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NKLA: The game changer for Los Angeles animals

As I sit here in Los Angeles to write this blog post, there is a buzz of activity at the legendary House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. Preparations are underway for a celebration centered on saving lives in the City of Angels. Tonight, more than 600 animal lovers, including many celebrities, will come together to celebrate the launch of no-kill Los Angeles (NKLA), the game-changing campaign and coalition that will lead the city of Los Angeles to no-kill.

You can feel the excitement in the air as event time approaches. This truly represents a new day for homeless pets in Los Angeles, one everyone involved will look back on with pride. The creation of NKLA is the result of the hard work and collaboration of so many committed people, and achieving the goal of a no-kill Los Angeles will require committed effort from even more. But it is achievable. I know it in my heart, and so does everyone involved in this effort.

All of us at Best Friends are galvanized around this project, and recognize that the launch of NKLA marks a moment in time for our organization that will distinguish the past from the present, a line of demarcation for what has gone before and what our future holds — ending the killing of shelter animals in Los Angeles and the killing of 4 million animals each year in America’s shelter system.

To achieve this goal, Best Friends is working in conjunction with a coalition of more than 40 area shelters and animal welfare organizations. Through the collective work of the coalition, the goal is to boost shelter adoptions and targeted spay/neuter surgeries and implement robust foster and volunteer programs to achieve the threshold no-kill save rate of 90 percent of the animals who come into L.A. city shelters.

Tonight’s launch party at the House of Blues, which will be hosted by Hilary Swank, will feature the unveiling of the ad campaign designed by Let There Be Dragons, which has donated time and resources to create the campaign. Let There Be Dragons is a new content group from Omnicom Inc., which draws upon talent from TBWA\Chiat\Day and their legendary creative genius and dog lover, Lee Clow, who is credited with developing the Apple, Energizer, Nissan, Nike and Gatorade brands. All the ad work, much more than we could ever afford (and much more than most major corporations could afford), was provided at no cost.

The beauty of this campaign is that it has brought out the best in people and the best Los Angeles has to offer. All involved from Lee Clow and Let There Be Dragons; to the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa; to the general manager of Los Angeles shelter system, Brenda Barnette; to the rescue groups and shelters that have been meeting together for the past year and a half to devise the community-wide strategy have made tremendous sacrifices and set aside differences for the greater good — to end the killing of homeless animals in L.A.’s shelter system.

It’s going to be a great evening, and I’ll get back to you right after the event with a complete rundown as well as all the details of how we’re going to achieve our goals in L.A.

Wherever you are tonight, I hope you’ll join me in a virtual toast to the success of NKLA, as well as a day when homeless pets are safe in all of our communities.

Read the NKLA manifesto below.

Gregory Castle, CEO emeritus, Best Friends Animal Society Gregory Castle
CEO emeritus
Best Friends Animal Society