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Davis County Animal Care and Control Adopts Socially Conscious Animal Sheltering Model

Farmington, Utah – (September 03, 2019) Today, a vote by the Board of Davis County Commissioners approved a resolution supporting Davis County Animal Care and Control (DCACC) moving towards Socially Conscious Animal Sheltering as a new expression of their operating practices.  The best practices in this model were developed in part as a response to the negative consequences that no-kill sheltering practices can create.  Socially Conscious Sheltering can be viewed as a Davis County county move to ensure public safety and improve the lives of pets and animals.   

“While most people mean well in their attempts to change public policy around how we care for homeless pets, sometimes good intentions lead to unintended suffering for the very pets that people are trying to protect.”  (WWW.SCSHELTERING.ORG/ABOUT)

In order to meet an arbitrary live-release rate in the no-kill movement, shelters are often forced to refuse the admission to animals that they cannot subsequently adopt or transfer.  One of the primary tenets of Socially Conscious Animal Sheltering is to ensure every unwanted or homeless pet has a safe place to go for shelter and care. DCACC has and will continue to admit every animal that comes from within our jurisdiction into our care and is committed to finding the best path forward for that pet.

For these reasons and others Davis County Animal Care and Control has adopted this model as an expression of its operating goals.  Socially Conscious Animal Sheltering was initially conceptualized by animal welfare leaders in Colorado, and subsequently endorsed by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association. It is part of the broader Socially Conscious Animal Community and lays forth responsibilities that strive to create the best outcome for all animals by treating them respectfully as individuals, and alleviating their suffering. 

“We applaud the efforts of all local animal welfare agencies that bring awareness to sheltered homeless pets and are grateful for their willingness to give all pets that come into their facilities the opportunity to receive basic care and the platform by which they can find their future homes,” said Rhett Nicks the Director of Davis County Animal Care and Control. “As we continue to adopt and adapt to the Socially Conscious Animal Sheltering model, which embraces the tenets of responsibility and care that we already practice, we will continue to improve outcomes for homeless pets through innovative programs like our Sniff About day fostering, volunteer, and foster programs.”

“The Socially Conscious Animal Community is a framework that allows each of us to understand our role in creating best outcomes for pets. This concept is based on respectful treatment of animals … We must work together to create the best outcomes for all animals while nurturing the human-animal bond.” (WWW.SCSHELTERING.ORG/ABOUT)

8 Responsibilities of Socially Conscious Animal Shelters

  • Ensure every unwanted or homeless pet has a safe place to go for shelter and care. DCACC is committed to accepting every pet from within our jurisdiction and providing the appropriate level of care for each animal’s individual needs.
  • Making every healthy and safe animal available for adoption.
    DCACC will not offer for adoption animals that are dangerous to the community and will seek to ensure every pet available for adoption is medically sound.
  • Assess the medical and behavioral needs of homeless animals and ensure these needs are thoughtfully addressed.
    DCACC, through our medical team, along with a robust team of volunteers will work to ensure enrichment and provide an all-encompassing approach to ensuring the physical, emotional and behavioral needs of our homeless pets are met.
  • Align Davis County Animal Care and Control Policy with the needs of the Community
    DCACC will continue to act as a community partner promoting public safety and responsible pet ownership through events, appearances, and humane education programs.
  • Alleviate suffering and make appropriate euthanasia decisions.
    DCACC accepts all animals brought to it from Davis County regardless of condition; some animals are beyond remediation from health ailments, behavior issues, or long-term suffering. Sometimes, in these situations and after thoughtful consideration, the most humane option to relieve the animals’ suffering is through compassionate euthanasia.
  • Consider the health and wellness of animals for each community when transferring animals.
    DCACC works with several shelters throughout Utah. Transfer programs save the lives of pets that might otherwise not get a chance at a home. Each individual case is considered thoughtfully and with the Davis County citizens, and animals’ best interests in mind.
  • Enhance the human-animal bond through thoughtful placements and post-adoption support.
    DCACC is committed to providing families with a new furry family member for life. As we hone our skills and adoption program DCACC will work towards matching the appropriate pet with the right home. DCACC will continue to improve post-adoption programs and outreach to those who adopt.
  • Foster a culture of transparency, ethical decision making, mutual respect, continual learning, and collaboration.
    DCACC remains committed to the highest ethical standards in meeting its mission to protect people and animals.

DCACC’s live-release rate year-to-date for dogs is 96.02%; for cats 89.07%; for other animals 92.90% for an average live-release rate across all animals of 92.38%.  “Working with our community partners, other local rescue groups and the citizens of Davis County we have shortened the length of stay of our homeless pets, increased our adoption referrals and bolstered the placement of pets into caring homes,” noted director Rhett Nicks.  “We remain committed to continuing our efforts through Socially Conscious Animal Sheltering to save animals’ lives and protect our communities.”

For more information about Socially Conscious Animal Sheltering please see:


Press Contact for Davis County Animal Care and Control
Rhett Nicks
Phone: 801-444-2200
email: dcacc-press@co.davis.ut.us

About Davis County Animal Care and Control:
Davis County Animal Care & Control is committed to providing premium service for residents and compassionate care for animals, working tirelessly to support public safety, find homes for homeless animals and educate the community about responsible pet ownership. Both the Shelter and the Animal Control Field Officers remain committed to protecting the lives of animals.  Our field officers responded to over 14,000 animal related service calls in Davis County in 2018.  The shelter receives and facilitates adoptions for thousands of homeless pets each year.


Socially Conscious Animal Community

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