ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Delaware has become the first state to earn "no-kill" status from a national organization.

The nonprofit Best Friends Animal Society said the state earned the designation because it has passed a 90-percent save rate, according to CBS.

The group allows a 10-percent margin of error for ailing animals who need to be put down and those with medical or behavioral issues that make it impossible to find new homes.

CBS said Delaware has a 92.9-percent save rate, meaning about 12,000 out of 13,000 animals in shelters were returned to their owners or placed in new homes.

The United States, on average, has a save rate of 76.6 percent. 

Florida's save rate is 74.4 percent.

What other people are reading right now:

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10News app now.

Have a news tip? Email desk@wtsp.com, or visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.