What does a 'no kill' pet shelter really mean?

No industry standards

WELLINGTON, Fla. - For an industry that depends on puppy love, it’s the rarely talked about but commonly known truth.

“The term no kill is misleading,” said Captain David Wolesky of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.

"Every single shelter euthanizes," said Jeff Jacob, Director of Big Dog Animal Ranch Rescue in Wellington.

At the ranch, every dog that arrives is guaranteed shelter, love and food.  But even at this no kill animal rescue shelter, they can’t guarantee everything.

"We can't guarantee a dog will be adopted," he said.

Jacob explains while some dogs can stay for years, circumstances like threatening behavior or health can leave this "no kill" shelter with no other choice.

"Those decisions are never come to easily and without a great deal of thought and conversation."

So what does a "no kill" shelter really mean?  

When it comes to survival rates, there's no industry standard, leaving no kill shelters to set their own.

"They can't possibly keep them all alive," said Lisa Hodgson who preaches an alternative.

"You can go online and find a breed rescue group for every breed."

Hodgson volunteers for www.goldenrescuesouthflorida.com , a group dedicated to finding homes for, you guessed it, golden retrievers.

Back on the ranch, right now, about 200 of pooches are looking for homes.

While survival rate on the ranch is nearly 100%, reality has proven its not and probably never will be 100%.

"This is something every shelter no matter what they say, has to weigh from time to time, some more than others," said Jacob.