A new investigation and many social media posts has spotlighted a disturbing trend that has been going on at Los Angels animal shelters.
Many dogs currently living at LA shelters like the Chesterfield Square Animal Shelter in South LA are going weeks and sometimes months without going for walks or getting time to be outside, the Los Angeles Times reported in a spotlight investigation.
CBSLA visited the Chesterfield shelter and talked to Agnes Sibal, the public information director for LA Animal Services.
Sibal did not deny the facts reported by the LA Times investigation. Sibal said that the report doesn’t tell the complete story though.
“All the animals – dogs – in our shelter get daily enrichment,” Sibal said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean they get walked everyday. However they do get some form of exercise and interaction with volunteers or staff.”
She also claimed that the shelter’s staff is mindful of the dogs needing attention and care even though they remain in their kennels for weeks or months.
“There are instances where it’s behavioral issues where they pose a danger to themselves or other animals or staff and volunteers where they may go for weeks not being able to get walked. Or if they’re part of an evidence case,” Sibal said.
There are roughly 300 dogs currently living at the South LA shelter, interim general manager at Animal Services Annette Ramirez told the LA Times.
Volunteers who walk the dogs at LA animal shelters shared some videos recently of dogs who haven’t been walked.
Dogs like Thor, a gray Pitbull mix, had to be carried out of his kennel by staff members and volunteers when it was time to go out for a walk after spending almost two months inside a cage with coming out, according to an Instagram post by a volunteer.
But others like Cash are also enclosed in their kennels for months because they’re part of a court case.
The LA Times investigation stated that LA animal shelters are hamstrung by staffing shortages and an increase in population. It is volunteers who do a majority of the physical activity with the dogs.
The amount of Dogs at the Chesterfield shelter went up by 30-percent in May, according to the LA Times.
A local animal rescue activist told CBSLA Political Reporter Tom Wait that it’s a collective responsibility for all pet owners to help end the suffering.
“I think all of us in rescue are doing our best. Do I think it’s awful for a dog to sit in a kennel and not get walked? Absolutely it should be against the law,” Melissa Baclear, who runs Wagmor Pets Dog Rescue, said to Wait. “But the public needs to start taking responsibility… spay and neuter their dogs, they need to stop buying dogs and giving them up. The shelters can only do so much.”
A spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said that Los Angeles’ no-kill shelter policy is part to blame as well for the congestion of dogs at shelters.
In addition, people are also forced to have to leave their dogs at shelters due to living constraints and costs.
On Saturday July 16th, the Pasadena Humane Society shelter will be hosting a free adoption day at 361 S. Raymond Avenue in Pasadena.
For more information on the adoption event,