Los Angeles city animal shelters in need of families looking to adopt, facility volunteers

At the South LA Animal Shelter, there are 322 dogs desperate for a home.

In some cases, up to three canines have been placed into one kennel because there isn’t enough space.

"We’re constantly struggling trying to make sure we have room to ensure we can safely house our animals," said Matthew Spease, a supervisor at the South LA Shelter.  
He says inflation is forcing many people to get rid of their pets.

"Animals are coming in because of housing issues, financial issues that people are having," Spease said.

There are more than 1,000 dogs and nearly 600 cats at the six Los Angeles city shelters. There is overcrowding and not enough staff and not enough volunteers and because of that, according to an LA Times investigation, many dogs are going weeks or months without being walked.  

Agnes Sibal is the spokesperson for LA City Animal Services.

"There’s always an opportunity to improve, we’re a city shelter, we’re dependent on the budget that’s provided to us," Sibal said. 

When the news broke that many of the dogs are kept in their kennels and rarely walked, Sibal says many people called offering to volunteer, but she says, it’s not that simple. 

"There’s a lot of training because one of the things we focus on is safety for the animals, our staff and our volunteers and not all the dogs are able to be walked, a lot of times dogs have behavioral issues," Sibal said. 

Despite the challenges, Sibal says the animals are being treated well. 

"Our dogs do get daily enrichment even if they’re in their kennel we have staff and volunteers that interact with the animals we provide them with toys," she said. 

LA City Councilman Paul Koretz issued the following statement: 

"I am increasingly concerned about the serious challenges that the shelters are facing. I have met with the Mayor's office and LA Animal Services to discuss what can be done to address conditions that appear to be deteriorating. And now I am in the process of scheduling an emergency Personnel, Audit and Animal Welfare committee meeting next week during Council recess to discuss the urgent operational issues at the shelters."

"We’re always looking for volunteers to help us at the shelters," Sibal said 

They’re also looking for adopters, people who are willing to adopt or foster animals in need. 

"Please come out and foster and give the dog and a cat a staycation overnight or even over the weekend to give them a break from shelter life," she said.

Those looking to help the city animal shelters can click here for more information.