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A single day's statistics for one L.A. shelter speak volumes

September 3, 2009 | 11:54 pm

Simone When submitter Colin brought his adopted dog Simone (pictured) home from the South Los Angeles animal shelter, the little creature "was so exhausted ... that she slept for a week straight," he says. "She is a wonderful dog and many more great animals need good homes!"

We couldn't agree with Colin more on that last point, and we couldn't be happier for Simone, who clearly wound up in a wonderful home.

But what of the other dogs and cats at the shelter?  Tomika Johnson, New Hope program coordinator for South L.A., offers a small snapshot of day-to-day business there.

On a single day this week -- Wednesday -- the shelter placed nine dogs and two cats with permanent homes or pet rescue groups. That same day, it accepted 32 dogs and five cats (including those impounded as strays and those surrendered at the shelter by their owners). With odds like that, how can animal lovers ever hope to solve the pet overpopulation problem?

The issue certainly won't be solved overnight, or even in a year or two or 10. It's easy to become overwhelmed by the scope of the problem, but there are a few small things individuals can do to make a big difference. First and foremost, adopt a needy pet (you can even register to receive e-mail alerts about shelter pets of a particular breed at the PetHarbor website) and make sure your existing pets are spayed or neutered. Beyond those obvious points, shelters are always in need of donations in the form of dog and cat toys, litter boxes, beds and blankets, newspapers and white vinegar.  

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Colin / Your Scene

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