New pet adoption center opens new chapter in NKLA campaign

On Thursday, August 1, the new NKLA Pet Adoption Center in Los Angeles’ Westside opened to the public. Visually and functionally, it is a revelation and a revolution in pet adoption environments. The facility at 1845 Pontius in West Los Angeles offers user-friendly touch screens for public browsing of pets available for adoption, multiple air-exchange systems for disease and odor control, sound-proofed kennel pods to help maintain a calm, low-stress environment for the animals, plus numerous thoughtful touches and tweaks that make life better for the animals and staff. Work-saving food preparation areas, an industrial-strength laundry, and a fully equipped grooming room add to the efficiency of operation, and that means a greater portion of staff time can be devoted to working directly with the animals. All of this is wrapped up in a homey Cape Cod–style building intended to give the adopting public a sense of comfort and relaxation as they approach the decision of which new best friend to bring home. In fact, the reception area is really more like a well-appointed living room than anything else.

The real beauty of the NKLA Pet Adoption Center, however, is in what it will do for the animals and the campaign to turn L.A into NKLA – No-Kill Los Angeles. On any given day, the new center will be home to 60 to 90 dogs and 35 to 65 cats. All of the animals offered for adoption will be homeless pets from L.A. Animal Services shelters or from the streets of L.A. All NKLA Coalition partners will have the opportunity to showcase their adoptables and share use of the space with Best Friends on a rotation basis. A conservative projection of the number of lives that will be saved through the new NKLA Pet Adoption Center as the program gets rolling is 310 through the end of 2013 and 1,000 next year. The NKLA Coalition reduced shelter killing in the city of Los Angeles by 4,200 animals in 2012 compared with 2011, and the campaign is on track to reduce shelter deaths to a record low in 2013. Now that the NKLA Pet Adoption Center has come on line, the number of animals dying will be reduced even more.

The NKLA Pet Adoption Center was made available to the coalition through the support of the Ronald and Catherine Gershman Foundation. The Gershmans are animal lovers who want to make a difference. They commissioned the bottom-up construction of a purpose-designed structure intended to serve not only as a superb adoption center, but also as a community animal care resource. The center also includes a book and video library and a conference/classroom that NKLA Coalition partners can utilize for meetings and trainings. The reception area and interior courtyard are perfectly suited for NKLA partners to host gatherings and meet-and-greet-type events and benefits.

NKLA is working, and the city of Los Angeles has embraced the cause. The new center is just one such example and is the next step in transforming the way a major American city relates to its homeless pets.

Los Angeles will be a no-kill city. We will Save Them All.


Julie Castle


Best Friends Animal Society