By Best Friends staff
Violet’s owner tried to find a place for her when he could no longer keep her. But his family wasn’t willing to house a pit bull terrier, and the rescue groups he asked were full. Out of options, he finally surrendered his much-loved Violet to L.A. Animal Services’ East Valley shelter.
It’s an unlucky situation for any pet to be in. But Violet’s luck changed when she was among the pets that week to be taken to the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center. While every life saved is something to celebrate, Violet’s arrival marks something much bigger — hers is the 3,000th life saved this year by Best Friends in Los Angeles. It’s all part of NKLA, a Best Friends–led initiative to bring Los Angeles to no-kill. Teamwork saves lives
Judah Battista, animal care director at Best Friends says, “Saving 3,000 lives between January and November this year is a great benchmark. It’s very gratifying to know that it can be done.” He adds, “That’s not to say that it’s not hard work. A lot of folks have made very real personal sacrifices to make it happen.” He credits the staff at the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center for their ability to transfer in, house, care for and ultimately find placement for 250 dogs and cats at any one time, plus about 100 more in foster homes. The 3,000 pets taken in, including Violet, represent the types of pets entering L.A. shelters every day — the dogs, puppies, cats and kittens in every size, shape and color, and just about every breed.
With dogs and cats at risk every day of being killed in L.A. shelters, there wasn’t just one solution that would allow Best Friends–L.A. staff to move enough pets out of the shelters and into new homes — there were three: the local mobile adoption
program; Pup My Ride
, a national transport program; and adoptions from the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center
. Judah says that the staff’s attitude has been “not to explain why we can’t do something but rather ‘let’s find out how we can.’” It took pushing and stretching all the programs’ capacity as if lives depend on it. Because of course, they do.
But, Judah adds that even the most eager team of staff at the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center couldn’t have saved 3,000 lives on their own. He says, “Ultimately it’s been made possible by our members and supporters who got behind our work. Volunteers and supporters in L.A. have been with us since day one, working with us to make this a success through volunteerism, donor support and community awareness building.” And thank goodness for them, because next year the goal is to save even more lives. Violet’s forever home
Violet, lucky number 3,000, only had to wait a week until a family came through the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center and fell in love with her. They were immediately taken with how incredibly sweet she is, well-mannered and mellow. They didn't know Violet’s story until they were filling out the adoption paperwork, but when they found out that her former owner only gave her up because he was going on active duty in the United States Army, it merely solidified that they really did choose the right dog.
Best of all is that 3,000 is only the number of lives saved by Best Friends. Together, NKLA coalition members have reduced killing in L.A. Animal Services shelters by over 3,800 animals compared with 2012 numbers. Now that’s cause for celebration!
Learn more about NKLA at nkla.org
Learn more about Best Friends in Los Angeles
.Photos by Nick Carranza