Los Angeles Is Now a No-Kill City

Hooray for the big news out of Los Angeles!

When I was 13, I collected money on the set of “The Paul Lynde Show” to help save shelter animals. More than 30 years later, demonstrators including my husband and myself were routinely arrested in an attempt by city officials to hide the wholesale slaughter of animals in L.A.’s municipal shelters. Now, after years of demonstrations, false promises by politicians, and the cruel murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent animals, Los Angeles has at last become a no-kill city. Thanks to the efforts of a coalition of animal rights organizations and a community that put their voices behind protecting animals, countless lives will now be spared.

For those who don’t know, a no-kill shelter is one that doesn’t kill healthy or treatable animals regardless of how full the shelter may be. No-kill shelters are about saving lives, not taking them, and employ creative methods to encourage people to adopt. While traditional shelters routinely kill puppies and kittens who are too young to be adopted, at no-kill shelters the littlest ones are placed into foster care until they are old enough to find a home. Feral cats, too, typically killed at traditional shelters, are sterilized at no-kill shelters and released back to their habitats. No-kill shelters offer lifesaving alternatives to the usual mass killing of abandoned animals.

Los Angeles is now the largest of more than 5,500 no-kill cities and counties in the United States; Delaware remains the only no-kill state. Formerly, Los Angeles was putting 75-90% of shelter animals – some 40-50,000 every year – to death. Thanks to the city’s adoption of no-kill policies, the save rate is now better than 90%.

Congratulations, L.A.! This is proof that civil action can bring about positive change and save countless lives.




Los Angeles Bans the Use of Wild or Exotic Animals in Entertainment

Protesting in Los Angeles against the use of animals in entertainment.

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on April 25, 2017 to ban the use of wild or exotic animals for entertainment or amusement, passing a motion by Council member David Ryu that affects circuses, other wild animal shows, displays in public areas such as sidewalks and parks, and rentals for parties or events. Los Angeles becomes the largest municipality in the United States to take such action.

I am so very thankful to the City Council for this ban! I can only hope all cities across the country – and the world – follow in Los Angeles’ footsteps.

Animals aren’t actors, spectacles to be imprisoned and gawked at, or circus clowns. Yet thousands of these animals are forced to perform confusing and silly tricks by using physical punishment such as hitting them with bull hooks or tormenting them with electrical prods. These poor animals are hauled across the country in cramped and airless railroad boxcars or tractor-trailer trucks, kept chained or caged in barren, mind-numbing, filthy enclosures, and separated from their families and friends, all for the sake of human “entertainment.” Most of these animals live shortened life spans; many die still in chains.

Now – at least in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and several counties in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Idaho, and North Carolina – this sort of animal abuse won’t be allowed to continue. That’s a huge step in the right direction!

I would be grateful if all who read this post, even those who don’t live in L.A., could take a moment to email the members of the Los Angeles City Council to thank them for their vote and urge them to follow up by drafting the strongest possible ordinance. Feel free to copy mine, or use your own words. Email addresses are listed at the bottom of this post. Thank you!

Dear Council Member,

Thank you for your courage and compassion in voting in favor of the ban on using wild or exotic animals for entertainment in the City of Los Angeles. I urge you and the rest of the Council to draft and approve the strongest and most widely-reaching ordinance to effect this ban.

L.A. City Council members:

David Ryu:

Nury Martinez:

Paul Krekorian:

Bob Blumenfield:

Paul Koretz:

Marqueece Harris-Dawson:

Curren D. Price, Jr.:

Herb J. Wesson, Jr.:

Mike Bonin:

Mitchell Englander:

Mitch O’Farrell:

Jose Huizar:

Joe Buscaino:


Peace for ALL the animals with whom we share the planet!