Culver City News
October 11, 2007
Culver City Observer
October 18, 2007
Dear Madam and Sirs,
I am a devastated, frustrated and heartbroken Culver City "former" pet owner. I would be a current pet owner if our incompetent animal control system had not killed my cat. We desperately need local animal control. The Friends of Culver City Animals has been advocating this for several years. It is time to pay attention.
On the evening of September 12, 2007, my 16-year-old indoor cat escaped from my house for the first time ever. We looked for him all night, posted signs all over the neighborhood, did everything we were supposed to do. The next morning I went to the nearest shelter, the West Los Angeles location five miles away, and could not find him. The attendant said the best thing to do was to "keep checking the web site." Because of that statement, I did not go to the other nearest shelter, which would have been the Santa Monica Shelter. I checked the website three or four times every day, including the "city" and the "non-city" shelters. I posted ads on "petharbor.com," "lostandfound.com," "craigslist.com" and checked the local newspapers to no avail.
Eight days later, on September 20, we discovered that on Sept. 12 our neighbor had called the Culver City Police Dept. to report that their dog had cornered a black cat in their back yard. The police department gave them the number of a shelter to call but they did not know the location.
The location turned out to be the Gardena/Carson shelter! Why was my cat taken to a shelter that was 16 miles away? I called the shelter immediately and was on hold for about 20 minutes. A female officer answered the phone and emotionlessly replied to my inquiry by saying, "Oh, yah, the 7 year old black domestic shorthair, it shows in the computer that we put him down two days ago".
I was shocked! I asked what the shelter's official holding time is. She told me that they keep animals for 5 days for an owner to claim and then an additional 7 days for adoption. That is 12 days. This was the 8th day since he was picked up! When I demanded to know why they killed him before the end of the holding period, she said he was very sick. He was not sick; he was just old and scared. She said nothing, and then coldly and emotionlessly asked, "Is there anything else you need?"
They had taken a photo of my cat and recorded it as a 7-year-old black domestic cat, gender "unknown." My cat was a 16-year-old neutered male. They had recorded the pick-up of a black cat, but did not identify his gender and for some reason could not tell, he was elderly. No one could identify my cat because they had incorrectly identified him.
If we had our own shelter, my cat might have been held the required 12 days, rather than killed because of overcrowding. We are PAYING this shelter to do a job that they obviously cannot handle. Why can't we use the money that we are paying them to be self-sufficient and develop our own animal control department?
Our pets are family members. We deserve and demand that the city of Culver City attends to its responsibility.