News Briefs
Lancaster Animal Shelter Leaving Dogs In Poverty And Distress
By Kendra J. Richardson
Mar 18, 2007 - 12:30:00 PM

LOS ANGELES—To many, their pets are members of their families. Often dogs and their owners can be seen on the beaches in California or on nearby streets; throughout neighborhoods playing with children. Being that dogs can become such an intricate part of a person’s family imagine how you would feel if you were living in poverty or if you were subject to neglect by your living conditions. How about for a moment imagine how you would feel if your dog was forced to live that way. At the Lancaster Animal Shelter, dogs are living in disgustingly vial conditions with no real hope in sight. However, you can help.

At the Lancaster Animal Shelter, dogs are living in poverty. Several of them are living in absolute suffering at the hands of constant neglect. The conditions are dirty and the dogs are residing in their own urine and feces on a daily basis. All of the dogs are in need of a good home for any real chance of survival. Abuse in animal shelters, to most, would be viewed as a crime, but interestingly it isn’t. The abuse that takes place in animal shelters is not punishable by law so often the abuse dogs suffer goes unpunished.

In an interview with Bill Crowe, new discoveries were made into the sad and disgusting conditions that dogs at the Lancaster Animal Shelter and several others are forced to live in.

The conditions at the animal shelter were first brought to Crowe’s attention through the Antelope Dalmatian Rescue Group. The director of the rescue group called Crowe to seek help for a mother and her puppies that had been rescued from the Lancaster Animal Shelter. The woman advised Crowe that she found the dogs freezing and living in their own excrements. Immediately, Crowe knew he had to see these horrendous conditions for himself. Crowe says that what he saw was very “disgusting and disturbing”.

At present, California law only punishes animal abuse in the form of dog beating, improper feeding and animal cruelty such as beating. Crowe explained that technically no crime has been committed at the shelter under the current statutes set up by the California laws. In that the Lancaster Animal Shelter is a county shelter, the state laws on animal cruelty do not apply. Until the state laws are modified to pertain to county shelters, it will not be deemed as a crime the way the dogs are treated at Lancaster. For the laws to be modified, citizens are the key. Presently, the feelings of the city council are split. Some feel that the way the animals are being treated require attention and serious reprimand of the animal shelters that allow these conditions. However, others feel that there are other pressing issues and that the animals are the least of their worries. According to Crowe, Assembly member Levine is the only active member that is truly concerned about animal protection.

Crowe feels that public awareness is the start for change. Public awareness results in action which is what is necessary. Actions such as complaining, writing letters and calls to your local assembly members will bring attention. Assembly members do take notice of the issues they are presented with. Crowe believes that this is a good start.

Citizens can contact their local representative and make their concerns known. You can call the Lancaster City Hall to find out when the local meetings are held. You can also write to the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control. Marcia Mayeda is the director at the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control Center. The address is 5898 Cherry Avenue, Long Beach, California 90805.

Public pressure is the way to create change. Crowe says that according to Gandhi, “A nation should be judged by the way they treat their animals”. Many animals are not provided the necessary mercies to present a good picture of our nation. Make a change! Volunteer, write letters and make your voice be heard.


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