Monday, March 9, 2009

The Friday edition of the San Gabriel Valley Times ran an article mentioning our blue Pit Bull from the Pasadena Humane Society:

Pasadena Humane Society shelter at capacity

By Sharon Hardwick, Correspondent

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Maddie Mayes,15 , of South Pasadena visits the Pasadena Humane Society to look at the many dogs at the shelter Thursday, March 5, 2009. The Pasadena Humane Society is filled to capacity with dogs and is hoping that their will be an increase in dog and cat adoptions. Many owners have turned in their dogs and cats because of the downturn in the economy. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Walt Mancini)

PASADENA- One of Pasadena Humane Society's longest resident pooches, rumored to be faced with certain death, finally found a home Thursday.

Sort of.

The pit bull of kennel number 112 was getting a new home, but not a new family.

A local rescue group had answered an appeal by the society, which, according to spokeswoman Ricky Whitman, is bursting at the seams.

"We are at capacity," Whitman said. "We are full with some wonderful pet-quality dogs. Many people are turning in animals and we are assuming it has to do with the economy. To them it's setting the animal free; to us it's abandonment."

Taking in animals from seven cities including Pasadena, the shelter has seen an increase of 2000 animals since last year. The rise in relinquishments and rescues has forced the staff to network even harder with outside rescue organizations.

"We weren't built to house animals for long periods of time," Whitman said. These days rescue groups come by more than once a week to collect animals the shelter can't provide for, she said.

But the sinking economy is having a general effect and, she said, the reality is there just aren't enough homes.

Whitman hopes that families will contact the shelter before making the decision to give up their pet.

"We are in a position to provide assistance to someone who wants to give their pet up," she said. "We just ask them to give us a call beforehand, because by the time they get here people have made the decision to relinquish."

The Pasadena shelter can assist pet-owners with veterinary costs, food, counseling and advice on how to take care of their pet. Relinquishing a pet should be a last resort, she said, especially when finding homes is so difficult.

"There comes a time when dogs no longer `kennel' well," she said, and once their behavior and health begin to deteriorate, the animal's future looks bleak.

"The decision for euthanasia is really difficult for staff," Whitman said, adding that discussion is often long and recommendations must come from staff at every level.

However, as the economy worsens and families feel forced to make decisions about where finances are best spent, it's often the pets that get left behind.

The society, she said, is seeing the direct result.

In all Whitman's time at the shelter, she said, "I've never seen anything like this."

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