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Eric Rayvid: 917-861-8290 or ericr@bestfriends.org

ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society Join Forces to Subsidize Shelter Fees for Rescue Groups in Los Angeles

Collaborative effort makes $120,000 available to help local rescue groups save more animals from LA City shelters through upcoming holiday season

LOS ANGELES —The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Best Friends Animal Society® today announced that they are working together on an effort to help save the lives of more shelter animals in the city of Los Angeles through the holiday season. The two organizations plan to subsidize the “shelter fees” for organizations that take animals from LA city shelters, allowing them to fast track more animals toward adoption.

This collaboration will greatly assist local rescue groups – who frequently pull animals from Los Angeles city shelters – by subsidizing the rescue groups’ associated costs. These shelter fees include vaccinations, micro-chipping and spay/neuter for unaltered shelter pets. In turn, these rescue groups will be able to pull more animals from the public shelters and instead use their budget dollars to provide for the animals in their care.

The ASPCA is contributing $70,000 and Best Friends Animal Society is contributing $50,000 for a combined total of $120,000 through the end of 2013 to off-set the costs to these groups, many of which operate with very limited budgets. The ASPCA will pay fees for LA Animal Services’ New Hope Partners, qualified 501(c)(3) organizations that meet a basic set of standards set by City of Los Angeles Animal Services. Best Friends will pay fees for those New Hope Partners that are also NKLA Coalition partners. NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles) is an initiative of Best Friends Animal Society dedicated to making Los Angeles a no-kill city by 2017.

“There are millions of homeless animals in this country, and the ASPCA believes that communities need to work together to save the most lives possible,” said Jill Buckley, senior director of community initiatives at the ASPCA. “Working with Best Friends Animal Society on this initiative allows local rescues and the public shelters to work together toward the common goal of getting animals out of cages and into loving homes. Relieving the local rescues’ fees affords them the ability to ease the burden on the overcrowded municipal shelters, which is truly a win-win for everyone involved.”

Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society has operated rescue and adoption programs in Los Angeles since 1991 and launched the NKLA coalition campaign in 2012. Best Friends operates two pet adoption centers in Los Angeles. One is the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay-Neuter Center in Mission Hills, Calif., and the other is the NKLA Pet Adoption Center in West Los Angeles.

“We couldn’t be more delighted to team up with the ASPCA to help the animals of Los Angeles from now through the holidays,” said Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society. “We look forward to partnering with the “A” on this and other life-saving projects.”

Lesley Brog, who is with Wags N' Walks, a Los Angeles-based NKLA Coalition partner that showcases adoptable dogs at the NKLA Pet Adoption Center, sees a direct correlation between the covered fees and the number of dogs saved.

"The donations from the ASPCA and Best Friends mean we'll have more funds to use toward vet care, boarding, or training, which increases the amount of dogs we’ll be able to save,” said Brog. "Best Friends and the ASPCA are demonstrating how much they care about animals by providing support to other organizations ̶ a true example of how working together gets dogs out of shelters and into great homes. This is a real blessing for us and gives us an extra sense of security that we can save more dogs."

While the save rate for dogs in Los Angeles is improving (currently about 82 percent), the save rate for cats is much lower. Both organizations hope that by subsidizing pull fees through the holiday seasons that the overall live release rate for both dogs and cats can be improved.

About the ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement since its founding in 1984, Best Friends operates the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and manages life-saving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. In the past 30 years, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from 17 million per year to 4 million. Best Friends has the knowledge, technical expertise and on-the-ground network to end the killing and Save Them All™.

To like Best Friends Animal Society on Facebook go to: //www.facebook.com/bestfriendsanimalsociety

Follow Best Friends on Twitter: //twitter.com/bestfriends

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