Blog  >  Best Friends Animal Society’s NKLA Initiative Leading the Way to America’s Largest No-Kill City

Best Friends Animal Society’s NKLA Initiative Leading the Way to America’s Largest No-Kill City

We are thrilled to share this news update!

Driven by Best Friend Animal Society’s NKLA (No-Kill Los Angeles) initiative, efforts to make LA a no-kill city continue to surge forward, according to statistics from Los Angeles Animal Services.

In 2012, when Best Friends launched NKLA in conjunction with LAAS and a coalition of local animal welfare organizations, the number of LAAS dogs and cats being killed was more than 18,000. In 2014, that number dropped to approximately 7,900, a decrease of 56 percent in just three years.

“This is exciting progress for everyone in the NKLA coalition, as we strive to transform LA into the nation’s largest no-kill city and create a model for the rest of the country to emulate,” said Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society. “However, there is still a lot to work in order to get that killed number down to zero.”

As part of a public/private partnership with the City of Los Angeles, Best Friends Animal Society, the only national animal welfare organization focused on ending the killing of shelter pets, operates a Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center at a city-owned facility in Mission Hills at its own expense. Best Friends also runs the NKLA Pet Adoption Center in West L.A., which includes pets for adoption from coalition partners. In 2014, both of the Best Friends-operated adoption centers found homes 4,902 LAAS dogs and cats.

The overall save rate for LAAS is currently 73.4 percent. Dogs have reached an 84.7 percent save rate, which is closing in on the 90 percent no-kill threshold. However, for cats, the save rate is just 56.7 percent, highlighting the need to focus attentions here.

Additionally, Best Friends Animal Society - Los Angeles took in more than 2,000 neonatal kittens and dozens of nursing mothers from city shelters through its onsite kitten nursery in Mission Hills last year. More than 60 percent of the cats killed at LAAS are neonatal kittens.  

“Shelters just don’t have the resources to help this fragile population, which is why we made it a priority. Once you get kittens to the size and age to be spayed or neutered, they are highly adoptable,” Battista said.

Best Friends encourages the community to adopt, foster, make sure pets are spayed or neutered, volunteer, or donate. Visit or for more information.

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