(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Los Angeles City Council members voted Wednesday to ramp up investments in lowering dog and cat euthanasia rates at animal shelters. The vote comes ahead of the city’s self-imposed December deadline for achieving “no-kill” status for all Los Angeles Department of Animal Services-operated shelters.

According to the motion, the city is committed to achieving “no-kill live release” status for all healthy and adoptable animals by Dec. 31. The council said it would work with the No Kill Los Angeles coalition, rescue organizations and the public to develop a “comprehensive strategy” to meet its year-end goal.

A shelter is considered “no-kill” when it saves 90 percent or more of its cats and dogs, according to the motion. In the past, the city’s shelters have hovered at less than 50 percent.

In 2003, then-Mayor James Hahn set a goal for the city to become no-kill by 2008, according to the Los Angeles Animal Services website. That goal was not met.

But getting to no-kill status takes time and a huge investment on the city’s part by offering more adoption incentives, shelter staff members and public outreach, according to Councilmember Paul Koretz, the motion’s co-sponsor.

“We try to make it as reasonable as possible for people to adopt,” Koretz told KPCC. “We also only save money by not having to euthanize animals, which is a costly process as well.”

Koretz said he felt the entire council was behind making Los Angeles a model for animal shelters across the state and country.

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