From being “that kill shelter on Trenton” with a “save-rate” of only 23% in 2016 to achieving a 92% save-rate year-to-date, PVAS has undergone immense changes in the past three years. In the past, any sign of distemper was a death sentence for dogs - now we are treating all distemper cases, as well as parvo puppies and ringworm kittens. In recognition of this progress, PVAS was awarded the Transformational Change Lifesaving Award from Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters.
PVAS is an active partner in the Best Friends Network, which comprises 501(c)(3) public charity rescue groups, spay/neuter organizations, and shelters actively working with Best Friends to save lives and reduce shelter deaths locally.
Best Friends has set the goal of no-kill 2025 which means that across the nation we are saving every dog and cat in every shelter who can be saved. It means healing the animals who can be healed, treating behaviors that can be treated, and prioritizing safety and providing a high quality of life for both pets and people in our communities. A no-kill community is a city or town in which every brick-and-mortar shelter serving or located within that community has reached a 90% save rate or higher and adheres to the no-kill philosophy of saving every animal who can be saved.
"It's incredible to see so many shelters around the nation taking dramatic steps to increase lifesaving,” said Brent Toellner, senior director, national programs for Best Friends Animal Society. “Whether it be through new programming, progressive leadership or better collaborative partnerships, these groups are showing that lifesaving success is possible regardless of a shelter’s size or location.”
PVAS underwent extensive changes in the past three years, and in 2018 the Laurie P. Andrews Center and Trenton Center merged with a new no-kill mission and the new name of Palm Valley Animal Society.
“The staff who dedicated their lives to helping these animals are deeply moved by this award,” said Donna Casamento, Executive Director of Palm Valley Animal Society. “PVAS needed support from outside organizations, but the change would not have happened without the staff and community stepping up to help us reach no-kill status.”
Toellner added: "It's going to take embracing all models of lifesaving, as well as maximizing collaboration with and support of each other to reach our goal of ending the killing of pets in shelters by 2025. But with so much progress being made, getting our nation to a point where it has finally put a stop to the unnecessary deaths of shelter animals not only seems possible, but inevitable.”