in need. We improve animal welfare in communities through adoption, education, and providing resources for people and pets.

Vision Statement

We strive for a world where every companion animal has a safe and loving home and their family has the knowledge and resources needed to give them the life they deserve.

Ruff Start Rescue’s No Kill Stance

The debate over what constitutes a No Kill shelter is a hot issue in the animal welfare community. Many people do not understand what No Kill means, nor do they understand what must happen in order for a community, shelter or rescue organization to achieve such status.

Different shelters and organizations have different definitions of what No Kill means. Many people in the animal welfare community believe that No Kill means that no animal in a shelter will be killed for any reason, except for an untreatable illness or injury that causes suffering. It also means that no animal will be transferred to any other shelter where it may be euthanized. Some shelters, such as Best Friends in Utah, are considered No Kill shelters by this definition.

Most shelters, however, consider themselves No Kill if they are not killing animals that are adoptable. This is where the big debate over what is and isn't considered adoptable comes into play. Thousands of unadoptable dogs and cats are still euthanized at these shelters. Unadoptable pets are pets with medical conditions, injury, personality issues, age issues, or really anything that may make the dog unappealing to potential adopters. Due to the very subjective definition of what is and isn't considered adoptable, which can vary from one person's opinion to the next, or from one day to the next, this is a hotly debated issue!

In general, local humane societies are No Kill based on the latter definition. In order to retain their No Kill status, however, most humane societies may not accept dogs or cats that are considered unadoptable. Those pets are turned away and must go to a municipal shelter, leaving municipal shelters with the unfortunate job of euthanizing these animals. Many shelters are classified as “no-kill” and this has been a controversial term ever since shelters were created. It divides people and has become the center of many debates. Many believe that this cannot be practiced humanely.

The most widely accepted definition of a no-kill shelter is a place where all adoptable and treatable animals are saved and where only unadoptable or non-rehabilitative animals are euthanized.

Ruff Start Rescue is committed to ensuring that all healthy and treatable animals leave our rescue alive. We believe every animal deserves a chance to find a loving home, and we do everything possible to treat the animals in our care and try to save them regardless of their age or the expense associated. Sadly, this does not mean that every animal is adoptable. We recognize and accept the fact that there are times when an animal is better off being humanely euthanized.

We never kill an animal, except for a humane reason such as irremediable suffering from injury, disease or age-related infirmities. Additionally, we will never knowingly place a vicious or otherwise seriously temperamentally unsound animal in an adoptive home. In the extreme case where we have an animal which is deemed to be too dangerously aggressive to be safely adopted to the public and for which no safe and humane management option exists we may also choose humane euthanasia.

We will never knowingly transfer an animal to another shelter or facility that euthanizes animals for any other reason than those mentioned above.