I have no doubt that No Kill will one day - soon - become the norm in American animal sheltering. Even now, as the word spreads about what is possible and what has been done in cities across the US, animal lovers everywhere are demanding changes in their local shelters and that change is beginning to happen. As No Kill communities pop up around the US, more shelters stuck in the antiquated mode of catch-and-kill will be hounded by their constituencies to change and evolve, to get with the times, to step up their game. I believe the change to be not only inevitable, I think that it will come much sooner than most believe to be possible.
Which has me looking to the future and to the 5%, to the animals that no one that I know of has yet found a solution for: the animals, nearly all dogs, with behavioral problems severe enough to prevent their release into the community. As it was once the norm to kill all but the most perfect (the "adopt the best, kill the rest" model), as it is even now common practice - but changing quickly - to kill the old and the sick, even when No Kill comes to fruition it will still be the norm to kill these animals who are healthy and capable of happy lives, and my hope is that one day that too will change.
Most of my background is not in traditional shelters but in sanctuaries, and it has been my pleasure to meet, work with, and care for many dogs whom even I could not support adopting out - but I love them and care for them and try to give them the best lives possible in the sanctuaries in which they live. Given a stable and predictable environment, nearly all are capable of leading happy lives and can be worked with by many dog-savvy people who are willing to take the time to get to know them. Even most dogs who have done terrible things in the past, animals with long and storied bite records, can be handled safely and mostly normally in the right environment with people who are accustomed to reading their body language - and most of these dogs will improve by leaps and bounds, given the chance, as they build positive relationships with people.
In a traditional, relatively high-volume shelter these animals would take the most resources. They need specialized and flexible environments, more skilled personnel to care for them, careful risk management. It is because of this that they are the last in line and because of this that resources must be used to save the more savable first.
I have yet to hear a practical solution for these animals, but I'm going to keep looking - it's wonderful to envision a Best Friends-style sanctuary setup operating in partnership with every shelter but I'm not sure that is feasible. In cities that setup would need to be quite large; my guesstimate is that a sanctuary in a community the size of Washoe County NV would require the capacity to house 1500 - 2000 animals.
No Kill was once thought to be impossible; this too is a solvable problem. What's your idea?