Animal Services confronts canine crowding


SLO County Animal Services' shelter is overflowing with homeless dogs, as more and more dog-breeding operations set up shop in the area. Officials have issued a plea for local dog-lovers to adopt their newfam-ily pet from a shelter rather than buying an expensive animal from a breeder or pet store.

"The same dogs that someone might pay $500 to $700 for at a pet store or a breeder, they may be able to adopt here for $30, and help decrease crowding here at the same time," said veterinarian Eric Anderson, manager at Animal Services.

"For the last several years, we've been able to operate on a razor's edge with-out euthanizing. But we've reached the point now where we've had to euthanize adoptable dogs, because we simply don't have space for all the homeless animals,"Anderson added.

According to Animal Services volunteer Larry who said he uses just one name "like the Madonna of the dogs" the focus is to stop breeding.

"It's rich white people breeding their $2,000 Labrador. It's a homie punk holding down a pit bull so his big male can mount her," Larry said.

Both he and Anderson called on all local animal owners to spay or neuter their pets.

"Every litter contributes to overpopulation," Anderson said. "The supply is outstripping demand." In addition to mixed-breed dogs, local shelters often have a wide variety of pure bred animals. Any one looking for a specific breed to adopt can register interest at Animal Services' website:

Other pets, from cats to iguanas, are also available for adoption.

"For anybody looking for an animal, this is a good place to start," Anderson said.

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