News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.

Animals shelters, coming to a strip mall near you

Tiffany Mui of West Hollywood checks out one of NKLA's pets that is up for adoption.
Tiffany Mui of West Hollywood checks out one of NKLA's pets that is up for adoption.
Mary Plummer/KPCC

Listen to story

Download this story 2MB

Let's say you want to adopt a dog.

In Los Angeles, you'll have to head to a place nestled among factories and warehouses because that's where the zoning code says they can be: in industrial areas.

But that will soon change since the LA City Council voted this week to give pets a new leash on life.

"The city’s zoning was out of date because in the modern world, we should have animal rescues in commercial areas," says Councilman Bob Blumenfield.

He represents the west side of the Valley, and jumped to the cause when he heard about an animal rescue center in his area that was on the verge of closing because of its location in a mall.

The city, however, is in the middle of a multi-year push to make sure most stray animals are adopted, not euthanized. 

Blumenfield says that can be accomplished when shelters are located in more welcoming commercial districts. 

"It makes it much easier to adopt those pets and it makes it easier for the families that want to," he says, "and it keeps the issue of the need for rescues at the forefront of people’s minds because the rescues aren’t going to be in some obscure location."

The new ordinance would permit them to operate in commercial zones.

The LA City attorney now has until early November to draft up the final details of the law, and then the council will look it over for final approval.

So the next time you get groceries, you might be able to stop next door to pick up a new best friend, too.