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The City Journals

Animal Control Explains Role in No-Kill Utah

May 05, 2016 01:05PM ● By Kelly Cannon

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Draper - The Draper Animal Control is making an effort to be part of the No-Kill Utah movement. The current shelter, located at 12375 South Galena Park Boulevard, holds up to 26 dogs and 30 cats, all of which are available for adoption. While the shelter and animal control does participate in No-Kill Utah, it does euthanize animals in some situations.

“To be honest, there’s no such thing as truly no-kill,” said Officer Dennis Wilson, the animal control supervisor with Draper City. “We put down animals that are brought in by their owners who are sick or old. We also euthanize injured or sick wild animals like raccoons.”

Wilson said Draper Animal Control does have animals at the shelter that have been deemed adoptable. These dogs and cats are available for adoption but can spend a very long time in shelter, sometimes up to a year and a half. This is why the shelter works with rescues, such as Nuzzles and Co., Providing Animals with Support and various other animal rescue agencies.

“We work with practically every rescue in the state,” Wilson said. 

The Draper shelter works with these rescues to get the animals out of the Draper shelter and into bigger shelters where they have a better chance of being adopted. 

Wilson said they very seldom euthanize a dog or cat that hasn’t been brought in by its owner because of old age or sickness. 

Currently, there is controversy at the Draper Animal Control over the method of euthanasia used. When a wild animal is brought in who is sick or injured, it is euthanized via a gas chamber. Different humane societies, including the United States Humane Society, deem this type of euthanasia as inhumane. 

Wilson explained there have been efforts to try and ban the gas chamber as a form of euthanasia because it causes pain and stress in the animal. Wilson said the whole process of euthanizing an animal in the gas tank takes 20 minutes but the animal is dead within the first two minutes. Wilson also said this is only used for wild animals.

“These animals are dangerous or they could carry disease,” Wilson said. “It’s just safer for us.”

The wild animals are typically small animals such as raccoons. While Draper does have a few deer who wander down into the city during the winter, referred to as urban deer, Wilson said there are not enough to cause a major problem.

“We had a meeting with the Department of Wildlife Resources,” Wilson said. “We don’t have a problem right now.”

Those interested in adopting a dog or cat through Draper can find pictures of the animals on the city’s website, Pet owners can also go and find their lost pet under the “Found” section. 

Draper is a city where dog owners are required to register their animal with the city. This is mainly to confirm the dog has had its rabies vaccination. Cats do not have to be registered.

No-Kill Utah is a initiative led by Best Friends Animal Society, bringing together individuals, city shelters and a coalition of animal welfare organizations to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters throughout the entire state of Utah by the year 2019. This is done by providing spay and neuter resources where they are needed the most in order to reduce the number of animals in shelter and by increasing the number of adoptions from shelters into forever homes. 

To learn more about No-Kill Utah, visit