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Asilomar Accords: Definitions

The animal welfare organization leaders who participated in the August 2004 meeting at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California, developed and agreed upon the following definitions. The definitions are intended to provide a standard way to categorize the dogs and cats who comprise the shelter population of the various organizations each year. It is believed that standard definitions are a first step in collecting and reporting reliable data on the numbers of at-risk animals in the nation’s communities.

Healthy
The term “healthy” means and includes all dogs and cats eight weeks of age or older that [sic], at or subsequent to the time the animal is taken into possession, have manifested no sign of a behavioral or temperamental characteristic that could pose a health or safety risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet, and have manifested no sign of disease, injury, a congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the animal or that is likely to adversely affect the animal’s health in the future.

Treatable
The term “treatable” means and includes all dogs and cats who are “rehabilitatable” and all dogs and cats who are “manageable.”

Rehabilitatable:
The term “rehabilitatable” means and includes all dogs and cats who are not “healthy,” but who are likely to become “healthy” if given medical, foster, behavioral, or other care equivalent to the care typically provided to pets by reasonable and caring pet guardians in the community.

Manageable:
The term “manageable” means and includes all dogs and cats who are not “healthy,” and who are not likely to become “healthy,” regardless of the care provided; but who would likely maintain a satisfactory quality of life, if given medical, foster, behavioral, or other care, including long-term care, equivalent to the care typically provided to pets by reasonable and caring guardians in the community; provided, however, that the term “manageable” does not include any dog or cat who is determined to pose a significant risk to human health or safety or to the health or safety of other animals.

Unhealthy and Untreatable
The term “unhealthy and untreatable” means and includes all dogs and cats who, at or subsequent to the time they are taken into possession,

1. have a behavioral or temperamental characteristic that poses a health or safety risk or otherwise makes the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet, and are not likely to become “healthy” or “treatable” even if provided the care typically provided to pets by reasonable and caring pet guardians in the community; or

2. are suffering from a disease, injury, or congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the animal’s health or is likely to adversely affect the animal’s health in the future, and are not likely to become “healthy” or “treatable” even if provided the care typically provided to pets by reasonable and caring pet guardians in the community; or

3. are under the age of eight weeks and are not likely to become “healthy” or “treatable,” even if provided the care typically provided to pets by reasonable an caring pet guardians in the community.