Best Friends Blog

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.


Gregory Castle
Best Friends Animal Society

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  • Anjouli

    My heart smiles reading this! May this center stand as an example and blueprint for many more to come in cities here in the US and worldwide! May LA truly become a no-kill city, and serve as an example for every city and town in this country- and eventually the world!



  • elegantgypsy

    dear ron and cathy, and best friends,
    my heart is filled with joy at what you have done for the innocents. i do hope there is room for the bunnies too!
    i am so ashamed of what humans do to animals.
    best friends is the best thing ever!
    this center is so beautiful…and a model of what every shelter should look like.
    another beautiful center that need our support is Longmont Humane Society in Colorado. they are a wonderful center. but they need to meet some loan payments that a past ED arranged…with out which their many shelters animals will be in definite danger.
    to fuzzerdog- it may not be an excuse that people do not go to the shelters. even as a pit bull rescuer, i can not go in most shelters. i am what is called a “highly sensitive person” or an empath, and i am flooded with fear and anxiety even in the parking lot.
    i do go willingly into Longmont, and could go easily into this new shelter.
    i pray for the day, and i WORK for it too, when every shelter looks like this one, there are no more homeless pets, and humans learn the true value of the 4 legged and the winged.

  • Anonymous

    What a beautiful facility. It will take the stigma of going to a gloomy shelter away from adopting a pet for sure for those people who use that as an excuse. And what a great environment for the animals! Nothing to fear there. Awesome!

  • Bobbie

    This is great news. I wish all of the shelters across the
    country could look like this shelter. Hopefully this will
    serve as a model and other shelters will aspire to make
    big improvements.

  • Dani Sondrol

    Beautiful, however is there any room for the third most dumped pet – the rabbit.

  • honeybear

    What a fantastic center! The atmosphere at the ribbon-cutting ceremony was just electric. Everyone was charged up and ready to get out there and get some animals adopted. Thank you, Ron and Cathy, for an unbelievable gift of the design and use of the building. By involving Best Friends you just increased the effectiveness of the gift by 1000%!

  • michelle

    amazing work!! I hope one day all cities & counties can adopt this no-kill attitude.

  • 123tl78

    Very good news. Thanks to all of you for your hard work.