Hundreds of shelter animals are settling into new homes this week after last weekend’s nationwide Clear the Shelters kick-off event, but many more still need help.
One local woman is stepping up to save dogs from crowed California pounds.
Charlotte Meade says her rescue dogs PJ and Snowflake can’t see visitors very clearly, but they definitely know you’re there. And, they know how lucky there are to be living in Creston with her.
"California has enormous dog population problems," said Meade.
Meade rescues dozens of dogs a year from overcrowded shelters in Southern California.
Los Angeles City Animals Services had to put down over 1,400 dogs in the last year. According to the ASPCA, 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized across the country each year. Fortunately, that number has dropped by more than a million in the last seven years, in part because of groups like Meade Canine Rescue.
Meade has 36 dogs living at her facility right now.
"We’ve had as many as 90, maybe 95," she said.
She started rescuing dogs in Connecticut and expanded her canine rescue to Creston about six years ago.
"We try to take the dogs with nowhere to go, with no help, you know, nobody who wants them," said Meade.
However, when they get the Meade Canine Rescue – "they get better and they pick up and they have a ball and they stay here until they get adopted or as long as they live, which is way longer than we ever expect," Meade said.
She focuses on senior and special needs dogs.
"I’m figuring they didn’t have very good lives to begin with so we’re going to give them great endings."
Sometimes those endings are with new families. Meade asks pet lovers to consider adopting an old dog to live out its days.
"If you can give that dog love for year, for three years, you’ll get so much back."
To learn more about Meade Canine Rescue and how pet owners can do their part to manage the animal population, tune into a special report this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. for Clear the Shelters.