L.A., by contrast, impounded 54,129 dogs and cats in 2009. Almost a quarter of the dogs and more than half the cats taken to the city's six shelters were put down -- for untreatable illness, intractable behavior or dearth of space. A staggering 4,930 were neonatal animals that could not be kept alive without bottle feeding or a nursing mother. Most of those were kittens.
And that is despite the city's success last year at increasing the number of foster volunteers, performing free sterilizations (800 at six special community events), opening another spay-neuter clinic and completing about 26,500 adoptions of canines and felines, according to interim general manager Kathy Davis. A total of 31,000 dogs and cats did make it out of the shelters alive last year.