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Killing in L.A. Shelters drops nearly 16 percent in first five months of 2012 as NKLA takes off

LOS ANGELES - The number isn't zero yet, but if the current trend is any indication, Los Angeles is on its way to becoming a no-kill city.

Through the first five months of 2012, there has been a 15.7 percent reduction in the number of animals euthanized at L.A. city animal shelters-that's 1,080 less in the first five months of the year compared to the same period in 2011.

The early trend follows the announcement of NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles), a campaign which, along with Best Friends Animal Society's transformation of the Northeast Valley Shelter into the pet adoption and spay-neuter center, has jump started a widespread effort to take Los Angeles no-kill by 2017.

The NKLA Coalition consists of 48 rescue groups, shelters and clinics dedicated to the no-kill movement. So far this year, NKLA Coalition partners alone have found homes for about 9,000 dogs and cats during the first five months of 2012, approximately 1,500 more than during the same five months of 2011.

"We are so hopeful that five straight months of numbers turning in the right direction is a trend," said Brenda Barnette, general manager of L.A. City Animal Services, which is in a partnership with a Best Friends Animal Society and the NKLA campaign. "Thank you to Best Friends, the NKLA Coalition partners, our adopters and volunteers for working so hard for the animals," Barnette added.

The numbers represent the first measurement of lives saved since Best Friends Animal Society received permission from the Los Angeles City Council to run a pet adoption and spay-neuter center at the Northeast Valley Animal Care Center, which had not been open to the public since its construction in 2007 because of a lack of operational funding.

"While there is much to do in the coming months and years, this early indication shows that a change we hoped for may be taking place in Los Angeles," said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society. "The NKLA campaign combined with the work of all the coalition partners in raising adoption and spay-neuter activity has raised awareness in the community and provided us with an excellent start in our work."

Barnette praised the unified work of the coalition, organized by Best Friends Animal Society, which has brought together 48 organizations which previously had been working to save animal lives, but had been doing so independently.

"The goals of the coalition are lofty ones," said Barnette, "but it's so rewarding to see so many groups devoted to the animals working together. It's really the only way we can take Los Angeles no-kill, with everyone working together to get to a point where every dog or cat in Los Angeles has a home."

NKLA, a life-saving campaign designed to promote Los Angeles becoming a no-kill city by the year 2017, supports the work of Best Friends Animal Society, which leads the coalition along with broad support from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the L.A. City Council, and Barnette.

Through the collective work of the coalition, the plan is to boost adoptions and spay/neuter surgeries to reach a no-kill benchmark of 90 percent of all animals (or 100 percent of healthy or adoptable animals) that come into L.A. shelters. The coalition is striving to reach 3,000 adoptions and 6,000 spay/neuter surgeries to be completed in 2012. The coalition steering committee includes Found Animals Foundation, Kitten Rescue, Stray Cat Alliance, Downtown Dog Rescue, FixNation, Karma Rescue, and Best Friends.

Animals killed in L.A. City Shelters 2011 2012 % +/-
January 924 827 -10.5%
February 762 734 -3.7%
March 1,054 888 -15.7%
April 1,539 1,387 -9.9%
May 2,598 1,961 -24.5%
Total first five months 6,877 5,797 -15.7%


About Best Friends Animal Society®

Best Friends Animal Society®, named Animal Welfare Non-Profit National Brand of the Year based on the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study, is a national animal welfare organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More HomelessPets®. The society's leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah headquarters, the country's largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.

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