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West Valley City • After months of discussion with animal advocates, city administrators have devised a plan to lower the euthanasia rate of dogs and cats and turn the west-side community's shelter into a no-kill facility.

Under the proposal — slated for a Tuesday vote by the City Council — the West Valley-Taylorsville Animal Shelter and Best Friends Animal Society/No More Homeless Pets in Utah would team up to increase adoptions, provide spay and neuter assistance and implement a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program for stray cats.

No-kill actually means low-kill because just about all shelters put down animals that are dangerous, gravely injured or too sick to recover. Organizations have different definitions of the term: The West Valley City goal is to achieve an 80 percent save rate of dogs and cats.

Under a proposed contract, Best Friends would provide marketing support for adoption campaigns; regularly take out shelter dogs and cats in its mobile adoption vehicle; provide free spay and neuter surgeries to low-income pet owners; and implement the TNR program.

The shelter would not put down animals based only on holding times and would adjust its hours to be open on Saturdays and later on weekdays.

The arrangement calls for Best Friends to provide funding of up to $350,000 for program activities, and the shelter to pay the organization $45,000 annually during the two-year term of the contract. West Valley City would pay $30,000 a year and Taylorsville, which has a one-third interest in the shelter, would pay the remaining $15,000.

A push to reduce the number of euthanized animals began last fall when a cat named Andrea survived two attempts by shelter workers to gas her to death. (She was later adopted.) The controversy over use of the gas chamber grew into a discussion of the number of dogs and cats being put down and led to the proposal.

The shelter took in approximately 5,000 animals last year and put down about 1,550 cats and dogs. Officials say most of those animals were sick, injured or not adoptable because they were vicious or feral. The shelter continues to euthanize animals by gas, saying it is a humane method and can be the better one for animals that are dangerous or difficult to inject. Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC —

What's next

P The West Valley City Council is slated to vote Tuesday on a contract with Best Friends Animal Society/No More Homeless Pets in Utah to help increase adoptions of dogs and cats from the animal shelter and reduce euthanasia.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 3600 South Constitution Blvd. (2700 West).