Dog Shelter Offers Comforts of Home

Celebrating its 25th year of service, the Pet Orphans Fund continues to make being a dog without a home just a little bit easier.

The no-kill private animal shelter recently opened two “real-life rooms,” set up to help dogs cope with kennel stress.

“It helps them relax,” said Katie Peterson, a staff member who oversees the real-life rooms. “Basically, these rooms can really change a dog’s personality for the better.”

Peterson said that spending too much time in a kennel can cause dogs to lose weight rapidly or whirl around in circles uncontrollably, or can lead to self-mutilation.

The stress-relieving rooms are furnished with a small couch, chair, radio and television. Tiled in soft blue and pink, the rooms, about 7 feet wide by 10 feet long and 9 feet high, are meant to soothe the dogs.

The pet adoption and education center houses about 60 dogs and 80 cats. And although the cats don’t get to use the real-life rooms, many of them do get to stay in a cat condo, with screened, open porches for them to laze in the sun.

The center also provides rescue services, lost-and-found services and telephone counseling, among other operations.

Most of the pets housed there have been taken directly off death row, Peterson said.

“At most pounds they would be put to sleep after being up for adoption for five to seven days, so that’s where we step in,” Peterson said.

For more information on services or the location of the Pet Orphans Fund shelter, call (818) 901-0190.