Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of heavy impound traffic into the Los Angeles County Shelters. The DACC serves a number of lower income communities, which experience high resident turnover at the end of the school year. Many of the families who move are from cultures in which pets are viewed less as members of the family and more as livestock, and are often abandoned at the shelters when the family leaves.
Because many of these animals spend more time in the yard than in the house, there is a huge influx of strays at the shelters in the weeks surrounding the Fourth of July holiday. Fireworks are common, and many cities in the DACC service area erupt nightly in a volley of explosions reminiscent of war zones. Pets not safely confined to the house are terrified by the noise and escape their yards, ending up in the shelters as strays.
The shelters fill up quickly, and the resulting overcrowding means many lost and abandoned pets will die anonymous deaths in the back of the shelter unless we increase our rescue and adoption rates.
Today Baldwin Park took in 73 cats and dogs. Historical statistics tell us this will only get worse as the season progresses. The only way to change things is to get Los Angeles County, and ideally the entire state of California, to pass laws mandating spay/neuter and prohibiting landlords from discrimination against pet owners. If you want to help alleviate the problem, contact your legislators and demand that these laws be put on the books.