The 4,000 dogs and cats living at SPCALA shelters are almost out of food, and the animal welfare group is asking for emergency contributions of money and food from individuals.
“Until the bad economy, we fed our animals with donations from pet food firms, big-box stores and corporations," said Madeline Bernstein, president of the 133-year-old nonprofit organization. "Now they‘ve all but stopped donating.”
Donations have dwindled to less than 10% of what they were before the recession, she said.
“We have no budget for food. We never needed one," Bernstein said. "We’re taking in more homeless pets than we can adopt out, and we’re trying to ship smaller animals to other cities where they can be better fed. Many of these animals come from people who’ve lost jobs and homes and are forced to give up their pets. We need help.”
Bernstein asked for gifts of dry dog and cat food of any kind. Also needed: canned food, special diet food for sick animals, formula for babies that must be bottle-fed, and cat litter. Donations can be dropped off at the SPCALA shelters in Long Beach, (562) 570-7722, or Hawthorne, (310) 676-1149; or at the Los Angeles headquarters, (323) 730-5300.
-- Bettijane Levine
Photo: A Chihuahua mix named Baldwin, who was adopted from the SPCALA shelter in Long Beach. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times.