Creating a Humane LA
The City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department was established 153 years ago. The Department's major areas of responsibility are saving the lives of animals that end up at one of our six City shelters. Public Safety and Enforcement of Municipal Code (Article 3:53.00).
LA Animal Services operates six animal shelters and has field staff serving the community. The shelters are award winning facilities that have been built within the past 10-15 years. LA Animal Services is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the U.S., serving approximately 60,000 animals annually and responding to 20,000 emergency calls each year involving animals or people in danger.
Each shelter features a team of animal care technicians who oversee the care and enrichment of the pets in our care and has at least one veterinarian as well as Registered Veterinary Technicians who assist. Our veterinary and medical team has training and experience in orthopedic surgery, wildlife, high volume spay/neuter and more.
Our field staff include animal control officers, license canvassers, and a world class Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team (SMART) – one of only two in the country. Our Animal Control Officers are recognized experts in handling animal cruelty cases, they also handle permits and all code enforcement including licensing, spay/neuter, leash laws and more whether they are helping dogs, cats, hawks, alligators, horses, turtles, etc. or the people who love them or fear them.
LA Animal Services is often the leader on progressive animal issues. Los Angeles was the first major city to pass the ban of the use of the elephant bull hook inspiring other cities fall into step, Ringling Brothers began making plans to retire the elephants from circus acts. The earliest declawing legislation began here and is now being considered by New York and beyond. The anti-puppy mill ordinance to prevent the importation of mill bred puppies and kittens began in Los Angeles and cities across the United States are starting to join that movement.
In Fiscal Year 2011-12, the live-save rate for dogs and cats was only 57.8 percent. By year-end 2020, the city sustained a save rate of 90.49 percent. A 90 percent save rate is the nationally recognized benchmark to be considered no-kill, factoring that approximately 10 percent of pets who enter shelters have medical or behavioral circumstances that warrant humane euthanasia rather than killing for lack of space.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about unprecedented challenges to the world, including the animal welfare industry, but it also brought about new opportunities. The Human Animal Support Services was introduced in June 2020 to reimagine animal sheltering to include rallying our community around the needs of the animals in our care, the offering of resources and programs to care for both ends of the leash -- pets and the people who love them.
Looking for ways to keep pets and families together, LA Animal Services launched the weekly Pet Food Pantry at three of our locations, which offers free pet food to owners who need help feeding their animal companions; monthly online support for foster parents and families who need assistance in helping their newly adopted pets acclimate to their new homes; and community resources like pets.findhelp.com, a free, first-of-its-kind website where people in Los Angeles can find and access free and low-cost pet services in their community.
LA Animal Services operates six shelter locations throughout Los Angeles, which are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am to 5pm, and Saturdays and Sundays, from 11am to 5pm. Our Centers are closed on Mondays. Since the pandemic, we have started to schedule the intake of animals to better serve the community and the animals who come into our care, with appointments needed on Wednesdays and Fridays. Sick, injured, and dangerous animals are accepted into shelters without appointments. In 2022, the number of animals being brought into our shelters outpaced the number of pets we have found homes for, so through our Shelter-at-Home program we are asking the community to help lost pets find their way home without having to go to a shelter, and if pet owners can no longer care for their pet, look at other alternatives and solutions to surrendering their companion animal into our Centers. Caring for pets both in and out of our shelters is an ongoing collaborative effort between the City, LA Animal Services and the community.
As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services and activities.
The Los Angeles Animal Services Department was formed by ordinance in 1947. With the General Manager as executive, the Department is under the control of a Board of Commissioners, with five members appointed by the Mayor, and by the City Council of Los Angeles.
Annette G. Ramirez has been interim general manager of Los Angeles Animal Services since February 2022. Los Angeles Animal Services is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the U.S., with six shelters serving approximately 60,000 animals annually and responding to 20,000 emergency calls each year involving animals or people in danger.
To promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of animals and people.
We envision a day when every pet born has a good home and is cared for all its life, when no person is ever endangered by an animal and when all Angelenos are actively engaged in making Los Angeles the most humane city in the nation.
We value each employee, volunteer and partner contributing to the professional delivery of excellent customer service and the humane treatment of animals, in an atmosphere of open, honest communication, predicated on our respect for and trust in each other. Our values depict the highest standards of:
Respect – We pledge to treat each person thoughtfully, politely and kindly regardless of rank or relationship.
Trust – We strive to conduct ourselves in an honest, ethical, professional and respectful manner in everything we think, do and say, inspiring confidence in our abilities and our honesty.
Open and Honest Communication – We commit to complete transparency in all forms of communication and to carefully listen to the communications of one another.
Customer Service – We pledge to provide our best service to every customer, whether an internal or an external customer, every time.
Humane Treatment – At all times and in all places, we vow to care compassionately, advocate actively and work tirelessly to insure the best possible environment for all animals.
Our Service Theme
Creating a Humane LA