Jacksonville regains no-kill status in animal shelters for 2019

Action News Jax at 5:00 p.m.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Humane Society and Animal Care and Protective Services says the city of Jacksonville has once again earned a no-kill designation for the year of 2019.

According to Best Friends Animal Society, “A no-kill community is a city or town in which every brick-and-mortar shelter serving and/or located within that community has reached a 90% save rate or higher, and adheres to the no-kill philosophy, saving every animal who can be saved."

According to a release put out by the JHS, the save rate for APCS was 90 percent and for JHS it was 95 percent, making a citywide save rate of 93 percent.

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In total, 16,874 animals entered the JHS shelters in 2019, which is a significant decrease from 19,366 animals in 2018, according to the JHS.

According to JHS, Jacksonville earned the distinction of being the largest city in the United States to earn a no-kill status. The city has maintained that status until last year when ACPS save rate fell to 86 percent.

“Examining the data and trends in 2017 and 2018 resulted in our renewed focus on cats and kittens in 2019,” said Deisler. “As a community, we had to take a look at ourselves ask – what can we do to save those lives? We knew that with the help of our community, a return to no-kill was possible. We are excited about the results from 2019 and even more excited for 2020. Thank you, Jacksonville!”

“I live for that dog, I live for her!” said Larry who is talking about Roxy, his Jack Russell terrier.

She’s a rescue, and Larry told Action News Jax Courtney Cole she means everything to him.

"I had lung cancer, right? So I had my lung taken out and they told me I had to get a lot of exercise — so my wife got me this dog,” said Larry.

Larry says it took him a while to warm up to her, but now...

She keeps me active and going.”

According to the Jacksonville Humane Society, with help from people like Larry and his wife, its regained “no-kill status.”

Not every animal survives, but it’s as close to 100% Jacksonville has come in a while.

"I feel good about it. I never want to see a dog be put to sleep,” Larry said.

The Jax Humane Society calls 2019 a historic year, seeing 16,874 animals — and that number is down by more than 2,000 since 2018.

Larry said he's glad to see Jacksonville back on track...for the sake of the animals.

“To me, they have a purpose in life,” he said.