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A Respite From Rejection

June 23, 1988|Sheldon Ito

The Marina Sanctuary is a popular place, especially on weekends when young families bring their children to see hundreds of geese, ducks, chickens and bunnies scamper around the four-acre enclosure in Marina del Rey.

Unfortunately, the sanctuary is almost as popular with irresponsible pet owners who continue to throw their unwanted animals over the fence.

The animal haven was started more than five years ago by volunteers who wanted to save the hundreds of starving animals discarded around the Oxford Flood Control basin near Washington Street just north of the marina.

Because neighbors complain about roosters crowing at night, volunteers are constantly trying to catch the feisty, quick-footed birds and ship them to new homes in the country. Three weeks ago, they thought they had caught them all, said Irene Ashby, one of the founders of Marina Sanctuary Inc.

"(But) the other day I counted 15 roosters dropped in there," said a frustrated Ashby.

Ashby said the sanctuary needs donations and volunteers, especially on weekdays. And because of the neighbors' complaints, she also appealed to people who enjoy the sanctuary to write the county Department of Beaches and Harbors and Supervisor Deane Dana expressing their support.

"On the weekend, it's just a continuous flow of people coming by," she said. "They just love the place, and those people don't think to call the county. They think the county runs the place, but they don't."

Eric Bourdon, assistant director of the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, said his department has restored vegetation to about half the sanctuary site and will not allow animals in that area, but stressed that the county has no plans to close the haven.

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