FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Animal activists and pet lovers alike applauded the Broward Commission’s unanimous decision Tuesday to embrace a no-kill animal control policy.

Even though the decision was not backed by any funding and was described more as an “aspiration’ than an outright ban on euthanizing animals, animal control officials called it a game-changer, according to The Sun-Sentinel.

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In no-kill communities, animals which are sick can still be put to sleep. The overall kill rate can drop to as low as 10 percent compared to 50 percent in communities which have not adopted the policy.

In Broward last year, more than 7,400 dogs ended up at Broward’s shelters. Of that, nearly half (46 percent) were put to sleep. Felines fared even worse. Of the 9,593 that were brought to the shelters, 6,435 (67 percent) were euthanized.

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Cynthia Chambers, director of the county’s environmental control and growth management division, oversees the animal-care department. She said she was excited by the decision and is cautiously optimistic. She said will now focus her staff on programs to meet the no-kill goal. Her main goals will be to come up with programs to increase adoptions, stress the importance of spaying and neutering animals and to work with private shelters in other states to take adoptable animals.

Florida’s only other no-kill county is Manatee, just south of Tampa.

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The Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report