No-kill shelters encourage adoptions as they exceed capacity

(Courtesy Palm Valley Animal Society)

The Palm Valley Animal Society asked the public for help in adopting pets Monday because their animal shelters reached capacity and the facility hopes to maintain their no-kill status.

(Courtesy Palm Valley Animal Society)

At their two animal shelters in Edinburg, PVAS exceeded its capacity, with 1,340 animals in their care as of Monday morning.

“When we get to around 750 animals, we’re reaching capacity, and then at 1,000 we’re at capacity,” said Julian Whitacre, development coordinator for PVAS.

“As a no-kill shelter, we do everything we can to save as many of the animals of the RGV as we can,” Whitacre said. “We have several different municipalities that contract our services and when animal control from those municipalities brings an animal into our care, it’s our duty and our responsibility to care for that animal. And so that number has just kept creeping up to reach the 1,300 that it’s at now.”

To encourage individuals to adopt, PVAS is currently waiving all adoption fees, though a spay and neuter deposit will still be required. Once the adopted pet has been spayed and neutered, the deposit will be returned or it can be donated back to the shelter.

“Spaying and neutering is so important because it’s going to prevent the situation that we’re in now,” Whitacre siad. “We have so many animals out in the community that are not spayed and neutered. And what happens is, if you have pets that aren’t spayed and neutered, you might end up having a litter, and those animals, you’re going to need to re-home those animals personally — that takes away from the animals that are in the shelter (from) finding a home.”

Whitacre also noted Texas law requires that all shelter animals be spayed and neutered upon adoption.

(Courtesy Palm Valley Animal Society)

“It’s beneficial for everybody,” he said. “There’s no reason that your animal is not spayed and neutered. Your animal should be spayed and neutered.”

PVAS is currently designated a no-kill shelter, a status it first achieved in April 2020. To earn that designation, a shelter’s live-release rate needs to be at least 90%.

In April 2020, they reported an 89.4% year-to-date save rate, from January through March 2020, and the rate steadily increased as the year went on, reporting a 91.5% save rate from January through October 2020. However, by December 2020, their save rate dipped slightly to a 91.18%, according to a news release.

At the time, PVAS cited the COVID-19 pandemic and its social restrictions for the dip in adoption and rescues/transfers.

“We have since incorporated safe processes that allow for appropriate social distancing and still enable the public to safely interact with animals and our team,” PVAS stated in the release. “Our commitment to safely provide lifesaving programs and services throughout the pandemic is unchanged.”

(Courtesy Palm Valley Animal Society)

Whitacre added that while they make efforts to save every animal that comes into their care, they sometimes encounter medical cases in which the quality of life for that animal isn’t good.

“Those types of decisions do have to be made at times,” Whitacre said, “but we do not want to have to do that just for space. Absolutely, that is a last resort.”

Anyone interested in adopting a pet or looking for more information can visit the shelter’s website at

Following Monday’s plea to the community, Whitacre said they had received a significant response but assured they still had plenty of pets and were in no danger of running out any time soon. In fact, Whitacre said that even if they had a lot of adoptions one day, those numbers would likely be replenished the following day.

“We’re one of the largest intake facilities in the nation. We can get anywhere from 30 to 100 animals on a regular day. (On) busy days, sometimes we can get more. It really just depends,” he said. “So even if we adopt out 50 animals today, we’re probably going to get them back tomorrow.”

“It doesn’t seem to slow down,” Whitacre said. “Animals just come in at an alarming rate day after day after day.”