One collective goal
The No More Homeless Pets Los Angeles Coalition, comprised of numerous area rescue groups and shelters led by Best Friends Animal Society, has one collective goal: Make L.A. no-kill. The new Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in L.A. is one major, on-the-ground component of the overall effort, with its goal of adopting out 3,000 pets in the first year and spaying and neutering 6,000 animals.
Supporting coalition members
Goal: Make L.A. no-kill.
Best Friends’ L.A. staffer Destiny Haney shares some insights about why the coalition will be so effective in saving lives: "With almost 40 rescue groups signed up for the coalition, we are working on a more focused effort to make Los Angeles no-kill. The No More Homeless Pets Los Angeles Coalition includes both regular rescue groups taking animals into a facility or foster home and adopting them out, and nontraditional groups – organizations that help keep animals out of the shelter system. For instance, groups who specialize in spay/neuter or fundraising."
The groups have a few things in common, like being registered 501(c)3 nonprofits, and many are New Hope Partners. New Hope Partners have immediate access to the L.A. Animal Services pets on the New Hope Alert list, which lists animals whose adoption and microchip fees are waived. Being a coalition member gives the organizations more tools, subsidizing individual animal adoptions and offering spay/neuter grants for targeted areas.
One of the largest populations of animals not making it out of the shelter system are cats and kittens. One of the groups addressing this issue in the L.A. area is the all-volunteer-run Kitten Rescue. At the helm of the organization is Ben Lehrer. He is excited about joining forces with the coalition.
"The No More Homeless Pets Los Angeles Coalition is all about the big picture," says Ben. "Best Friends has been getting groups together for events for years, and the coalition seems like an extension of that. Getting the coalition to work together will be an important aspect of reducing the number of animals dying in the shelter."
He continues by adding that Los Angeles is a very challenging place since the geographic area is so large and socioeconomic dispersion so varied. He is also concerned that the public doesn’t know how many thousands of cats are put down with their taxpayer money.
Ben explains, "The new general manager (of Los Angeles Animal Services), Brenda Barnette, is very in tune with how to make no-kill a reality. There needs to be a systematic change, which we are beginning to see. The challenge is being able to do more and making the no-kill vision something that we can achieve. Every organization is at their exact brink of capacity. But working together with the coalition and the animal rescue community should help us get to where we need to be."
Help in L.A.
Looking to adopt, volunteer or foster in the Los Angeles area? Check out Best Friends — Los Angeles.