Los Angeles Times
No excuse for squalid shelters
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.
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