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Jacksonville Animals Shelters Lend Wisdom To National No-Kill Effort

Michelle Corum

Two Jacksonville animal advocacy groups are lending a hand to a national initiative calling for an end to killing shelter animals.

Their goal is to make “no-kill” shelters the norm across the U.S. by 2025.

Representatives from the Jacksonville Humane Society and First Coast No More Homeless Pets are joining the Best Friends Animal Society national steering committee because of their success on the First Coast.

Humane Society Director Denise Deisler said the Jacksonville area was able to stop population-control euthanasia three years ago.

“We are one of the largest communities in the United States to have achieved that,” she said.

Deisler said a no-kill shelter doesn’t mean some pets won’t be put to sleep – but it only happens if the animal is too sick or aggressive for adoption.

She and the rest of the national steering committee are planning their campaign to bring the same shelter model to every major city in the country.

“(I’ll be) bringing back to the table what were the ingredients working in Jacksonville while I was working in Jacksonville,” she said.

Deisler said the 12-member committee will soon be announcing its first community initiatives.

Ryan Benk can be reached at, at (904) 358 6319 or on Twitter at @RyanMichaelBenk.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.