Discussion: Can a New Campaign Make Los Angeles No Kill?

NKLA is “a coalition of animal rescue organizations, city shelters and passionate individuals” working to end the killing of healthy/treatable animals in Los Angeles.  The plan, according to a piece in the L.A. Times, is to combine a major ad campaign to increase public awareness, adoption incentive grants to rescues and neuter assistance to pet owners who need it:

As part of the NKLA effort, Best Friends has allocated more than $1.2 million to make grants to area rescue leagues to encourage more adoptions, and to provide financial assistance to help people who don’t have money to neuter their pets.

Nissan, a client of TBWA\Chiat\Day, donated a vehicle which has since been dubbed “The Neuter Cruiser” that will be used to ferry pets to the procedures.

What is your take on this project?  Do you think it can work?  Will Los Angeles be a no kill city by 2017?


19 thoughts on “Discussion: Can a New Campaign Make Los Angeles No Kill?

  1. It depends. I always get a bit nervous when I see money being thrown into the mix because I worry that it will generate the same failures as the Maddies grants, which allowed shelters to keep killing, just move animals into categories to justify it. If you look at many of the shelters, their raw release rate is no better than when they started, even though they claim success. Moving animals into different treatment categories doesn’t make a shelter any closer to saving lives. I did, however, like the PSA and it’s message.

  2. I’m not trying to be pessimistic, but I doubt it. It seems to me like a remix of the old “LES” strategy, focusing on “the public,” that has not worked many times over in the past. They need for the city shelter system to implement the No Kill Equation, or for a “Pets Alive!” style group to make it happen.

    It will get a lot of buzz, motivate a lot of people and make a dent in the killing. But once the buzz dies down and people realize no kill hasn’t actually been achieved after all the hoopla and hard work, I’;m afraid things will revert.

  3. S/N of pets is almost universal among people who have transportation and I like the ferrying of pets. But this has the markings of being a trendy idea that won’t have lasting results after the publicity stops. Few things “work” in Los Angeles unfortunately.

  4. I would like to think so. I hope so.

    The bad:
    $1.2 M is a drop in the bucket in LA.
    The city shelters there have a problem with a deeply entrenched killing mentality which this money may or may not address.
    BF has a history of announcing that they are making entire areas No Kill (or their previously preferred term, No More Homeless Pets) and falling short, as with Atlanta and the state of Utah, among others.
    BF’s HQ is located in a tiny town of 5000 people. The town isn’t No Kill.

    The good:
    The design and the campaign from what I’ve seen is gorgeous, striking and memorable.
    Even if it doesn’t hit the goal it may do a lot of good and/or inspire others to join them.
    Past failures may have taught management strategic lessons.
    They’re finally embracing the term No Kill (good thing) – it remains to be seen if they will embrace the actual process (the equation). One would hope so.

    I want to talk to a few people about this within their ecosystem, I hope to blog it soon. I am cautiously optimistic.

  5. I would hope so, but if the people who are running the kill shelters don’t want to stop killing can this really work? I would think there has to be pressure from the people in LA to change the system – like Pets Alive Austin did. I hope this spurs a similar movement in LA.

  6. Daniela Says:

    April 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    “…if the people who are running the kill shelters don’t want to stop killing can this really work?”

    *ding ding ding*

    1. The head of LA animal services has been intimately involved with this initiative and fully supports it.

      1. Yes, somehow that doesn’t surprise me. So far as I’ve been able to suss out from what’s on-line, the program is entirely aimed at modifying public behavior. There’s nothing whatsoever in it to address the need for shelter reform, so yes, I imagine it would be easy for someone deeply invested in the status quo to support it.

      2. He is probably the most important person to make it happen. God bless him to make it a ‘no kill’ success.

  7. What will any of this do to their return-to-owner rate? My guess is nothing. So long as the public sees LAAS as a bad cop, licensing rates will drop, pets will be unidentified and won’t be returned. These are nice things to do, but LAAS needs to change its attitude to the public and make the public a valued partner in saving pets lives. Only when the public starts to trust LAAS will things really start to turn around.

  8. To me it seems like the Maddie’s Fund money given to NYC rescues. We’ve seen how much NYACC changed in response to that.

    The pictures are great but, as always, BF just does not want to face the fact that there cannot be No Kill without shelter reform.

    And did Lee Clow really say, “We want to start a conversation that creates its own velocity. We want to make it a movement”?

    Funny, I thought it already was a movement. There’s some credit-taking here that I find distasteful.

  9. LA needs to get rid of the many pet stores that are selling animals! Will the council and mayor approve the ordinance being written? They also need to control the animals coming in from Mexico illegally! The shelters need to be more people friendly and not so nasty as some people will not go into the shelters to adopt an animal. They also need to work with rescues but I do not know if they have a problem with this currently.

  10. 65 NKLA rescues get adoption subsidiaries. So they get fixed animals and money. That would I turn allow for fee waived adoptions and increased adoption rates- looking very successful going forward.
    The New Hope rescues get to pull fixed animals for $45. Can they do fee waived adoptions and compete to stay in business with the other 65??
    Very interesting twist to driving the business.

  11. BTW- how can LA achieve no kill status by 2017, 2020, or whatever without there being a robust TNR program? Is this only No-Kill LA for Dogs? Unless and only unless LA County ceases to trap and kill Ferals.
    That idea is currently being floated by Maddies with Dr. Hurley. And she does make a compelling presentation.

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