Shelter Intervention

7 year old “Bubba’s” dad, who is homeless, brought him to the South LA Shelter, pleading for help after they both got locked into an abandoned building where they were squatting.  Out of desperation they were living there because City of LA workers towed away his car where they had been living.  He lost his car, and all of his personal belongings.  In a state of panic, not wanting to have Bubba taken from him too, he lifted Bubba up and over a locked fence.  In doing this, Bubba’s stomach was cut open, badly. Three days later, Bubba could no longer walk, he stopped eating. With no transportation, no money, dad walked around all day, begged people to help him save Bubba. Then he remembered an old friend’s number who is a dog lover, and got in contact with her, asking for ride to the South LA shelter.  Our counselors were on site, set up at a table in front of the receiving area at the South LA Shelter, when they saw Bubba and his dad.  Immediately, they took action by getting an immediate veterinary appointment.  Due to the extent of his injuries, and the infection that had set into the wound, the decision was made by his dad per our veterinarian’s suggestion, to humanely euthanize Bubba.  Humane euthanasia for pets like Bubba is something that we sponsor on a weekly basis.  Keeping more senior pets and terminally ill pets with their low income families until the end of their life instead of being surrendered to the shelter due to financial hardship, and because there is no other option, is to be of the highest service to the community


Here is a what our counselor Amanda wrote in a text,

“This case really affected me and Yessi.  We see a lot of horrible cases, but this one just really messed us up. I literally had to go to the restroom and cry afterwards.  Just thinking about the pain and agony that poor dog went through for three days.” 

Bubba’s dad did the best he could with what he had available to him as a resource.  For many of our clients, the shelter is their only known resource for an emergency.  The mental toll that this takes on our counselors and the shelter staff is immense. In fact, there was a period of time when counselors Amanda and Yesenia did not work at the shelter as counselors because we all needed to take a break for our collective mental health.  But, once you seen the suffering, the families who cannot afford veterinary care, and the range of emotions they display from rage to shame to complete and utter despair, it’s impossible to not be directly involved.  Our counselors are at the South LA shelter every Tuesday and Thursday, at our Pet Suppor Space office by appointment Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and counselors/volunteers are available by phone/text seven days a week to assist any low income or homeless person with a pet who believes that they have no other option than to surrender their pet due to not being able to afford veterinary care.  #becauseweallneedhelpsometimes



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