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Valley Focus | North Hills

Petmobile Helps Animals Find Homes

April 07, 1998|ERIC RIMBERT

In an effort to bring the pets to the people, the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services debuted the use of a mobile animal unit for adoptions Monday.

The use of the 50-cage trailer and truck was spurred by the need to place more animals in homes with the help of fewer volunteers, said Becky Day-Swain, director of volunteer services.

Usually, prospective pet owners look on while at least 25 volunteers hold onto leashed dogs, one per volunteer. Cats are held in portable cages.

Volunteers are usually available weekends and evenings, but not weekdays, Day-Swain said. The mobile unit allows for more animals to be shown with only one or two volunteers assisting.

At Monday's adoption clinic at the Mid-Valley Regional Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library in North Hills, about 30 animals were available.

Adoption clinics are not new to the Department of Animal Services. Day-Swain said they were started after the Northridge earthquake in 1994 because there was a need to find more homes for an unusually large number of unwanted pets rescued by the department.

Now, nearly 80 animals a month on average are adopted through the clinics.

The department started using the mobile unit to rescue animals after the Northridge quake, but Monday was the first time it was used as a pet adoption center.

Adoptions cost between $45 and $60, and all animals are spayed or neutered.

Each year the department impounds nearly 80,000 animals; of those, 56,000 are euthanized because homes can't be found for them, Day-Swain said.

The department will hold a training session for potential adoption volunteers from 2 to 5 p.m. April 26 at the East Valley Animal Shelter, 13131 Sherman Way, North Hollywood.

For information, call (213) 485-8542.

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