I recently toured the West LA NKLA shelter with Shelter Helpers, an initiative formed by my daughter and a group of her friends to support LA based non profits that provide pets and people with shelter. NKLA was at the top of their list to visit, to better understand their services and determine how to best to support them. After learning everything at the door we discovered creating a fundraising page through their site was one of the easiest ways to help them!
The lobby was super busy the Sunday we arrived, with lots of families on site, meeting with potential pets. There were kittens playing in their display area in the lobby and lots of coming and going as people filtered through. Justin ushered our group into the meeting room where our girls eagerly asked lots of questions about how NKLA works.
NKLA is a no-kill shelter. Any animal brought to NKLA is there to be readied for a forever home. They receive all of the pets (dogs and cats) in their facility from six (6) city shelters. NKLA’s goals is to save 100% of all the animals in city shelters. Today they are at 90% rescue of dogs. Their work with city shelters moves almost all of the little dogs out of city shelters into foster and adoptive homes. Big dogs are harder to place and often end up at NKLA.
The number of cats in city shelters is higher than dogs because of the feral cat situation in LA and kitten season overpopulation. You can’t drop off a pet to NKLA. They must go through a city shelter first. Pets at NKLA live there until they forever home is found. Countless volunteers, staff and trainers work to make the dogs and cats comfortable and well cared for.
After all the girls questions were answered, we took a self-guided tour of the shelter, visiting the cats and dogs up for adoption. We first went up the stairs to visit all the cats who were looking for forever homes. Everything is so cute and clean and brightly lit, and there’s so many volunteers on hand, you almost think the pets wouldn’t want to leave. Its pretty awesome there. Through the doors of the main lobby is the dog area.
We visited with all the dogs, chatting with them in their kennels but not reaching out or touching them, we wouldn’t want to cause them undue stress. They already had a lot of visitors that day and its a lot for any dog to handle. Sadly some of the dogs at NKLA don’t find forever homes. This is their home. We were all surprised to learn that the majority of the dogs at NKLA are big dog breeds often with some mixture of pit bull in them, which comes from overbreeding. As a bully owner myself, I know this breed to be gentle and loyal. Look at this gorgeous girl (below) waiting for a forever family.
NKLA has two locations in Los Angeles, one in West LA and a much larger location in Westlake Village. They are partnered with 135+ organizations who all share the mission to spay and neuter, foster and care for pets. There are many ways to get involved like fostering pets and hosting events. Donations can be made online and they welcome donations of bedding, towels, toys and more. You can read all about NKLA and how to help online. And please support our fundraising efforts by going to this page.
LAURA NIX GERSON is the Founder & Editor of MomAngeles a site she launched because she was planning a lot of playdates and her friends kept asking her where to go and what to do. So it seemed easier just to put it all online in one place. In a past life Laura was a publicist, event marketer and web producer….oh wait, she still is. Laura is a regular contributor to Modern Mom and Babble. She is also the CEO of Nix Gerson Media. Follow her @MomAngeles.