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LA Powerful Example of How Collaborating Saves Lives


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PrincessIMG 9117 2
Photo Credit: Best Friends Animal Society
Princess Adopted in 2013

After only two years of efforts by the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) Coalition, the clear results are already shining as an example to cities around the nation. The coalition consists of 70 dedicated organizations and is led by Best Friends Animal Society, a Utah based organization working closely with the city of LA on the no-kill initiative.

Statistics provided by the LA Animal Services revealed that the number of healthy or treatable dogs and cats being euthanized in city shelters has dropped 48% since the formation of the coalition in 2012.

According to Best Friends Animal Society, in 2011, the year before the No-Kill Los Angeles initiative was first launched, approximately 17,400 healthy, treatable dogs and cats were killed in LA shelters. The year the initiative launched, in 2012, the number dropped to 13,400, and then in 2013, the number decreased drastically, to 9,075!

Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society remarked on the initiatives success:

“We’ve reached an incredible lifesaving milestone for shelter pets and animal lovers in Los Angeles. There’s no doubt we are on the right track to reach a day when animals are no longer killed in LA shelters simply because they don’t have a safe place to call home.”

The goal of the No-Kill Los Angeles initiative is to end all killing of companion animals in shelters by 2017. The approach also provides economically targeted spay and neuter services so that there are fewer animals entering shelters, combined with greater adoption incentives and promotions so that more animals exit shelters into a home.

Brenda Barnette, general manager of LA animal services, spoke about the positive effect of the partnership and resulting coalition:

“The unique public-private partnership of Best Friends Animal Society and Los Angeles Animal Services has enabled us to make life-saving strides for the animals of Los Angeles. When NKLA launched two years ago, we had no idea that we would exceed our goals to reduce shelter deaths and increase live outcomes for our animals so significantly.

The main driver is that the entire coalition works towards the same goal. From the beginning we knew we had to accomplish something uncommon in animal welfare: bring a large number of local groups to affiliate with a campaign in a major U.S. city. At first it wasn’t easy, but two years into it, our local coalition has grown and is pulling in the same life-saving direction. Clearly, we couldn’t have done this on our own, without all the groups working together.”

In addition to the various city shelters, Best Friends operates two of their own facilities in LA: The Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Mission Hills, which is run out of a city-owned facility and only offers for adoption dogs and cats from the six LA shelters; and the NKLA Pet Adoption Center in West Los Angeles, operated by Best Friends through a foundation grant and featuring homeless LA pets for adoption from a variety of coalition partners.

Best Friends even employs special pet transports in order to save LA shelter animals by delivering them to guaranteed adoption rescue partners around the country.

With the success of the LA initiative, Best Friends is dreaming bigger, having recently introduced their national call-to-action, “Save Them All,” working with no-kill advocates to end the killing of approximately 4 million animals each year nationally. They hope the LA model will be one that can be replicated in other cities soon.


Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters.  An authority and leader in the no-kill movement since its founding in 1984, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as life-saving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from 17 million per year to about 4 million. Best Friends has the knowledge, technical expertise and on-the-ground network to end the killing and Save Them All®.