Los Angeles becomes no kill city for animal shelters for first time

The City of Los Angeles has become a no-kill city for animal shelters for the first time, thanks to the heroic efforts of the city, L.A. Animal Services, a coalition of animal welfare organizations, compassionate leaders and a dedicated community.

The Best Friends Animal Society made the announcement in a statement on March 10.

"It’s difficult to overstate the enormity of this moment and its place in the history of the no-kill movement. NKLA has demonstrated what’s possible when an entire community works together," said Julie Castle, chief executive officer for Best Friends Animal Society. "By expanding this collaborative model nationwide, Best Friends’ goal to make every community in the U.S. no-kill by 2025 becomes even more of a reality." 

(Shelly Insheiwat)

According to the statement, "When Best Friends first launched the NKLA (No-Kill Los Angeles) initiative in 2012, only 56 percent of dogs and cats were making it out of Los Angeles city shelters alive. In 2020, the city sustained a save rate of 90.49 percent."

"A 90 percent save rate is the nationally recognized benchmark to be considered no-kill, factoring that approximately 10% of pets who enter shelters have medical or behavioral circumstances that warrant humane euthanasia rather than killing for lack of space," The Best Friends Animal Society said in a statement.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a massive wave of community involvement to keep pets safe in homes.

LA Animal Services, Best Friends and more than 150 NKLA coalition partners worked together to ensure that Angelenos are able to foster and adopt pets despite COVID-19 restrictions. The pandemic forced two animal shelters in Los Angeles to shut down.

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The NKLA coalition steering committee members include Angel City Pit Bulls, FixNation, Heaven on Earth Society for Animals, Kitten Rescue, Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Paws for Life K9 Rescue, The Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNPLA) and Stray Cat Alliance. 

"Collaboration is key to saving lives and this coalition has certainly proved that to be true," said Brenda Barnette, general manager of LA Animal Services.

"We’re so grateful to Best Friends, our many rescue partners, staff, volunteers, and the community who responded to foster and adopt the animals in our Centers during the pandemic, which helped us achieve our 90.49 percent lifesaving rate by year-end 2020."

 For more information, visit bestfriends.org.

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