Fluvanna SPCA recognized for no-kill status

By Page H. Gifford

The Fluvanna SPCA was recognized by Best Friends Animal Society for reaching its goal and maintaining its status as a No-Kill facility in 2023, according to Best Friends Animal Society’s annual data report. They have been recognized and maintained this status for over ten years. Over 90 percent of the dogs and cats that entered the shelter last year were saved.; mostly finding loving homes.

A 90 percent save rate is the nationally recognized benchmark to be considered no-kill, factoring in that approximately 10 percent of pets who enter shelters have medical or behavioral circumstances that warrant humane euthanasia rather than killing for lack of space. The qualifying criteria for receiving the award required the presence of a brick-and-mortar shelter and the availability of 12 months of 2023 data as of April 2024.

On June 23, Ned Ramm, the FSPCA Board President announced the good news, sharing it with board members, staff, and volunteers. The Fluvanna County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1989. Their life-saving mission is to rescue domestic animals in Fluvanna County, from cruelty, neglect, and abandonment by placing them in good, loving, permanent homes. As a small, rural, open-intake shelter, they have worked hard to achieve and maintain a no-kill philosophy.

Best Friends Animal Society, a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters in 2025, recognizes this incredible achievement as one that can be replicated by other shelters throughout the U.S. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has reduced the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to 415,000 last year. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. They are working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,700 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide.

“This award represents extraordinary leadership, both within your organization and the broader animal welfare movement,” said Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, “I want to acknowledge and thank the organizations around the country who work tirelessly to save lives, helping move us closer to ending the killing of cats and dogs in shelters in 2025.”

Shelter Manager Jessy Payne and Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Lloyd welcome the positive news and want to share it with the community. But the work continues and although the FSPCA shares some similar goals as the larger national organizations such as the ASPCA, HSUS, and BFAS, regarding animals in need they are not directly affiliated with them and do not receive any financial support from these organizations except for possible grants.

Fluuvanna County provides the county’s public animal shelter services. But it is the donors, volunteer grant writers, volunteers, fundraising events, and community outreach and awareness that keep the shelter’s momentum going and maintain its no-kill status.

Adoptions and fosters help to get dogs and cats out of the shelter and into loving homes. When dogs were overlooked, the shelter volunteers and staff looked for other ways to get them seen and adopted. The non-profit volunteer Pilots to the Rescue Program flew them to places like Father’s John’s Animal Shelter in New Jersey, where the dogs were all adopted. Richmond also took several cats for adoption. Networking with other out-of-state shelters and animal sanctuaries has been a windfall for the shelter and the animals in their care.

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