As the campaign states, big or little, these pets’ hearts are huge and that’s what really matters. The center’s goal is to introduce the community to its awesome pets of every size and help determine which would be the best fit for each adopter’s lifestyle.
Another goal of the campaign is to educate potential adopters about several misconceptions of pet ownership, such as the notion that a big dog needs a large backyard in order to be happy. That’s not necessarily true, according to Mike Harmon, adoption manager at the center.
“As long as they get out for frequent potty breaks and a nice walk every day, many of our big dogs are actually quite content to be couch potatoes. It just depends on their age and activity needs,” Mike says. “We have an eight year old boxer mix here named Amos that would be a perfect apartment, condo or townhome dog.”
On the flip side, little dogs are sometimes mislabeled as yippy troublemakers, a myth that Mike is quick to dispel.
“Any dog can be feisty; it’s not a size-specific trait. If you take a look at our kennels, you’ll see we have many mild-mannered little dogs, young and old, that would love nothing more than to snuggle up in your lap and give you kisses.”
Another popular thought is that it’s best to adopt and raise a puppy from a young age, when, in reality, an adult or senior pet would make a much better alternative.
“A calm, mellow adult dog may be an easier fit for a busy family that doesn’t have a lot of time for training or exercise. What you see is what you get with an adult dog, too, so there aren’t any unwelcome temperament changes,” Mike says.
The same holds true for cats. While incredibly adorable, kittens require a fairly significant investment of time and energy to ensure proper enrichment takes place. If that’s not a commitment a pet owner wants to take on, Mike suggests considering an older feline. “We have adult cats from one to 15 years old, from playful to mellow. They’re low maintenance and bring a lot of joy into a home. Most adult cats are already housebroken, too, which is a huge plus.”
Lastly, there’s the common misconception that you can’t find purebred dogs to adopt and therefore they must be purchased from a breeder. Actually, the opposite is the case. The pet population at Best Friends Pet Adoption Center can include up to 25 percent purebreds such as Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, Mastiffs, Pit Bull Terriers, German Shepherds, Poodles, Lhasa Apsos, Brussels Griffons, Cairn Terriers and more at any given time.
Persons interested in adopting a pet can view available pets at the Best Friends Los Angeles website (http://bfla.bestfriends.org/adoptable-pets.html).
Since the pet population changes on a daily basis, however, Mike suggests
coming down to the center, which is open daily from noon to 8 p.m. and
conveniently located within minutes of the 5/405/118 freeways.
“That way you can meet these fantastic pets in person and work with our adoption specialists to really make that perfect match,” he says. “We also encourage people to bring in their dogs for a meet and greet, so everyone
in the household is happy about their new best friend.”
The Best Friends Pet Adoption Center is located 15321 Brand Boulevard in
Mission Hills. For more information, call (818) 643-3989 or visit http://bfla.bestfriends.org.
About Best Friends Animal Society Los Angeles
Best Friends Animal Society Los Angeles is working collaboratively with animal rescue groups, city shelters and passionate individuals who are all dedicated to the mission of making Los Angeles a no-kill city. As part of this mission, Best Friends hosts adoption and fundraising events, runs the Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay Neuter Center in Mission Hills, and leads the NKLA initiative.
NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles) is a coalition of animal welfare organizations, city shelters and passionate individuals, led by Best Friends Animal Society. NKLA is dedicated to ending the killing of healthy and treatable pets in L.A. shelters by providing spay/neuter services where they are needed most so fewer animals go into shelters, and increasing adoptions through the combined efforts of the NKLA coalition so more animals come out of the shelters and go into new homes. In 2012, the coalition's first year of existence, L.A. shelter deaths decreased 12 months in a row, culminating in 4,200 fewer animals killed than in the year prior. Also in 2012, the NKLA Coalition facilitated 23,421 adoptions and 4,458 spay/neuter surgeries were performed.