- Associated Press - Monday, March 31, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A coalition of animal welfare groups is working to drastically cut the number of pets killed in Utah shelters by the year 2019.

The Best Friends Animal Society launched its No-Kill Utah campaign on Sunday in front of The Leonardo museum in Salt Lake City. Utah can earn the no-kill distinction if its shelters combined save at least 90 percent of animals they accept.

Utah would be the second state in the U.S. with such a status, behind New Hampshire.

Best Friends and 36 other groups plan to work toward no-kill status by educating shelter employees, increasing the number of adoptions and spaying and neutering animals.

Twenty-three of the state’s 56 shelters are already considered no-kill. The state’s shelters saved 70 percent of animals that they accepted in 2013.

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