The number of dogs put down in Los Angeles city shelters is more than half of what it was three years ago, thanks to the “No Kill LA” campaign by Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) and a coalition of dog rescue organization.
Compared to the 2012-12 fiscal year, when a quarter of the 36,268 dogs entering Los Angeles city animal shelters were put down, only a projected 13 percent of the 30,582 expected to be taken in by city shelters will be put down.
The issue of eliminating the use of euthanasia for unadopted dogs in Los Angeles city shelters has been a hot issue since 2003, when the city put down 30,000 animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and others). Then Mayor James Hahn set of a goal having no kills in LA shelters by 2008. But this plan was based on building more animal shelters. A faltering economy and the need to slash the city budget made additional shelters impossible.
In 2013, a broad coalition of animal rescue organizations created No Kill LA, which has set a target of having 100 percent no kill shelters in Los Angeles by 2017.
Initiated by the Best Friends Animal Society, the more than 90-member coalition has focused on adoption campaigns to reduce the population of animals in shelters. This has included mega-adoption events like the upcoming NKLA Adoption Weekend at the La Brea Tar Pits and the creation of a West Los Angeles pet adoption center seeking to make the adoption process more pleasant than it typically is in city shelters.
According to the LAAS, adoption rates appear to be leveling out. At the same time, the number of dogs being return to their owners is rising.
The New Hope Placements shown in the middle area of the chart above refer to animals placed with various animal rescue groups and organizations, while the adoptions shown above refers to an adoption directly from a Los Angeles city shelter.
One bright spot in the statistics is that the number of dogs returned to their owners from an LAAS shelter is rising:
No great goal is ever achieved in one giant step. The progress toward making Los Angeles a no kill city is heartening. Its success is due to many factors, including education about the importance of spaying and neutering pets, education of about adoption instead of buying pets and creating events like the adoption weekends that are quickly becoming an LA tradition.