Los Angeles isn't a so-called “no kill” city when it comes to unwanted pets that end up in public shelters.

But it's getting closer, says the group Best Friends Animal Society.

The organization boasted this week that far fewer public shelter animals were killed in January compared to one year ago:

The numbers, based on city of L.A. Animal Services data, show that 227 fewer animals were killed last month compared to January, 2012, the group says.

The stats are even better when January, 2011 is considered: There were 324 fewer pets put to death last month compared to then.

Best Friends Animal Society says its immediate goal is to see that 9 out of 10 pets that end up in city shelters go to new owners instead of to the canine morgue.

City Animal Services general manager Brenda Barnette says the latest numbers are “reflective of the continuing great effort between private animal rescue groups and L.A. Animal Services.”

Last year the City Council voted to ban retail dog and cat sales in L.A., a move that would force pet stores to push for adoptions from shelters and rescue groups.

Francis Battista, co-founder of the society:

We are exceeding our goals, but there is still much to be done.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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