Delaware Becomes the First State to Achieve ‘No-Kill’ Status for Its Animal Shelters

fortise/iStock via Getty Images
fortise/iStock via Getty Images

If you just don’t have enough room in your home to adopt one more stray cat or dog you see wandering your neighborhood streets, take it to Delaware. The small, oceanside state just became the first no-kill shelter state in the U.S., CNN reports.

The recognition was announced by Best Friends Animal Society, an animal welfare organization that works with shelters across the nation to help them care for animals without resorting to euthanization. In order to qualify for the no-kill designation, a state must achieve a 90 percent save rate for all shelter dogs and cats; in other words, Delaware hasn’t passed any legislation to ban killing shelter animals, but instead is actively working to keep their statewide save rate at 90 percent (or above).

Why not 100 percent? Best Friends acknowledges that sometimes, euthanasia is still the kindest option for some former strays who are beyond rehabilitation. “Animals may still be euthanized humanely if they are irredeemably sick or injured,” the website states. “But they are not killed in order to make space for more animals.”

Brandywine Valley SPCA, an organization with shelter locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, shared the news across social media last week, and marketing director Linda Torelli explained to CNN why the organization considered it a personal victory.

“Within Delaware, we intake more than 60 percent of the animals entering shelters and more than four times the next largest shelter,” Torelli said. “So our policies have had a significant impact on the state becoming no-kill.” That’s more than 14,000 animals, she added, with a save rate of 95 percent. They accomplish it mostly through mega adoption events, neuter and spaying programs for cats to make them more easily adoptable, low-cost veterinary clinics, education programs, and behavioral training programs for dogs.

Delaware is the first state in what Best Friends Animal Society hopes will be a long, steady line of states that will rise to this new standard. According to its website, the organization hopes to achieve a 90 percent save rate nationwide by 2025. You can find out what your state’s numbers look like here.

If you think you might have a little extra room in your house (and your heart) for a new companion, let these 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog be the friendly push that you need.

[h/t CNN]

Keep Your Cat Busy With a Board Game That Doubles as a Scratch Pad

Cheerble
Cheerble

No matter how much you love playing with your cat, waving a feather toy in front of its face can get monotonous after a while (for the both of you). To shake up playtime, the Cheerble three-in-one board game looks to provide your feline housemate with hours of hands-free entertainment.

Cheerble's board game, which is currently raising money on Kickstarter, is designed to keep even the most restless cats stimulated. The first component of the game is the electronic Cheerble ball, which rolls on its own when your cat touches it with their paw or nose—no remote control required. And on days when your cat is especially energetic, you can adjust the ball's settings to roll and bounce in a way that matches their stamina.

Cheerable cat toy on Kickstarter.
Cheerble

The Cheerble balls are meant to pair with the Cheerble game board, which consists of a box that has plenty of room for balls to roll around. The board is also covered on one side with a platform that has holes big enough for your cat to fit their paws through, so they can hunt the balls like a game of Whack-a-Mole. And if your cat ever loses interest in chasing the ball, the board also includes a built-in scratch pad and fluffy wand toy to slap around. A simplified version of the board game includes the scratch pad without the wand or hole maze, so you can tailor your purchase for your cat's interests.

Cheerble cat board game.
Cheerble

Since launching its campaign on Kickstarter on April 23, Cheerble has raised over $128,000, already blowing past its initial goal of $6416. You can back the Kickstarter today to claim a Cheerble product, with $32 getting you a ball and $58 getting you the board game. You can make your pledge here, with shipping estimated for July 2020.

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A Prehistoric Great White Shark Nursery Has Been Discovered in Chile

Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
solarseven/iStock via Getty Images

Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) may be one of the most formidable and frightening apex predators on the planet today, but life for them isn’t as easy as horror movies would suggest. Due to a slow growth rate and the fact that they produce few offspring, the species is listed as vulnerable to extinction.

There is a way these sharks ensure survival, and that is by creating nurseries—a designated place where great white shark babies (called pups) are protected from other predators. Now, researchers at the University of Vienna and colleagues have discovered these nurseries occurred in prehistoric times.

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, Jamie A. Villafaña from the university’s Institute of Palaeontology describes a fossilized nursery found in Coquimbo, Chile. Researchers were examining a collection of fossilized great white shark teeth between 5 and 2 million years old along the Pacific coast of Chile and Peru when they noticed a disproportionate number of young shark teeth in Coquimbo. There was also a total lack of sexually mature animals' teeth, which suggests the site was used primarily by pups and juveniles as a nursery.

Though modern great whites are known to guard their young in designated areas, the researchers say this is the first example of a paleo-nursery. Because the climate was much warmer when the paleo-nursery was in use, the researchers think these protective environments can deepen our understanding of how great white sharks can survive global warming trends.