May 20, 2009

The Truth About Cats & Dogs

2009 seems to be a year already defined by a bevy of terms: financial crisis, the fallout, the economic downturn, the recession. Familiar companies, jobs, even things that make life good (goodbye dear Domino magazine) are falling into the ever-growing swamp of oblivion. Unfortunately, so are pets. Once the best sidekick a person could ask for, is now another number at the local shelter abandoned for the monthly price tag of food and vet bills. In Los Angeles County alone, around 20,000 (!) animals were euthanized last year. See the LA Animal Services 2008 Report. All over the nation and world, it seems every city pound and rescue group has become impacted with an influx of orphaned creatures:


Though I have a few rescued pets myself, the reports of animals being dumped made me want to help more. It started out with a search of local rescue groups and turned into a Sunday ritual of waking up early, heading to the Brentwood Farmer's Market and helping with Lhasa Happy Homes (LHH) dog rescue (or fondly, as we call it in my house, Sunday's visit to the "House of Dog"). While I am partial to squished-face shih tzus and lhasa apsos, on a volunteer mission with LHH at the Best Friends Animal Society's Spring Adoption Festival, I got to meet and see that Los Angeles has a rescue for every type of dog, mutt, cat and feral living in this town.

While you may not be ready to turn your garage into a rescue, donating time is a free way to help. While at first waking up early on a Sunday seems difficult, once you see that first mangy and abused dog come in hopeless and go out healed and happy to a new loving home, you'll get over it. If you're allergic? Why not contact a local group to assist with filing or updating a website, outreach to foster homes or in recruiting other volunteers? If you happen to have a few extra pennies, but no time to spare, why not send in a donation or some pet food? This economic downturn has not only lead to animals being abandoned, but also to the city shelters, humane societies and rescue groups being in great need of funding.

In the Los Angeles area, there are hundreds of organizations waiting for and desperately needing help. Here are some groups:

CATS & DOGS

DOGS

CATS

A complete guide of all the Los Angeles rescues including many more cat rescue groups can be found at: Los Angeles Rescue Guide or At-LA Pet Rescue Guide.

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