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$1-Million Donation Will Help Build Animal Shelter

September 30, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A $1-million donation Friday will help the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals construct a pet facility in Long Beach.

Philip D. Pitchford, 49, of Rolling Hills Estates donated the money that will help finance the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village and Education Center in El Dorado Park in Long Beach.

Pitchford said he donated the money because he likes the concept of "circular pods" for the animals in the landscaped surrounding of El Dorado Park. The shelter is being built on 6.2 acres, said Rose Channer of the SPCA in Los Angeles.

An outdoor track will be provided for workers to walk dogs, and an interactive adoption center will enable people to watch dogs and cats nurse their litters. An indoor-outdoor area will be provided so cats can roam.

The facility's design will be a sharp contrast to the traditional row-after-row of small smelly cages where groups of lost, abandoned and injured animals are usually kept.

Pitchford said he had read about several cases in which owners and others mistreated their pets. After reading a report of a man who, during a fit of road rage, threw a woman's dog into traffic, Pitchford said he decided to do something.

"I wanted to make a big contribution," the vice president of the Salomon Smith Barney brokerage firm said. "I have always been an animal lover,"

The "P.D." part of the shelter's name refers to Pitchford's 4-year-old Yorkshire terrier PeDee, who attended Friday's ceremony.

The project is expected to cost $6 million. The agency has raised $4.5 million in public donations.

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