Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Today's Rescue

I think there is a misconception among a lot of dog owners in L.A. that some of the city shelters are not a bad place to be if you're a dog. I mean, look how fancy the buildings are! Sure, when you step out into the rows there's a lot of traumatized barking, and the cages are stuffed with 3, 4, sometimes 5 dogs, but check out that fancy architectural glass work! And those sparkling fountains! You see families surrendering their dogs here all the time.

What I think they don't realize is that, as a South L.A. volunteer told me a few weeks ago, the dogs in the shelter don't get walked, they don't get blankets to sleep on (at least at South L.A.), they don't get toys and they mostly don't get treats. For the most part, they never leave their cages. EVER. And then over half of them are walked to the back and euthanized, at which point they are handed over to a plant where they are ground up and added to crappy dog food or fertilizer or god knows what else.

I'd like to ask the we're moving and my new apartment doesn't allow pets people handing in their dogs what they think about that scenario. Or the I don't have the time/money/patience to take care of my animal but can watch three hours of reality TV every night on my flat-screen while deciding which new $30K SUV I'm going to upgrade to folks if they'd actually thought about what might actually happen to their pets after they surrendered them.

I suppose it's also the fault of the people in charge that the general public isn't better educated about pet welfare, and that puppy mills are still allowed to churn out pet-store dogs when there are so many already waiting for homes. And granted, not all shelters are as bleak as their L.A. counterparts.

But it's a losing situation no matter how you look at it, and until we get some visionary, pro-active leadership at the top (of L.A. Animal Services and at L.A. County), and people stop being so blase about animal ownership, it's not going to change anytime soon.

(Thus ends my tirade.)

Adopt! Adopt! Adopt!

(Clockwise, from top left; click to view larger)

Male labrador retriever
6 months old
ID#: A897094
South L.A. shelter

Male labrador retriever mix
2 and 1/2 years old
ID#: A892522
East Valley shelter

Male chow chowmix
3 years old
ID#: A897301
East Valley shelter

4: MAX
Male labrador retriever mix
Unknown age
ID#: A899361
North Central shelter

Male chow chow mix
8 years old
ID#: A895905
East Valley shelter

Female labrador retriever
2 and 1/2 years old
ID#: A865787
North Central shelter

For more information, call L.A. Animal Services at 888.452.7381 or go to

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