Frequently Asked Questions

What is Target Zero?
Target Zero is a nonprofit organization that mentors proven best practices to local leaders in Fellow Communities nationwide to help them get to zero euthanasia of all adoptable shelter animals, ideally in three years or less. Alumni Communities, in turn, help 'pay it forward' by mentoring nearby communities. Our Partner Community Initiative was created to assist communities that aren't quite ready to become Fellows and either a) have the strong potential to become one and/or b) need our help around specific life-saving projects and initiatives.

What is the meaning of the name Target Zero?
Target Zero means we are working to achieve zero euthanasia of all adoptable shelter animals nationwide. We define a community as being at 'zero' if it demonstrates the ability to save 90% or more of cats and dogs that enter its shelters. The remaining 10% or less are accounted for by animals which, regardless of medical treatment, will die from illness and/or large dogs with non rehabilitative aggression issues.

Does Target Zero endorse a specific way to calculate data for shelters?
Yes. The National Federation of Humane Societies has developed a standard matrix recommended for all shelters. Reporting data consistently among organizations can only help to further increase the number of animals saved. The calculations in the matrix take into account the number of animals in the shelter at the beginning of the time period in question, as well as the ending shelter count. We recommend using this matrix to calculate the save rate. The actual percent saved can vary to a small degree depending on several factors including the inclusion of the ending and beginning shelter count.

Are community and shelter assessments the only things Target Zero provides? 
The assessments are just the beginning of our partnership with Fellows and Alumni. We serve as the business strategy consultant in all areas of shelter management, with the number one goal being to keep animals out of shelters. We tailor services to what is needed within each community as there is no 'one size fits' all model, however fortunately there are strong resource guides we have identified for Fellows to learn from across categories. 

How are communities selected for a Target Zero Fellowship? 
Target Zero chooses Fellow Communities where open admission shelters are eager to collaborate with others, including key animal welfare groups, to get to zero. They must also meet TZ's basic requirements, and be willing to try innovative approaches to saving lives. Communities must be open to complete transparency for success. For a more in-depth explanation, see the What We Do section.

What types of programs does Target Zero focus on?
We follow an evidence-based Pyramid Program to effectively analyze and strategize a plan for each community. 

How I can learn more or make a contribution Target Zero?
If you have a specific question, please contact us at If you'd like to make a donation to Target Zero, go to the Donate button at the top of this page. And if you have a financial question or problem with making a donation, please call us at 310.557.0804 and/or email us at

Thank you!