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PVAS’ goal is to maintain no-kill status as an animal welfare organization, providing Hidalgo County with programs that improve the lives of people and their pets.

Approximately 733,000 dogs and cats are killed annually in America’s shelters, more than 2000 animals killed every day because they do not have a safe place to call home.

Progressive animal welfare organizations define euthanasia solely as an act of mercy, considered only when veterinary or behavioral challenges determine that an animal’s condition is untreatable or there is little or no chance of an acceptable quality of life.

A no-kill community acts on the belief that every adoptable dog and cat should be saved, and its focus should be on saving as many as possible through adoption, spay/neuter, trap-neuter-return, rescue transport, and other support programs.

It’s unfortunate that killing for space is still necessary in the Rio Grande Valley, but we’re working hard to change the situation. In 2013 only 12.5% of the animals entering our facilities left alive. In 2019 that number had grown to 72.0%. In the third quarter of 2020, our save rate is 91%. We’re making progress, but there’s more work to be done.

PVAS is committed to saving at least 90% or more of the healthy and treatable animals that enter our facilities.

Defining Healthy and Treatable


Healthy or treatable animals: Those who are fully healthy and behaviorally sound around people and other animals, including animals with behavioral and medical issues that can be addressed and/or managed, such as (but not limited to): ringworm, upper respiratory infection, leash/barrier reactivity, mange, dental disease, urinary tract infection, resource guarding, anxiety, need for limb amputation, heartworm, and ear infection.

Unhealthy/untreatable animals: Dogs with severe behavioral challenges or dogs and cats with medical issues who are irremediably suffering with no possibility of a positive outcome.

Euthanasia: Defined solely as an act of mercy, euthanasia should be reserved for dogs and cats who have irredeemable medical situations and are experiencing serious and irreversible reduction in quality of life, or dogs whose behavior obstacles make them unsuitable for rehabilitation.

Killing: The definition of “killing” is ending the life of an animal who is healthy or treatable (either medically or behaviorally) as a means of creating space for incoming animals in a shelter or for other considerations.

What “No-Kill” Does Not Mean


“No-kill” is an emotionally and politically charged term for many people, which is why it’s important to understand what no-kill does not mean.


“No-kill” does not mean that:

  • shelters (and their employees and volunteers) that haven't reached no-kill are willing killers

  • dangerous or sick animals will be released into the community

  • shelters will warehouse animals indefinitely 


Each community is collectively responsible for its decisions regarding homeless animals and for creating safe, humane environments for the people and pets who live in there.

A No-Kill Community


There are more than 4,700 communities throughout the United States successfully running no-kill shelters. Some are managed by municipalities, others by private organizations, and some by a combination of both. Some organizations take in thousands of animals a month, and others take in fewer than 100 a month. With the help and support of the community, and with the no-kill mission at heart, communities across the nation are saving thousands of lives.

How You Can Help Save Lives


Adopt, donate, foster, support, or volunteer. With your help, we can continue to reach our no-kill goals. You can also make a direct positive impact on our path towards no-kill by making a charitable contribution today

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