HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Animal advocates in Huntsville who are opposed to euthanizing healthy animals are enjoying an extra burst of hope and energy, after learning a key city official revealed to WHNT NEWS 19 that steps are underway to see if Huntsville could become a No Kill community.
No Kill Huntsville is a commitment local animal advocates have been pushing since 2012. Simply put, it means finding homes for all healthy animals to avoid euthanasia.
"Studies have shown that it costs between $100 and $106 per animal to kill animals," said Jane Jattuso, a board member for the North Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic.
She and other advocates got an extra burst of hope from a top city leader this week.
"I really think that it is possible," said Huntsville City Administrator John Hamilton. "This is the kind of community that can achieve that, but we've gotta make sure that we put our energy and our resources in to find those solutions and we're working through those things."
Hamilton confirmed the city is now strategizing to see if, how and when Huntsville could adopt the No Kill Equation. They've sent a Huntsville Animal Services staffer to Jacksonville, Florida to learn how that city implemented one key aspect of the approach.
Hamilton explained, "We are looking at a specific program Jacksonville implemented that has improved their live release rates for cats. Definitely not an overall solution but one important component of the whole. So we are not looking at Jacksonville as a model for No-Kill. Just looking at the one program."
Hamilton emphasized all pet owners can immediately help the situation by spaying or neutering their pets.
That's something Jattuso said is as easy as water.
"It's like a faucet," said Jattuso. "And you've got puddles of water and you don't stand there and ring your hands about what am I going to do with these puddles of water? The first thing you do is go turn the faucet off."
"We feel like we're making progress," said Hamilton. "You want to be done right now. That's not realistic for us but getting there pretty quickly, I think, is realistic.
In less than two weeks, No Kill Communities across the country will hold a nationwide movement called "Just One Day."
On June 11th, they'll challenge all communities to go without euthanizing a healthy pet for just one day.