Los Angeles Animal Services announced Wednesday it is partnering with Wallis Annenberg PetSpace to help respond to the ongoing issue of overcrowding and overall animal wellbeing in city shelters.

PetSpace, a community space that includes an interactive place for pet adoptions, will fund two positions for canine enrichment coordinators within animal services as a one-year pilot program. It will also host weekly spay and neuter surgeries for six months.

Wallis Annenberg, chair of the Annenberg Foundation and founder of Petspace, said in a statement that she was heartbroken to learn of the conditions at the city’s shelters. Animal Services officials have blamed insufficient staff levels for problems including dogs living in overcrowded conditions while sometimes going weeks or months without being walked.

“I want to help be part of the solution, for the long haul,” Annenberg said. “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.”

The coordinators will help create a structured program across the city’s six facilities to make sure dogs get outside on a daily basis. They will also help maintain enrichment and training protocols for the animals.

The positions will be funded for one year and be evaluated based on whether they reduce kennel stress and the number of adoptions for animals at the city shelters.

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