Is Saving Grace “no-kill”?

A “no-kill” shelter is one that saves all the healthy and treatable pets it takes in, with euthanasia reserved only for unhealthy and untreatable animals. (A 10% euthanasia rate is the nationally recognized benchmark for no-kill status.) No-kill shelters are often limited admissions. They screen animals at the door based on health, age, breed, and behavior and turn away animals they can’t or choose not to help. In doing this, they prevent taking in animals that they can’t find homes for, which keeps their euthanasia numbers low. These animals are often referred to a local open-admissions shelter.

Saving Grace has an open admission philosophy, which means we accept every animal brought to us regardless of health, age, breed or behavior. Saving Grace is the only open-admissions animal shelter in Douglas County. We often receive feral (meaning wild) cats, dangerous dogs, and terminally ill animals. That could be a 12 year-old dog with severe arthritis and cancer, a dog seized for bite quarantine following an attack, a litter of one-week-old orphaned kittens, a trapped feral cat that is terrified and lashing out, or a happy healthy 3-year-old Yorkie mix. We believe an open admissions policy is essential to providing shelter and care to the thousands of animals that would otherwise have no safe refuge.  Our intake and outcome statistics for 2019 are as follows:

Dogs Received in 2019

            475 Strays

            378 Owner Surrender

            79 Seized

            93 Transferred In                 

            1025 Dogs Received in 2019


Dog Outcomes in 2019

            367 Returned to Owner

            588 Adopted

            20 Transferred to other shelters

1 Died/Lost

27 Euthanasia-Aggressive

3 Euthanasia-Health/Treatable

11 Euthanasia-Health/Untreatable


Dog Lifesaving Percentage*: 95.1%


Cats Received in 2019

          1164 Strays

624 Owner Surrender

50 Seized

574 Trap-Neuter-Return Intake

10 Transferred In                  

         2422 Cats Received in 2019


Cat Outcomes in 2019

            48 Returned to Owner

            766 Adopted

            607 Transferred to other shelters

            344 Strays Returned to Field

            515 Returned through Trap-Neuter-Return

            54 Died/Lost

  3 Euthanasia-Aggressive

  6 Euthanasia-Health/Treatable

 56 Euthanasia-Health/Untreatable


Cat Lifesaving Percentage*: 94.1%


*Lifesaving Percentage is calculated using the ASPCA Live Release Rate formula (Live Outcomes divided by Intake).

We are always working to improve outcomes for the pets who come to us! Things are changing rapidly!

In late 2017, we built a large play yard to better assess and work with more challenging dogs in group play, and we piloted a Foster-to-Surrender program for underage and sick kittens. We started a Working Cat Adoption Program in 2018 to place unsocial cats and expanded transfers with other shelters. In July 2018, with initial funding from Best Friends Animal Society, Saving Grace instituted return-to-field for stray cats entering the shelter, further boosting our live outcomes.

We continue to pour effort into Operation Fix ‘Em, our trap-neuter-return program for feral cats in hopes that some day there will be fewer cats and kittens who need us. These efforts will make a difference and you can help.


Want to help? Volunteer!

Saving Grace depends on volunteers every day to care for the animals. From walking dogs, cleaning kennels and providing foster care to building maintenance and assisting potential adopters, there’s a place at Saving Grace for a variety of talents and interests. Every volunteer helps us provide quality care for pets and give more pets a second chance for love.

Especially needed are foster families! By opening your home and your heart to vulnerable little ones, you can help save lives through fostering. Kittens and puppies must be at least 8 weeks and 2 pounds to be spayed or neutered, as recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Our dedicated foster families care for litter after litter of kittens Spring through Fall, getting them ready. At the height of “kitten season” it’s easy for our foster homes to be full with growing babies. We are always looking for more foster families!


Want to help? Donate!

Veterinary care, vaccines, food, flea treatment, clean kennels every day…caring for animals isn’t cheap! Our contract with Douglas County and shelter fees cover less than half of what it takes to care for the animals and get them ready for adoption. We depend on contributions from kind people like you to provide for the animals’ needs and get them ready for adoption.


$10       Vaccinates one pet
$50       Spays or Neuters a cat before adoption

$75      Neuters a small dog
$120     Spays a large dog
$250     Vaccinates 25 pets
$450     Provides flea control for our pets for a month
$1,750   Provides medications & medical supplies for a month

Make a SECURE online donation right now with your debit or credit card.


Want to help? Adopt!

Think adoption first. Every pet adopted from Saving Grace has been spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, received flea treatment and dewormer, and get a free wellness visit with your veterinarian. Dog adoption fees include a collar and ID tag and Douglas County license.

Don’t be sad about seeing the animals available for adoption! There is no time limit for our pets. Every animal who is available for adoption is welcome to stay as long as they are happy and healthy, and we work hard to keep them that way. We want our pets to have a forever home, and we will help you choose a pet who is the right fit of personalities and lifestyles for both of you.


And, of course, spay and neuter your pets!


Are you ready for a challenge? Become a Lion Tamer! Foster parents are needed to turn little lions into purring kittens. Apply here.

Looking for a specific type of pet? Want to receive an email alert when matching pets become available? Check out!

Thinking of surrendering your pet? Get your questions answered on our Surrendering a Pet page. And try re-homing your pet to a new family without the shelter! Great advice to walk you through the process, plus your pet's profile will be included in listings!