SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – The Best Friends Animal Society shared its gratitude and congratulations to three different animal service agencies across Utah for their efforts in saving the lives of cats and dogs through its No-Kill Utah initiative.

According to Best Friends, in order to reach a “no-kill standard,” agencies are aiming for a 90% save rate.

Best Friends said Animal Care of Davis County, West Valley City Animal Services, and Weber County Animal Services are living proof that “No-Kill Utah is not just a slogan, but also a reality within our grasp.”

West Valley City and Weber County Animal Services were both reported as surpassing the 90% save rate, saving 95% and 92% of their animals, respectively. Animal Care of Davis County nearly reached the 90% standard, reportedly saving 84% of the dogs and cats that entered its shelter.

“[These shelters] accomplished this impressive level of lifesaving through streamlined adoptions that do away with lengthy applications in favor of conversations, same-day adoptions, extended business hours and reduced-fee or free adoptions – all of which help homeless pets and their families find each other faster,” Best Friends said in a release.

No-Kill Utah, launched by Best Friends in 2014, brought together a coalition of animal service agencies, rescue groups, and individuals across Utah to save more lives in Utah’s shelters. The goal is to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025.

The plan to achieve the goal is to provide spay and neuter services, so there are fewer animals to go to shelters, and to increase adoptions so more animals are placed into loving “fur-ever” homes.

According to Best Friends, U.S. animal shelters were killing 17 million dogs and cats every year in the ’80s. As of 2021, the number of animals killed in shelters dropped from the staggering 17 million to about 355,000.