Los Angeles Times

No excuse for squalid shelters

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Re “Shelter, not a dumping ground,” letters, July 17

A letter writer asserts that Los Angeles’ animal shelter crisis can be blamed on the public, which abandons pets for a dizzying array of reasons. The writer feels the problem can be addressed with more education.

The dumpers who arrive at shelters in SUVs and flip-flops and with selfrighte­ous attitudes about why they cannot keep their pets do not care. Most of the animals come in neglected.

The shelter is where compassion­ate community standard of care should level up and be held to higher criteria than, as the interim general manager of Los Angeles Animal Services put it, “food, water and a clean place.”

There is no educating sociopaths and those with no personal bond with the animals they abandon. It’s not better for the animal to be retained in a home with bribes of food or a fixed fence.

We cannot legislate morality among pet owners, but we much hold shelter employees and animal service officials accountabl­e for the job that they are paid (well) to do.

Whitney Smith

Los Angeles

Many of us feel overwhelme­d by the size of the shelter pet population, even though we do what we can by adopting, not shopping, usually just one pet at a time.

Since some of the responsibi­lity for pet overpopula­tion lies with breeders, a good first step would be for The Times to stop carrying advertisem­ents for pets for sale. You could then use your considerab­le influence with other newspapers to do the same.

This would be one small step, but it is better than complainin­g and doing nothing.

Alison Glik Irvine

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