It looks like it’s a bad month to be a dog or cat in the San Luis Obispo Animal Shelter.
The shelter is crammed full of dogs (more than 70) and cats (230), two or three to a cage. Unless there’s a sudden and unexpected upswing of adoptions, many of these animals will likely be put down.
Walking through the shelter these days is hard for anyone fond of animals. Cats, many of them kittens, peek from cages that reek of feces and urine. The prisoners sent over from the SLO County Honor Farm to work at the shelter didn’t seem too worried about them.
“Those cages look clean to me,” a prisoner said with a laugh to his cleaning partner, holding his hands to his back so he wouldn’t touch the filthy cages.
Dogs have more room than their feline counterparts. Most have their own enclosure, but small- and medium-sized dogs are doubled up in cages. When a New Times reporter visited on a recent afternoon, most of the dogs stood at the edge of their cells and looked longingly at anyone who passed by. Most of the pit bulls sat at the back of their enclosures and ignored the visitors, as if they knew their chances of being adopted were low, so they didn’t bother to do anything cute. Pit bulls are rarely adopted.
Almost all the dogs there had come to the shelter in September. Where were all the dogs that had come to the shelter in August?
“Some were adopted,” said a shelter worker. “The others, well ... .”
Her eyes filled with tears and she walked away.