Sonia Horon, Global Animal

If you live in Los Angeles, you’ve probably seen the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) posters featuring black and white pictures of beautiful shelter animals. The No-Kill LA operation is led by Best Friends Animal Society and consists of welfare organizations and city shelters who are trying to have all Los Angeles animal shelters adopt a no-kill policy. Their mission is simple, “we’re dedicated to ending the killing of healthy and treatable pets in L.A. shelters.”

Volunteering is a great way to give back to our animal friends. Photo credit: No-Kill Los Angeles

Animals in shelters don’t have it as easy as some might think. People who surrender their dogs at shelters often do so because they have to move or don’t have time for them. Many pets are surrendered due to financial situations, or apartment restrictions. A common misconception is that a shelter is just like a temporary home. But in many states, if a pet doesn’t get adopted in a certain amount of time and a shelter is full, it will be put down even if it’s completely healthy. The time a pet has before it is euthanized differs from shelter to shelter. Some have years others have 30 days. A lot also depends on the animal’s health and temperament.

Only about 20% of pets are adopted in the U.S. while the rest are from breeders and other sources. Unfortunately once the joy of having that adorable puppy from the mall turns into the reality of the hard work it take to be a responsible pet parent, many of these animals end up in shelters.  

Last year more than 17,000 animals were killed in L.A. shelters. All of them were completely healthy or treatable. To help these numbers, NKLA is planning to give spay and neuter services and promote shelter adoption in L.A. communities. But they cannot do this alone. If you want to help with the NKLA initiative please volunteer, foster, or donate to animal shelters. And lastly never buy from a breeder or a pet store. Not only is it much cheaper to adopt a shelter pet, but you can walk away knowing you saved a life.