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Humane Society's Response Criticized

July 13, 1989

Regarding the closure of the South Gate Humane Society shelter (Times, July 6):

Less than a year ago my dog died at the ripe old age of 14. I called various animal shelters and humane societies from Hawthorne to Laguna Beach. I indicated that I wished to adopt a female, poodle-mix dog that was less than 9 months old. Although none happened to have such a dog, most took my name and offered to call if such a dog were available.

Then I called the South Gate Humane Society. They acted as if I was attempting to order a pizza. Here are some excerpts of the conversation: "What do you want? How would I know? We have hundreds of dogs here. Just drive over and look at them." When I indicated that all of the other places I called were willing to tell me if they had such a dog, I really raised their wrath. The response was: "We have hundreds of dogs here. Do you think we keep lists?" Click!

If they treated their dogs with as much courtesy as they treated someone who was seriously interested in adopting a pet, I feel sorry for the animals. Eventually I adopted a 15-month-old "hand-me-down" that someone assured me was a "really cute dog." How can a place call itself a "Humane Society" when they are obviously incapable of behaving in a humane manner to someone who calls on the phone?

BETTY C. DUCKMAN

Long Beach

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