Los Angeles News
"No Kill December" In Los Angeles
By Ivetta Babadjanian
Dec 28, 2012 - 4:01:01 PM

LOS ANGELES—December was the first month that Los Angeles animal shelters did not kill adoptable animals at their facilities, naming the campaign "No Kill December."
Photo courtesy of NKLA.org.

The plan was made by No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), a coalition of animal welfare organizations, city shelters and individuals who strive to prevent treatable pets from being killed in local shelters. Shelters usually euthanize animals, but for the month of December, only animals that are too sick or dangerous to adopt were to be put down.

As of December 16, the city took 1,951 dogs and cats, euthanizing 313, which is a saving rate of 84 percent. Animal welfare groups consider it a no-kill when there is a 90-percent save rate with only ten percent of untreatable animals put down.

The entire fiscal year 2011-2012, the city took in 57,000 pets of which 22,000 were put down with a total save rate of 62 percent. In documenting euthanasia, Los Angeles does not separate treatable or untreatable pets.

"The city shelters are onboard for the December no-kill push," said General Manager Brenda Barnette, of Los Angeles Animal Services, in a statement. "We are asking the community of Los Angeles and the rescue community help us achieve this goal. What better holiday gift than a new home of their own and a new chance at life for our amazing companion animals?"

At its peak, Los Angeles has once putdown 50,000 dogs and cats a year. Former Los Angeles Mayor, James Hahn, vowed that Los Angeles would stop killing unwanted pets within five years in August 2004. Since then, Animal Services had a no-kill mission yet received criticisms by activists claiming not enough was being done.

Best Friends Animal Society, which is based in Utah, spent almost $1 million to fund the NKLA coalition including $450,000 in adoption incentives and $500,000 for spray and neuter services in pool areas. An additional $3 million was spent in Los Angeles.

The Found Animals Foundation had the program "12 Pets of Christmas" lower the costs of shelter adopting for pets that are harder to adopt, such as older animals.

Until the end of December, Angelenos can adopt a dog from a shelter at a discounted price of $83 and cats for $50. The animals are already sprayed and neutered with vaccines and a microchip. For more information, go to NKLA.org/December.

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