Los Angeles has officially achieved the status of a “no-kill” city after animal shelters managed to reach a rescue rate of 90.49 per cent.
The Best Friends Animal Society launched the “No-Kill Los Angeles” initiative nine years ago.
Julie Castle, the group’s chief executive officer, said: “It’s difficult to overstate the enormity of this moment and its place in the history of the no-kill movement. NKLA has demonstrated what’s possible when an entire community works together.”
She added: “By expanding this collaborative model nationwide, Best Friends’ goal to make every community in the US no-kill by 2025 becomes even more of a reality.”
As the initiative got underway in 2012, 56 per cent of dogs and cats left LA shelters alive, surpassing 90 per cent in 2020.
The 90 per cent rescue rate is the nationally recognized level for becoming a “no-kill” city, taking into consideration that around 10 per cent of animals who arrive at shelters “have medical or behavioural circumstances that warrant humane euthanasia rather than killing for lack of space”, the society said.
They added: “Like many US animal shelters, COVID-19 brought about a massive wave of community involvement to keep pets in homes.”
The Best Friends Animal Society said it worked alongside LA Animal Services and more than 150 coalition partners “to ensure that Angelenos were able to foster and adopt pets despite restrictions brought about by the pandemic’s public health and temporary closure of two of the City of Los Angeles’s animal shelters”.
Brenda Barnette, general manager of LA Animal Services, said: “Collaboration is key to saving lives and this coalition has certainly proved that to be true.
“We’re so grateful to Best Friends, our many rescue partners, staff, volunteers, and the community who responded to foster and adopt the animals in our centres during the pandemic, which helped us achieve our 90.49 per cent lifesaving rate by year-end 2020.”
The Independent has reached out to NKLA for comment.