"If you're walking down the street and you see a piece of paper on the sidewalk, bend over and pick it up. It will empower you. No one else had the strength to do it."--Black Elk

While Wall Street fat cats bask in the glow of government bailouts, having screwed up the economy royally, then expecting big bonuses at the end of the year, the ultimate price is being paid for their debauchery by the most innocent among us. Animal shelters are busting at the seams as owners relinquish beloved pets, because they can't afford them anymore.

This year, I've adopted two sweet dogs with behavior problems because shelter staff needed to "flip the space" for more adoptable dogs. One elderly man, recently came into the shelter with his German Shepherd. "He's a great dog," he told the woman behind the counter. "I just can't afford his pills anymore."

I felt a lump in my throat. The senior dog had little chance of getting adopted, since society is fixated on young, white and small.

Saturday's edition of the North County Times reported that the Animal Friends of the Valley, a shelter in Lake Elsinore, is short of food for the animals. So many animals have been surrendered to the shelter, the staff is struggling to come up with the 150 pounds of dog food, and 50 pounds of cat food needed per day. The shelter is also in need of cat litter.

Some animals, such as puppies, senior dogs with dental problems and nursing mothers, require special food such as wet or canned food. Some animals are so stressed when they are surrendered, wet food is the only thing that will entice them to eat.

The shelter is accepting opened bags of dog food and cat litter and cans of food for senior dogs and cats, adult dogs and cats, puppy and kitten chow and special diet food.

I have many years of experience with animals and strongly recommend that grocery-store brand food not be donated. It contains ash and can cause costly bladder problems. A higher quality food from a pet store; or, Kirkland brand at Costco is better for the animals.

Donations can be dropped off at the shelter which is located 29001 Bastron Street in Lake Elsinore. The mailing address is: 33751 Mission Trail, Wildomar, CA 92595.


mentaltwist Sept. 8, 2009 @ 8:32 a.m.

my wife won't allow me to visit the shelters - i always come home with another pet! i'm a sucker for an older dog that had a good life before and want to give it the best life i can...


Robert Johnston Sept. 8, 2009 @ 1:27 p.m.

Give your four-legged best friend a hug today--and be grateful they are with you, rather than in "Pet Prison." At least THEY know what Unconditional Love is all about! --Robbiebear


thestoryteller Sept. 8, 2009 @ 5:04 p.m.

Hey mentaltwist-- You're my kind of man! If you Google "Adopting Katie," you'll find my essay about adopting an older dog. She was the love of my life. Don't ever volunteer at a shelter, you'll wind up with too many animals like I have.

LaPlaca--No one will ever love me like rescue dogs do. They KNOW what you've done for them and appreciate every minute of it.


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