Letters to the Editor: This Orange County animal shelter could teach L.A. a lot

Columnist Robin Abcarian's foster dogs, Paddington, Boo-Boo, Pooh and Charmin.
(Robin Abcarian / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: After reading Robin Abcarian’s column about her fostering of four puppies, which mentioned the grim fate of many animals in shelters, I felt I could show what a well-run shelter looks like and what is possible.

In 1983, some city leaders and veterinarians in San Clemente believed that they could do a better job of caring for animals than Orange County did. They put out the word that they were looking for volunteers to help care for homeless dogs and cats. I was one of those volunteers.

It wasn’t easy in those days, but we knew what was at stake. The local newspaper came to our aid and published photos of us walking the dogs and caring for the cats. Soon charity groups held fundraisers for us.


Today, some 40 years later, I still volunteer and am very proud of all the animals for which we have found loving homes.

If a small town like San Clemente can do it, maybe leaders in L.A. can make their city care for animals in a decent manner.

Sandra Ackerman, Capistrano Beach


To the editor: Thanks to Abcarian for her column on the importance of fostering dogs.

She is right: Fostering saves dogs’ lives. It actually saves two — the one that is fostered, and the space that is created to save another. Those of us working to save dogs at high-kill shelters are joyous when a dog is pulled from the euthanasia list. But sadly, the cage will quickly be occupied by another.

We can only work our way out of the problem of pet over-population by offering affordable spay and neuter programs, by stopping backyard breeders, and by adopting rather than buying dogs.

California is not “no kill.” We are second only to Texas in the number of dogs euthanized annually. We have do better.


Melissa Klaskin Levy, Los Angeles