Los Angeles Becomes Largest American City Certified As “No-Kill” Thanks To Massive Campaign

When activists set ambitious goals, it can be hard to believe that they’ll actually achieve them — laws, attitudes, and financial obstacles may stand in their way, and animal rights groups often fight uphill battles that can take years to see results.

When Best Friends Animal Society, the largest American non-profit animal sanctuary, was founded in 1984, they immediately began pushing for “no-kill” status not just in their own shelters, but across the US.

They emphasize on their official site that “achieving no-kill across the entire country is within reach.” With the help of a massive campaign and many volunteers, a huge step towards that goal has just been achieved in LA!


“After many challenging, inspiring, grueling, heartwarming, tear-jerking, life-changing years of working to take the city of Los Angeles from a place where only 57% of dogs and cats were making it out of shelters alive to the biggest no-kill city in America, the NKLA (No-Kill Los Angeles) Coalition and animal lovers throughout the city have succeeded in boosting the city over the no-kill threshold,” CEO Julie Castle enthused in a blog post on Best Friends Animal Society’s website.

The campaign officially kicked off in 2012. At that time, LA shelters were only able to place slightly more than half of the sheltered animals in a home. Thanks to the NKLA awareness campaign and unprecedented adoptions during 2020’s pandemic lockdowns, more than 90% of sheltered animals found homes!


By clearing this threshold, LA became the largest city in the US to be certified “no-kill.” Even better, Jewel, the Staffie who became the face of NKLA’s billboard campaign, has found her forever home as well! “She just loves people and exists to play with her ball or a game of tug of war,” new owner David Eagle explained.

“This is a big win for the animals and another thing to celebrate as we toast the lifesaving achievement of the NKLA Coalition and the city of Los Angeles,” Julie Castle added, as Best Friends gears up for its next major goal. The “No-Kill 2025” initiative, which aims for nationwide no-kill status in “every shelter in every community, nationwide” by 2025, sounds just as ambitious as the goal they set in 2012.


No doubt, they will face obstacles and need every bit of volunteer help and organization that they can. But if their success in LA is any sign, then Best Friends is on track to make a huge difference in the lives of cats and dogs nationwide.

Learn more about No-Kill 2025 and get involved by tracking your state and county’s no-kill rates on their official site here, or keep up with their mission on Facebook!

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