Let’s the Puppies Live!

This may very well be a purely political move for our flailing mayor, James Hahn, but regardless, I have to say that I was thrilled when I heard that Los Angeles is trying to become a no-kill city by 2008. No-kill is a term used to refer to an animal shelter that does not kill any healthy, adoptable animal that comes into its care. While there are no-kill shelters in Los Angeles, they are privately run and can choose the animals they take in, whereas the city’s shelters must take in every animal they find or have brought to them. Even with that difference, while no-kill is a huge task for the city, it is not impossible. San Francisco has nearly succeeded, and New York and Utah are attempting to make their entire states no-kill. Apparently Mayor Hahn thinks that his newly appointed head the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, Guerdon Stuckey, who has no previous experience in this field of work, is the man for the job. We can only hope that he is right and that his plan becomes a reality. The main problem I see with this idea, besides the lack of experience of Mr. Stuckey (who I am for now willing to give the benefit of the doubt) is that the people of the city of Los Angeles as a whole don’t know what’s going on, and many who do don’t care enough to change it. From packs of feral dogs running around the streets in the less wealthy areas of the city to people selling puppies on Melrose, the city turns a blind eye to this issue and then thinks they can magically change the problem with money. As an animal lover and owner of three beautiful dogs, two rats, and a turtle, this issue hits close to home for me because I rescued two of my three dogs from the pound and found the third running down the street with no tags, clearly abandoned. While I sincerely hope the city can pull this off, I wonder if they are going about it in the right way. The only thing I can think to do is to raise awareness about this issue (hence the blog) and do what I can to donate money and volunteer with the programs that are already in place.
I’ve added some links to articles about this issue, and if anyone has any links for no kill shelters, fund raising events, etc. please add them as well. Let’s do what we can to save the 30,000+ animals that die each year in our city’s shelters.
LA Voice article
LA Times interview with Guerdon Stuckey, head the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services

5 thoughts on “Let’s the Puppies Live!”

  1. I knew there had to be a blog about this somewhere… I’m not saying he has any interest at all, I’m just saying that we, the people in the city of LA, need to do something about the matter and not depend on politicians to do it for us. I don’t think the way they’re going about it is right at all, so I wanted to get some feedback from people as to what we can do to fix, or at least help, the situation. Thanks for the link, Caryn!

  2. Well, I’m glad some bloggers care, but that interview with Stuckey from the LA Times magazine this past weekend (05/08/05, by Janet Kinosian) is pretty unfortunate, in my opinion. Stuckey just doesn’t come off well. At one point he even says that the city’s dog and cat overpopulation is a “drop-dead” issue for him. Good grief.

    He also says, and this is a direct quote, in response to Kinosian’s “What about the euthanasia rooms?”:

    “I have only seen them. I have not witnessed euthanasia. I know what that is like and what that is. Death is death is death. ”

    How eloquent. [snort] And how glad I am that he knows what euthanasia is.

    I think it also would’ve been big of him to mention the work done by the many, many rescues and individuals in the city who promote and perform free and/or low-cost spaying and neutering. And while I agree with the other commenter/blogger that we can’t rely on our city’s/state’s government to solve the problem, since they do such a lousy and underfunded job, I do think we ought to be able to. It’s a quality of life issue, for crying out loud!

    Polly in L.A.
    Spay and neuter! And talk about it!

  3. Stuckey says that the goal is to save all adoptable animals. Well, this word “adoptable” can be manipulated. What qualifies as adoptable? It is too easy to say, “That dog is not adoptable because we don’t have enough space or enough money to keep him alive.”

    Animal shelters should base statistics on how many come in and how many are killed. Not on those who are subjectively described as “adoptable.”

    Please see the below website for my “no kill” animal shelter proposal for Oakland, California. It can serve as a prototype for other areas around California and the country.

    Also, I would like to see the state establish a California Animal Commission, which would advise cities and counties so as to help them move towards “no kill.”

    The Governor’s office is considering this idea at this time, but we need to give him a nudge. Please sign the petition at the website. It will be forwarded to the Governor when we have a significant number of signatures.

    Thank you,

    Charlotte Laws

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