NKLA: Rolling in positive results

By Denise LeBeau

Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Mission Hills, California, is a major component of NKLA — the campaign to take Los Angeles no-kill. Working with a coalition of rescues in the area and the six Los Angeles city shelters, the center’s goal for the first year is to adopt out 3,000 dogs and cats above the 2010 baseline and the five year goal is to reduce the number of pets killed in the L.A. city shelters from 17,000 to zero.

Transporting animals to the shelter and beyond is a critical component of reaching the adoption goal. It might not seem glamorous, but without reliable transportation the whole production would collapse.

Lifesaving mileage

Mike Harmon, adoption center manager, is thrilled with how the transport program is trucking along, and is especially ecstatic about the Winnick Family Foundation’s grant, which includes a vehicle donation, to NKLA and the Pup My Ride program.

"Our transport vehicle runs pretty much every day. We’re picking up animals from the L.A. animal shelters’ multiple locations about three days a week so that’s between 30 and 50 animals right there. Then we’re using the vehicle on the weekends to get our homeless pets out to mobile adoptions and then the vehicle has turned out to be a true lifesaver for the Pup My Ride program."

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Chip is looking for a home of his own.

Pup My Ride pulls at-risk dogs from L.A. County shelters and transports them to partner shelters in areas where the dogs are in higher demand. The program mainly transports small purebred dogs, like Chihuahuas; however, thanks to the new vehicle, German shepherds are able to go on the Pup My Ride to Montana, where the breed is less common and in high demand for adoption. "The bigger vehicle accommodates the larger purebred dogs that are heading for Big Sky Country," Mike says.

Gregory Castle, CEO of Best Friends shares, "We are extremely grateful to the Winnick Family Foundation for their generosity in providing this grant. It enables so many more animals to be saved in our drive to reach No-Kill L.A. It is because of caring people like the Winnicks, who are so dedicated to the cause, that we will be able to realize our goals."

Donation from the heart

The Winnick Family Foundation has been a staple on the philanthropic scene for many years. They support education, the arts, healthcare, the environment, and animal welfare. They’ve been an especially beneficial presence in Los Angeles, the community they call home. They are committed to helping Los Angeles go no-kill, and they’ve backed the work of the transport program with a multi-year, results-oriented grant.

Karen Winnick describes why supporting Best Friends is close to her heart: "I believe in ‘ahimsa’ — that’s a Sanskrit word that means great loving respect for all living things. Best Friends is a practitioner of ahimsa. They are committed to animals, and once rescued by Best Friends, those animals are assured care for the rest of their lives."

She cites the center in L.A. as another reason the foundation is behind the organization and the mission. "It can be hard to go to shelters, but the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center is not a sad place; there’s such a respect for life. Hopefully, Best Friends is going to achieve its goals. They’ve learned a lot from experience that they’re applying here in Los Angeles."

Support NKLA

Support the effort to help L.A. become no-kill by adopting, volunteering or donating today.