Euthanasia Policy

Park County Animal Shelter is recognized as a “No-Kill” animal shelter.  No animal is ever euthanized except in cases of extreme aggression, terminal illness or the inability to maintain a reasonable quality of life in a shelter environment. Regardless of how long it may take, PCAS is committed to caring for all adoptable animals, until a loving new home can be found.

Humane euthanasia is to be used as a last resort in instances when an animal is deemed too ill or too dangerous for rehabilitation; this is an end-of-life decision for an animal as an act of mercy rather than a decision made for convenience, lack of space, or lack of funding.

No-kill means healing animals who can be healed, treating behaviors that can be treated, and prioritizing the safety of both pets and people in our communities. Community safety and quality of life for animals are guiding principles of the no-kill philosophy and are made possible through animal welfare professionals engaging in best practices and protocols. 

Euthanasia is appropriate when a veterinarian has assessed that there is no chance of recovering an acceptable quality of life for that animal. PCAS understands that there may be rare times when foregoing a veterinary assessment is appropriate. Such an instance is when a situation arises where it would be clearly inhumane not to move forward with euthanasia immediately (e.g. animal control officer encounters an animal hit by a vehicle and is suffering and death is imminent) or clearly unsafe (e.g. when a dog is in the process of attacking and seriously physically injuring a person and a law enforcement intervenes to protect the person).

The no-kill philosophy does also acknowledge that euthanasia may be appropriate in rare choices of irremediable canine aggression in which: (1) a veterinarian has eliminated medical treatment as a solution; (2) rehabilitation by a specialist in canine behavior has failed; and (3) staff and public safety cannot be reasonably assured, or other management protocols would seriously compromise the pet’s quality of life.Revised: April 18, 2024.