The owners of “rescue” dogs are sometimes full of it. They proclaim to be the pooch's BFF, but often they're just buying used, designer breeds and claiming to be altruistic. This is a particularly L.A. phenomenon.
The real dog problem in Los Angeles is in our barrios, where thousands of strays, often of the kinds of breeds those Westsiders wouldn't touch with a 10-foot Prius, are abandoned and uncared for. Jesse Katz's amazing Los Angeles magazine piece from 2006 tells the true tale of our canine neglect.
Props to the ASPCA, then, for recognizing the real need in our community and putting $25 million of its money where its mouth is:
The organization announced today that it's dedicating that cash to a “multi-year commitment to to save the lives of animals in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area,” according to a statement.
The key piece of this commitment is free spaying and neutering for the canines of South L.A. residents as well as for dogs at the South Los Angeles Animal Care Center in Chesterfield Square, where a new ASPCA spay/neuter facility will move in.
The ASPCA has also dedicated $1 million to paying fees involved in getting dogs out of city and county shelters and into the hands of rescue groups.
Some of the $25 mil will go to transferring unwanted L.A. pooches to communities in other states that have greater pet needs and fewer dogs on the streets.
The group will hire two “safety net” staffers who will counsel folks who might have trouble keeping or affordng their pets, the ASPCA says:
These safety net positions will work with the pet-owning public to provide a variety of resources – spay/neuter services, veterinary care, and animal-related social services – when they face challenges that could lead to pet relinquishment.
The ASPCA has been providing free spay and neutering in New York for more than 15 years. Now it's time for L.A., America's stray-dog capital, where there's a lot of talk but not a lot of walk, to get its act together.
Brenda Barnette, general manager of the city's Los Angeles Animal Services:
The spay/neuter clinic is a critical service not currently available in South Los Angeles that will help ensure the safety and well-being of local pets, and will prevent unwanted births, reducing the dogs and cats entering the shelter. It is an important component of our strategy to get pets off of the streets and into loving homes of their own.