In 2001 the City of Los Angeles made a commitment to work toward “no kill,” an approach to managing animal shelters that ultimately seeks to ensure that no healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized while in the City’s care. This philosophy has endured through the terms of three consecutive mayors, with Councilmember Paul Koretz, its dedicated champion on the City Council.
As a life-long animal lover, Councilmember Koretz has made the welfare of both domestic and wild animals a key concern during his time in public office. In 2011, he became the chair of the Council’s Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee which handles legislative and policy matters relating to animals and the Department of Animal Services. In that role he has taken responsibility for proposing and shepherding several of the City’s most important animal welfare measures through to passage, helping Los Angeles to become a national trendsetter in animal welfare policy and practice.
Councilmember Koretz is committed to working with the City’s animal experts, the humane community, and the animal-loving public to make the Los Angeles a place where all animals are happy and safe, and where animals and humans live in greater harmony.
Councilmember Koretz’s animal welfare accomplishments, initiatives and proposals:
- Authored the City’s landmark ban on the use of bull hooks to control elephants in training and live performances, approved in 2013. Los Angeles was the first major American city to take such an action, but dozens followed suit, forcing Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey Circus to end its century-long use of elephants in performance.
- Authored the City’s ban on the sale of mill-bred animals in pet shops, placing L.A. at the forefront of the national fight against inhumane commercial breeding operations.
- Authored the City’s first requirements to create and preserve wildlife corridors to enhance the safe movement of wild animals while protecting humans in inhabited areas.
- Authored the City’s ban on the declawing of cats and other animals.
- Proposed an increase from three to five for the number of cats permitted in individual households. (Approval awaiting environmental clearance.)
- Worked with Animal Services, the City Attorney and the Bureau of Engineering to address a court injunction prohibiting the City’s participation in the management of feral cats. (Awaiting environmental clearance.)
- Authored legislation to explore methods for encouraging more rental housing to become pet-friendly.
- Urged the City Council to support state legislation providing increased local control over the designation of vicious dogs, designating shelter animals as the official “state pet,” restricting the use of exotic and wild animals in performances, and enhancing humane education in school curricula, amongst others.
- Successfully advocated for enhanced protection of bobcats from commercial hunters by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission.
- Worked with humane advocates and Animal Services to enhance animal shelter hot weather protocols and upgrade animal transport vehicles to better protect animals in heat waves.
- Called for the U.S. Census to include a count of household pets.
- Authored legislation offering a reward for apprehension of the perpetrator of a brutal killing of a small dog.
- Authored legislation mandating cooperation between the Departments of Water and Power and Animal Services in identifying residences with dogs to enhance Animal Service's dog licensing efforts.
- Called on the International Whaling Commission to reduce the hunting of any endangered whale species.
- Authored legislation mandating that publicly-financed affordable housing allow tenants to have companion animals.
- Co-authored legislation to allow pet adoption centers to be located in commercial zones by right.