LA County's Dismal Failure at Saving Animals

Which hospital would you rather go to, one where 90% leave alive, or one where only 60% leave alive? Same with prison; which would you rather go to, one where 95% leave alive, or one where 70% leave alive?

This percentage of “leaving alive” is called the live release rate, or the live-save rate. Unfortunately for the animals, only one large municipal shelter provides even these dismal save rates for its animals.

The live-save rate is measured by the number adopted, the number rescued and the number returned to owner divided by the total number of animals impounded. Live save is not the obverse of euthanasia. Euthanasia is only one of the possible outcomes. Died in shelter is another outcome that subtracts from live saves, as well as the number of animals remaining in the shelter—i.e., warehoused. Some of the shelter systems below include the number of animals in the shelter at the beginning of the year, but most don't.

Below is the tale of the tape. These are the numbers for calendar 2006 and do not take into account the improvement or worsening of numbers for the last six months as these are not available for some of these systems. Also, the numbers for the first six months do not include the heavy kill months of summer, July, August and September, which would artificially raise the live save percentages contrasted to a full year’s numbers. For example, LAAS' live release rate has improved by 2% during 2007 as a result of warehousing and refusing to impound some animals with the highest kill rate, i.e., neonatals. Philly's first half rate improved to a remarkable 60.4%!!

Live save rates for cats and dogs at:

LA County..........................35.7%

Maricopa County................42%


LA Animal Services.............52.1%

New York City.....................54.3%

San Francisco/SFSPCA........87%

Once again Los Angeles County wins the national award. Not only does it place as number one in terms of adoptions, but it is also number one (worst) in terms of the number of cats and dogs killed, AND also is the worst shelter in terms of the percentage of animals leaving alive.

Mayeda is such a champ. I doubt she will hold a press conference about this.

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