Wednesday, June 06, 2007

AB 1634 Passes the Assembly! And the May '07 and Year To Date Kill Rates Demonstrate New Strides Toward No-Kill in LA City

At precisely 10:16 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2007 history was made in California. The California State Assembly passed AB1634 The California Healthy Pets Act by a vote of 41 to 38. This seminal event sends a clear message that California continues to be the national animal welfare leader. Constituents of AYE voting representatives should send a letter of appreciation to their Assembly Member today! Given the opposition to this bill their votes truly represent a courageous stand for fiscal responsibility and the value of life.

But the battle is only half won. We must now help our State Senators understand the importance of this life and money saving legislation. Please contact your State Senator today and ask him or her to support this important life saving legislation.

Visit to see why Bob Barker says the Price is Right for AB 1634!

The May 07 statistics are now in. Below is an analysis of the past 12 months, the calendar year to date, and the month of May. Thanks to the help of the public, our partners and most importantly our employees and volunteers we are making remarkable progress towards our No-Kill Goal. (No-Kill means using the same criteria that a compassionate veterinarian or loving pet guardian would use in deciding when an animal should be euthanized. That is, an animal is not killed for lack of space or resources. No-Kill is achieved when only terminally ill or injured animals or dangerously aggressive animals are euthanized and all healthy or treatable animals are adopted or placed with organizations capable of caring for them.)

Last 12 Months (June 1, 2006 through May 31, 2007):
18,108 dogs and cats were euthanized in the past 12 months (June 1, 2006 through May 31, 2007). That represents a 7.2% decrease compared to the previous 12 months in which 19,524 dogs and cats were killed.

Earlier this year LA Animal Services broke through the 19,000 barrier for the number of dogs and cats killed in a 12 month period for the first time ever. It is our hope to break through the 18,000 barrier in the very near future and aggressively continue this trend. Five years ago over 35,000 dogs and cats were dying in LA Centers each year.

The 18,108 number represents 4.5 deaths per 1000 LA City residents per year. This means LA has decidedly broken through the somewhat arbitrary "no-kill" threshold of 5.0, a goal established by some in the animal welfare movement many years ago.

New York City established a 2.5 kill rate during my tenure there and San Francisco has been recorded at 2.1. So clearly, the 5.0 "no-kill" threshold needs to be re-evaluated in light of the successes in these and other cities.

Of the total number of dogs and cats killed in the last 12 months, 64% were cats (11,567) and 36% were dogs (6,541).

Of the 6,541 dogs, 39% (2,574) were pit bulls or pit bull mixes.

Of the 11,567 cats that were killed in the last 12 months 43% (5,020) were orphaned neonate kittens. This represents nearly one third (28%) of all dogs and cats killed. 318 neonates were saved through our Baby Bottle Foster Program during this time, mostly in the month of May, and this number highlights the need for AB 1634, more spay/neuter programs and more foster care givers. LA Animal Services has recruited and trained over 60 volunteer foster care givers so far this kitten season.

2007 Year to Date Numbers:
The 2007 Year to Date comparison is also encouraging. From January 1 to May 31, 2007, dog and cat euthanasia decreased 21.5% compared to the same five months in 2006 (5,242 to 4,114).

Dogs killed Year to Date (1,908) decreased 17.6% compared to last year at this time (2,316). 787 or 34% were pit bulls or pit bull mixes despite a 24% decrease in the number of pit bull/mixes killed during this same period last year (1,038).

Cats killed Year to Date (2,206) decreased 24.6% compared to those killed during the same time last year. 22% of the cats killed (728) were orphaned neonate kittens. Year to Date we have seen a 43% reduction in the number of neonates killed compared to last year (1285), thanks to our Bottle Baby Program.

May 07 Numbers:
The May 07 kill rate (1,331) dropped 35% compared to May 06 (2,043). This is the lowest May kill rate since statistics have been recorded. Cats saw a 38% decrease from 1,467 in 06 to 900 in 07. 36% of all cats killed were orphaned neonate kittens. However, our orphaned neonate kitten kill rate for the month of May 07 (328) dropped 59% compared to May 06 (804). This is the lowest number of neonate kittens ever killed in the month of May thanks to our Bottle Baby Program.

Dogs saw a 25% decrease from 576 in May 06 to 431 in May 07. 31% of all dogs (178) killed were pit bull/mixes despite a 24% decrease in the number of pit bull/mixes killed compared to May 06 (251). LA Animal Services will be announcing a bold new program called, Pit Bull Academy later this month. This program is designed to further help reduce the number of pit bulls dying in our Centers.

Adoption, New Hope, Return to Owner and other statistics on dogs, cats, rabbits, and other species, as well as neonate dogs and cats, and pit bulls can be found at under the "About Us" tab. All statistics are updated each month in a twelve month rotating calendar that compares the past 12 months to the same 12 month periods in each of the past six years.

The practice of posting these statistics on our website each month won LA Animal Services national recognition by the Maddie's Foundation for transparency.

LA Animal Services statistics are not obfuscated by subjective categories such as "adoptable" and "unadoptable" as is the custom of some agencies. LA Animal Services reports only on the total number of animals that come in alive, leave alive or are euthanized (or killed). Today's message highlights the actual progress LA made over the past 12 months in reducing LA's kill rate among dogs and cats to an all time low.

Please consider how you can help LA Animal Services continue our shared quest to achieve No Kill! And call your Senator to ask for an AYE vote on AB 1634!