LA’s animal shelters are in crisis. How can the public help?

For the editor: Your article about the desperate need for help for small mammals in Los Angeles city-run animal shelters was so important. The public should be aware that volunteers not only care for these small animals, but also often spend their own money to feed them.

But I ask: why not include information for readers who want to help in some way? Why not provide an address or phone number where your readers can send donations or even ask to volunteer?

The Times often publishes articles about organizations or people in need. These are important stories. But it would be a good public service to include information about where the public can send help or donations or call to volunteer.

There are so many people who want to help. A little extra information would make it easier for them.

Barbara Lieberman, West Hills

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For the editor: When I walked with a volunteer into the small mammal room at San Pedro Port Animal Sanctuary, I was amazed. A terrible smell emanated from the cages stacked almost to the ceiling, and the suffering animals cried out.

My volunteer friend climbed a ladder to lower the heavy cages and lift the rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs so she could clean up. It is a difficult and exhausting work of four hours.

It was also shocking (to me) that no one who worked there had recently entered the room to check on the 50+ animals or even turn on the lights. We brought hay, parsley and bottles of water, which we paid for ourselves, as the shelter didn’t have any.

If shelters are to accommodate animals donated by the public, they must also care for those animals. Shame on the city employees who allow this to happen and thank God for the volunteers.

Jill Jaxx, San Pedro

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For the editor: Thanks to reporters Dakota Smith and Melissa Gomez for their tenacity in dealing with the problems of the Los Angeles Animal Services.

Some time ago I spent a number of interesting and rewarding years with shelter pet rabbits. Then the volunteers were welcomed.

Without Smith and Gomez’s reports, most of the current problems in Los Angeles animal shelters would be buried.

Lisa Edmondson, Los Angeles


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Jennifer R. Strohm