LA officially becomes 'no-kill' city as animal shelters achieve 90% save rate

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With Los Angeles animal shelters achieving a save rate of 90.49%, the second-largest city in the U.S. has officially achieved "no-kill" status for the first time.

The designation marks the realization of the "No-Kill Los Angeles" initiative launched nine years ago by Best Friends Animal Society, which announced the milestone in a March 10 statement.

"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," said Julie Castle, chief executive officer for Best Friends Animal Society. "By expanding this collaborative model nationwide, Best Friends' goal to make every community in the U.S. no-kill by 2025 becomes even more of a reality."

At the outset of the initiative in 2012, only 56% of dogs and cats were emerging from L.A. city shelters alive, the news release said. The save rate reached just over 90% last year.

A 90% save rate is the nationally recognized benchmark to be considered "no-kill," taking into account that approximately 10% of pets who enter shelters have medical or behavioral circumstances that lead to humane euthanasia rather than killing for lack of space.

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"Like many U.S. animal shelters, COVID-19 brought about a massive wave of community involvement to keep pets in homes," the Animal Society said. L.A. Animal Services, Best Friends Animal Society and more than 150 coalition partners "worked together like never before 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."
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