West LA Animal Shelter opens its doors to evacuated pets

Ashley Mackey Image
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
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The West LA Animal Shelter opened its doors to animals and owners effected by the mandatory evacuations near the Getty Fire.

WEST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The West Los Angeles Animal Shelter was technically closed on Monday, but they were still accepting evacuated animals. Everything from dogs, cats, birds and bunnies.

The only thing they weren't accepting were horses. They want the community to know, if your pet needs a place to stay, they are open and have everything needed to take care of them.

"It was pretty insane, having to leave my house in the middle of the night, like, I haven't really experienced that so, yea. And it all happens at once," Francesca Forge said about having to evacuate her home.

"Yea, woke up at 1:30, orange glow in the sky," David Daily said. "And woke everybody up in the house, grabbed the dogs, took off."

The West LA Animal Shelter started accepting evacuated pets early Monday morning.

"They have room and they took our dog, so we feel good about that," Carol Sandborn said after dropping off her daughter's dog.

Animal care technician Krystal Rios said the shelter was about 80 percent full but is still open to accepting as many animals as possible, 24 hours a day.

"We're here for them. We can hold their animal for 30 days," Rios said. "We can hold them even longer in terms of the disaster. If they have any questions they can always call here."

People not only brought their pets to the shelter, but they also brought items to donate. Lisa Montoya who works for the Santa Monica Unified School District brought cans of dog food to the shelter.

"We were given a call this morning not to show up, to stay home, that the schools were closed," Montoya said. "And I just felt like I had to do something."

Lynnette Lawetzki got a call from her boyfriend about the fires in the morning and got up to go to the store to get things to donate.

"I got dressed and picked up a ton of food for birds, cats, dogs, and treats," Lawetzki said. "I actually brought them some food too for the employees."

The shelter is also accepting lost animals. This was the case for a small dog named Hairy. Haley and Francesca Forge were reunited with Hairy at the West LA Animal Shelter.

"Somebody on Nextdoor found him and texted us and showed us a photo of him," Haley said. "And he looked a little mangy, normally he's a lot cleaner than this, but we found him, yay!"

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