Bad Pet Owners Have No Excuse For Los Angeles’ Sleazy Shelters

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For the editor: A letter writer says the LA animal shelter crisis can be blamed on the public abandoning pets for a dizzying array of reasons. The author believes that the problem can be solved with more education.

The dumpers who arrive at shelters in SUVs and flip-flops and with self-righteous attitudes about why they can’t keep their pets don’t care. Most animals are neglected.

The shelter is where the compassionate community standard of care should rise and be held to higher standards than, as the acting CEO of Los Angeles Animal Services put it, “food, water and a clean place”.

There is no education of sociopaths and those who have no personal connection to the animals they abandon. It is not better if the animal is restrained in a house with food bribes or a fixed fence.

We can’t legislate the morality of pet owners, but we hold shelter employees and animal service managers very much accountable for the work they are (well) paid for.

Whitney Smith, Los Angeles

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For the editor: Many of us feel overwhelmed by the size of the pet population in shelters, even though we do what we can by adopting, not buying, usually one animal at a time.

Since part of the responsibility for pet overpopulation lies with breeders, a good first step would be for The Times to stop running advertisements for pets for sale. You could then use your considerable influence with other newspapers to do the same.

It would be a small step, but it’s better than complaining and doing nothing.

Alison Glik, Irvine

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