HUNTINGTON BEACH -- Instead of collecting toys for needy children this
holiday season, Adrienne Parks wants to help homeless canines.
Parks, who has lived in Surf City for 11 years, has adopted an animal
shelter and hopes to raise funds and collect squeakers, chew bones and
other playthings for stray dogs.
"This time of year there are so many people out there trying to help
others who have no place to go," she said. "I just wondered about the
dogs, cats and other pets that are also out on the street."
To encourage donations, Parks turned decorative lawn reindeer into
lighted golden retrievers, pulling a sleigh across the frontyard of her
home at 17085 Westport Drive. On Christmas Eve, she'll deliver the
contributions to the Seal Beach Animal Care Center because she supports
their "no-kill" policy of not euthanizing animals to free up cage space.
"I just wanted to remind people that there are shelters out there with
dogs and cats that need good homes, especially right now," Parks said.
The Seal Beach animal shelter is at 1700 Adolfo Lopez Drive, and finds
homes for about 1,000 pets each year.
"It's absolutely wonderful the way people are encouraging our type of
shelter," said Pierrette Manfredi, office manager at the Seal Beach
shelter. "We're completely run by volunteers and to find our funding."
Karen Chepeka, president of the Save Our Strays group in Huntington
Beach, said the city desperately needs its own humane animal shelter to
meet the needs of the community and give residents a place to take their
"This city spends about $425,000 each year in a contract with Orange
County Animal Control to collect stray and vicious animals," she said,
adding that those animals are taken to the county's animal care center in
Orange, where by law they must be kept for at least four days before
City officials are looking into possibly building an animal shelter in
Huntington Beach, and may have a report ready by early next year.
Another facet of animal shelters is their ability to find good homes
for dogs and cats.
"When people go Christmas shopping, some stop at pet stores to pick
animals up as gifts," she said. "But when things don't work out between
the pets and adults or children, they're returned to animal shelters."
At the Seal Beach shelter, entire families must come in and fill out
an application before taking a new pet home.
Officials at the Huntington Beach Humane Society, with a shelter at
21632 Newland Ave., said their facility also keeps animals until they're
adopted by pet-seeking residents, but typically doesn't accept strays
from the community because contracts with Westminster and Costa Mesa keep
"It would be great if we had a humane shelter here for residents,"
Parks said. "Because if these animals go the county shelter and no one
claims or adopts them ... they're gone."