The Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has closed the doors of its South Gate shelter after 39 years. The resident pets, mostly dogs and cats, were transferred to other shelters. The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control shelter in Downey took 76 animals, while the Long Beach Animal Control shelter received 18 animals. More than 40 animals were transferred to the Hawthorne shelter of the society. The SPCA, a nonprofit organization which contracts with Southeast cities, had rented its building from the city of South Gate. Society officials had wanted to purchase the building and expand but South Gate was not willing to sell.
Before the closure Saturday, an escaped feline at right attracts the attention of other cats caged and waiting to be transported. Tony Mendez, below with an armload of puppies bound for Hawthorne, spends his last day of employment with the SPCA shuttling animals out of the South Gate shelter. Volunteer Carol Leamy, below right, spends a tender moment in kennel with a stray and her eight pups before their removal. Leamy had been visiting and caring for the litter since the pups were two days old.