"Dog Wild" Posting. Photo provided
by the Best Friends Animal Society.
Of the 56,000 animals that entered city shelters in Los Angeles last year, 17,000 were euthanized. A newly-formed coalition, led by the Best Friends Animal Society wants to reduce the number killed – within the next five years - to zero.
Francis Battista (r) with L.A. City Councilman Tony Cardenas (l) on Opening Day of the Mission Hills facility. Photo provided by the Best Friends Animal Society.
In Episode 21 of ON THE ROAD WITH MAC AND MOLLY, I chat with Francis Battista, one of the founders of the Best Friends Animal Society.This highly regarded animal welfare organization is known around the world for its no-kill programs and partnerships that all work toward the day when there will be “No More Homeless Pets”®. Best Friends was launched in the early 1980s with a sanctuary at Angel Canyon in Kanab, Utah. Today, that sanctuary encompasses 33,000 acres and, on any given day, some 1,700 companion animals call the place home. The great majority of these will eventually be placed in “forever homes.”
Actress Hilary Swank was among those on hand to celebrate the launch of No-Kill Los Angeles. Photo provided by the Best Friends Animal Society.
In this episode, Francis recounts how Best Friends developed from scratch into a 300,000-member organization. He then offers details on his work in Los Angeles in advising, creating and launching animal welfare initiatives. The newest of these is NKLA (No-Kill Los Angeles). This project, entered into by a coalition of animal welfare organizations, city shelters and individuals, has the goal of ending the killing of all healthy and treatable pets in all of L.A.’s shelters.
The plan is straightforward: provide spay/neuter services where they are needed the most so fewer animals go into shelters and increase adoptions through the efforts of the NKLA coalition members so more animals come out of the shelters and go into new homes. As part of these efforts, Best Friends has taken over the operation of what was formerly known as the Northeast Valley Shelter in Mission Hills. The new facility is called Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Services.