(CNN)Los Angeles has officially become a no-kill shelter city, making it the largest city in the country to do so, according to Best Friends Animal Society, the organization that gives the ratings.
Los Angeles becomes the largest US city with a 'no-kill' animal shelter, group says
LA's save rate is now up to 90.4%, which is over the 90% rate needed to claim no-kill status, according to Best Friends. The group factors in that approximately 10% of pets who enter shelters have medical or behavioral circumstances that warrant humane euthanasia rather than being killed for lack of space.
"When Best Friends Animal Society first launched its No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) initiative in 2012, only 56% of dogs and cats were making it out of Los Angeles city shelters alive," the organization said in a statement.
The group credits Los Angeles Animal Services, a coalition of animal welfare organizations, for the achievement.
"It's difficult to overstate the enormity of this moment and its place in the history of the no-kill movement," Julie Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society, said in a statement. "NKLA has demonstrated what's possible when an entire community works together and if Los Angeles can do it, any city can."
The organization said the achievements and successes of Los Angeles serve as a model for other cities and states. Currently, the United States has a collective 79% save rate, Best Friends says.
"Collaboration is key to saving lives and this coalition has certainly proved that to be true," said Brenda Barnette, general manager of LA Animal Services.
Currently Delaware is the only no-kill state, but the organization says it hopes to make Utah the second.