The City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department (LAAS) was established 153 years ago. LAAS’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).
LAAS 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. LAAS 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 has at least one veterinarian as well as Registered Vet Techs to assist. Our veterinary team has training and experience in orthopedic surgery, wildlife, high volume spay/neuter and more.
Our field staff includes 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 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.
LAAS 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, our live-save rate for dogs and cats was only 57.8% and as of December 2017 the live-save rate was 91.93% for dogs and 80.11% for cats. This is a total count of noses in and noses out. We still have work to do for sure, and we have been making steady progress during the past six years.
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.