PetSpace and LAAC work together to confront overcrowding shelters in L.A.


Partnership aims to ensure more than 1,000 dogs currently in L.A. shelters are finding homes more quickly

Photo courtesy of Wallis Annenberg PetSpace

Photo courtesy of Wallis Annenberg PetSpace

Wallis Annenberg PetSpace and Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) are committed to decreasing the rising numbers of animals in shelters along with improving the overall well-being and lifestyle of these shelter pets. PetSpace and LAAS announced their combined efforts in an organizational release1 and the plan to provide spay/neuter procedures, as well as daily exercise for the shelter animals.

Starting in September, PetSpace will begin a 6-month program of hosting weekly spay/neuter surgeries at their Playa Vista facility for LAAS animals. According to the release, spay/neuter surgeries have been required for all animals leaving L.A. city shelters since 2008 in an effort to decrease the number of pets abandoned each year.1

Photo courtesy of Wallis Annenberg PetSpace

Photo courtesy of Wallis Annenberg PetSpace

"I've been an animal lover all my life. I've believed in the power of the human-animal bond all my life. And I believe very deeply that how we care for animals is a test of our own capacity for love and empathy and decency," said Wallis Annenberg, chair, president, and CEO of Annenberg Foundation, and PetSpace founder in the release.

"We are all heartbroken to learn of conditions at the city's shelters and I want to help be part of the solution, for the long haul. We have so much to learn from the animal world -- so much to gain from the animals in our lives. In return, we must be good stewards, and take the very best care of them that we possibly can,” Annenberg added.1

Also beginning in September, PetSpace will fund 2 new Canine Enrichment Coordinator positions within LAAS, as a one-year pilot program. This position aims to help improve the daily lives of the animals in the shelters by providing exercise and enrichment activities for each pet. According to the release, the canine enrichment coordinators will work collaboratively with current LAAS staff and volunteers across the city's 6 shelter facilities. Together, they will create a structured program to get every dog outside every day, maintain individualized enrichment and training protocols, and improve the emotional and behavioral well-being of all the animals in the shelter.1

The canine enrichment coordinators plan to use different playgroups to provide enrichment to LAAS shelter dogs and assess their play style and behavior with other animals and people. PetsSpace is hoping this will decrease the dogs’ length of stay, increase their potential to be adopted, and identify possible training modifications to help dogs have a better quality of life in both the shelter and its future home. These playgroups will also help reduce stress and anxiety while living in the shelter, potentially reducing the likelihood of behavior euthanasia.

Photo courtesy of Wallis Annenberg PetSpace

Photo courtesy of Wallis Annenberg PetSpace

"We believe that establishing these Canine Enrichment Coordinator positions and increasing the volume of spay/neuter surgeries for Los Angeles Animal Services will create immediate and lasting change for animals in L.A. shelters and help support the efforts of staff and volunteers who are committed to their care," said Gabrielle Amster, director of Wallis Annenberg PetSpace in the release. "This support is only a portion of what is needed to move the needle, so we applaud other agencies for joining the collaborative effort to support the homeless pets of the Los Angeles community."1


Wallis Annenberg PetSpace to partner with Los Angeles Animal Services to immediately address overcrowding and animal wellbeing in L.A. shelters. News release. Wallis Annenberg PetSpace. August 24, 2022. Accessed AUgust 24, 2022.

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