Best Friends Blog

Los Angeles City Council passes no-kill resolution

Councilman Paul Koretz with team after approval of the resolution
On Wednesday, May 3, the L.A. city council unanimously approved a no-kill resolution making Los Angeles the largest city in the nation to do so.

Best Friends and the NKLA Coalition worked closely with the resolution’s sponsor, Councilman Paul Koretz, to help draft and advance the measure. Councilman Koretz is a vocal friend of the animals and was an early supporter of the NKLA initiative.

Resolutions, in government speak, are a non-binding way for government bodies to proclaim a stance on a particular issue. A no-kill resolution makes the proclamation that elected officials want to see local municipal agencies and general managers work toward ending killing in shelters. They help to draw a line in the sand, and get everyone on the same page, driving toward that goal. The Los Angeles resolution states:

“NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Los Angeles reconfirms its commitment to achieving the accepted no-kill live release for all healthy and adoptable dogs and cats at Los Angeles Animal Services by December 31, 2017, or by as soon thereafter as possible; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Los Angeles work in collaboration with the No Kill Los Angeles coalition, other rescuers and rescue organizations, humane organizations and the general public to develop a comprehensive strategy to reach and maintain a life-saving rate consistent with accepted no-kill standards.”

Best Friends is encouraging communities of all sizes to adopt such resolutions as a way to inaugurate or bolster local no-kill efforts. Check out the link at the end of this blog for more information.

The no-kill movement is a quintessential grassroots activity because animal sheltering and associated policies and practices are managed at a local level. That means the journey to Save Them All travels down many different roads because when all is said and done, this is a local issue driven by local action. It’s not a “one size fits all” solution. You can read more about how some communities are reaching no-kill status here on the Best Friends website.

When Best Friends and our partners launched the NKLA initiative in Los Angeles in 2012, we set the goal to lead the city to no-kill by 2017. We’re proud of our work and that of our partners in Los Angeles as well as the city leadership for their steadfast commitment to create a better future for the animals. We are on target to achieve our goal of getting L.A. to NKLA by the end of this year, and this no-kill resolution affirms the support from the city to never stop fighting for the animals.

Nationally, Best Friends’ goal of realizing a no-kill nation by 2025 is very lofty, but entirely achievable. As you’ve heard us say before, for Best Friends this effort can be compared to President Kennedy’s national challenge to reach the moon in the 60s. It’s our moon shot, and we’re assembling the best team imaginable to help us get there. But still, we can’t do this alone. If you would like to help us get to a no-kill nation by 2025, you can help spearhead a no-kill resolution in your community. We’ve created a handy guide that can help you move that forward. Check it out by clicking here.

Together, we can Save Them All.
Celebrating after the approval of the no-kill resolution by the Los Angeles City Council

Photos by Alison Simard

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Francis Battista
Best Friends Animal Society

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  • jondunn


    Our definition of no-kill is available on the Best Friends website here:

    We agree that 90% is merely a threshold, and true no-kill is when every saveable animal is saved.

    Thank you,

    Jon Dunn
    Senior Manger of Policy
    Best Friends Animal Society

  • Jessica Shuman

    What is Best Friends doing about the legal challenge of TNR/SNR in Los Angeles? What lifesaving options do feral/unhandleable stray cats in the municipal shelters have that are not deemed adoptable? What working definition of No Kill is Best Friends using to declare a city No Kill? I have been deeply troubled seeing Best Friends hang their hat on using a 90% save rate as such. An accomplishment yes, but a live release percentage is just that–and doesn’t by any means indicate that those that truly are savable actually are.

    • Melissa Miller

      Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for your question. Right now, there is an Environmental Impact Report underway to put into place a new cat plan that would lift the injunction. Best Friends has been pivotal along with many other stakeholders in Los Angeles and ensuring this process continues to move forward.

      Currently, Best Friends and other organizations are pulling cats that are not bonded to humans for working cat adoptions as the main tactic and getting these non-traditional adoptable cats out of the city alive and into enclosed adoptable home such as breweries, warehouses, and enclosed barns. We fully support and continue to provide grants for groups to perform TNR, as well as perform thousands of targeted TNR and spay/neuter surgeries in the city of Los Angeles ourselves to reduce cat populations that enter the shelter. Lastly, we look forward to working on return the field and SNR programs once the Environmental Impact Report is complete and we are able to provide such programming in the city of Los Angeles.

      We appreciate your support and everything that you’re doing to help Los Angeles’ homeless pets.

      Melissa Miller
      Manager, Social Communities and Content

    • Elicia DeWitt

      I believe there is a pending lawsuit also, which doesn’t allow Best Friends to do TNR/SNR themselves.

  • Audrey Clifford

    So happy about this!