L.A. City officials stump for shelter pets

Photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society cuddle—Los Angeles Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette plays with an adoptable cat in the free roam room at Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Mission Hills. Barnette toured the center to promote

Animal-loving officials Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz and Los Angeles Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette toured the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center to promote Adopt ‘Til You Drop holiday special at the center in Mission Hills and six Los Angeles Animal Services shelters.

Launched on Black Friday, Adopt ‘Til You Drop offers $25 dog and cat adoptions at any of the seven locations every weekend until Jan. 6, 2014. During its first weekend, more than 300 pets found homes.

Koretz, who has rescued cats and was the legislator behind banning the sales of puppy mill dogs in pet stores throughout the City of Los Angeles, is a longtime proponent of pet adoption.

“I’m excited to greatly increase the number of cats and dogs getting adopted. There are so many wonderful pets at shelters, which provide an opportunity to adopt a great companion and save a life at the same time,” Koretz said. “We hope to get closer to the day when every animal in a shelter gets adopted.”

Best Friends Animal Society Los Angeles is subsidizing the lowered fees for the shelters in hopes of increasing adoptions throughout the holiday season and furthering the mission of its NKLA (No-Kill Los Angeles) initiative, with a goal of turning Los Angeles into a No-Kill city by 2017.

L.A. Animal Services is one of more than 70 NKLA Coalition Partners committed to making that mission a reality.

“More people add pets to their family during the holidays than any other time. I think they should all be the great dogs and cats we have in our Los Angeles City Shelters,” Barnette said. “Thanks to an amazing community effort, we are saving more animals’ lives than ever. Is this holiday your opportunity to join us and give a great shelter pet a home of his or her own?”

The $25 adoption fee includes spay or neuter, vaccinations and micro-chip for pets at all seven locations.

“Adoption is not only costeffective, it saves the life of a loving pet that just needs a second chance to find their person or family,” Marc Peralta, executive director of Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles said.

Specialists at the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center are trained to help adopters make the best fit for their lifestyle, taking into consideration such variables as activity level and other pets in the home.

“We’re confident we have the perfect dog or cat waiting for you at our center and the city shelters,” Peralta said. “That includes puppies and kittens to purebreds and mixed breeds of all ages. Purebred pets typically make up about 25 percent of a shelter’s adoption population.”

The Best Friends Pet Adoption Center is open daily from noon to 8 p.m. (Christmas and New Year’s Eve from noon to 5 p.m.) and is located at 15321 Brand Boulevard, Mission Hills. For more information, visit www.bestfriends.org/la or call (661) 643-3989. For a list of Los Angeles Animal Services shelters, visit http://www.laanimalservices. org/shelters/