Nearly every weekend I send out either the latest Baldwin Park or Downey shelter networking list with a commentary on the latest travesty, miscarriage of justice and abuse of power perpetrated by the dismal bureaucrats running the Los Angeles County Department of Animal ‘Care’ and Control. In a refreshing change, this week is different.
For the last several month impounds have dropped significantly at the Baldwin Park shelter; but more importantly the shelter’s staff has worked tirelessly to find homes for its pets, and to work with rescues and no kill shelters to move their pets to safety. As opposed to previous years when pets were being killed merely for time, new policies have been implemented and this year pets are only to be killed for space. So far, nearly always, Baldwin Park has been able to find space to accommodate its dogs. Kennel attendants who in previous years were taking the long slow walk to the back of the shelter to kill dogs, are now spending their time providing care and showcasing pets for potential adopters. Cases of upper respiratory illness amongst the shelters’ pets are dramatically down and I am making fewer emergency pleas for rescue for dogs with pneumonia.
Meanwhile at Downey, the shelter’s manager Danny Ubario has sent out encouraging signals that Downey is prepared to work with rescues and is going to try to rival Baldwin Park as a rescue friendly shelter. The rivalry is welcome and the Downey staff are working collaboratively with their volunteers on finding new no kill shelters where they can transport their pets to. There is a genuine sense of optimism that I have heretofore not experienced and I keep having to pinch myself to make sure this isn’t a dream.
However we still have a long way to go and the only way Baldwin Park and Downey can be successful and continue to improve is if we all work together to help them adopt and rescue their deserving pets.