By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
”We’ve just begun to think about demonstrations and teach-ins to see just how many people are really concerned,“ she said. ”There was a time when people would be marching in the streets about this, but the public at large are not really outraged about it. It‘s easy to support rights and freedom when you don’t feel attacked. The challenge is to fight for them when you are attacked.“
Among the lesser-known charity victims of September 11 have been the more exotic animal shelters.
”We haven‘t received one donation after September 11,“ Francoise Koster of the Villa Lobos Rescue Center recently told the Weekly. Among other things, her Agua Dulce--based group, which operates a 10-acre care facility in the high desert, takes abused and abandoned pit bulls from shelters and gives them to at-risk teenagers in probation camps. Villa Lobos has suffered the same abrupt money shortfall as Tujunga’s Wildlife Waystation, the 160-acre spread founded by Martine Colette in 1976 and which is home to a wide array of large animals, including wolves, lions, leopards, bears and baboons.
”In three months we have been at between 40 and 45 percent of our normal funding,“ Colette said. ”I believe all animal charities are affected -- with the bigger organizers that get a lot of their money from the East Coast more affected than smaller local ones.“
(Melinda Lopez, customer- service manager of the Glendale Humane Society, confirms that, while her shelter experienced a general falloff in its dealings with the public during the month following September 11, overall donations and adoptions are now back to normal.)
Colette maintains that the Waystation‘s recent battles with L.A. County over fire and safety issues have had nothing to do with its funding problems, claiming that longtime supporters had still been making donations up until the terrorist attacks. Despite the clear connection between September 11 and the evaporation of donations, Colette doesn’t know precisely why Waystation donors have allowed the attacks to influence their support. ”It‘s a little tacky to ask,“ she said.
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