Here’s to Happy Tails in the Winter of Our Discontent

5 mins read
A cat lying on top of a chair

Nothing about animal rescue, fostering and adopting is for the faint-hearted.

Optimism may be a virtue, but it’s difficult to maintain when navigating the current state of pets in our region and beyond. While a robust glass-half-full attitude is pleasant to be around, a strong belt of realism is also needed. And make mine a double.

First, here’s an early Valentine from Pasadena residents Diana Arnold and her husband Bruce Arnold: Diana and Bruce just adopted two girl kittens featured in an earlier Animal House post as Ramona and Carmelita. Their real names now are Scrump and Finn. Diana comments, “We are so pleased to get these two little angels. We lost our last two cats to old age about a year ago. We had Kitty and Mousie for 15 years. Now, having these two and once again hearing our new babies racing down the hall and playing makes us smile.”

Diana adds, “Bruce wrote the following poem a number of years ago about our two previous kittens and it seems to apply to our two new angels as well.”


By Bruce J. Arnold

Angels in the shape of cats

sleep at the foot of the bed.

Wings tucked and tails wrapped

their furry breasts rise and fall

like clouds at a mountain’s lake

where breeze on grass flank calms the soul

and mainsprung minds seek flight.

A Family Affair

Lamanda Park resident Justyna Misiewicz, who first rescued the two adorable felines now known as Scrump and Finn (see above) from nightmarish conditions in October 2023, now seeks homes for the remaining two from that same litter. As you see from the photo the siblings are holding paws. They need to be adopted together.

  • Two sibling kittens, DSH (their fur seems shorter than that of their shaggier sisters Scrump and Finn)
  • Age: 4 months old (approximate)
  • Luke: Male, gray and white tabby
  • Leia: Female, free-form black and white-patterned fur
  • Playful but deeply bonded: must be adopted together
  • In good health. The current rescuer will schedule and cover neutering and spay procedures

To meet these two kittens, email [email protected]

And Now for the Bad News

A Compton resident calling himself “Tarzan of the Hood” as operator of the non-profit Compton Animal Rescue has now been relieved of more than 140 live animals by the offices of Downey Animal Care and Control and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation, according to a recent Instagram post @lacoanimals.

The search warrant and seizure were executed in response to numerous community complaints of alleged neglect and mistreatment of animals. The seizure included chickens, lizards, turtles, pigs, a rooster, a python, tortoise, hawk, horse, hamster, as well as many dogs and cats, many in poor health as a result of what the County describes as “deplorable conditions.” The seizure also included more than a dozen dead animals.

Many thanks to rescuer Victoria Smith for bringing this important story to our attention.


Here’s the thing. The 140+ animals – rescuers estimate 75 dogs– that are now at the LA County Animal Care & Control: Downey (562-940-6898, 11258 S. Garfield Avenue) have displaced as many animals already in kennels and cages at the location. This means that unless adopted immediately, those resident animals will be euthanized to make space for the new arrivals. County shelters state that they typically allow two weeks before euthanizing animals for space, and rescuers say that this time-frame is optimistic (there’s that word again…): many animals are euthanized within a matter of days.

In an attempt to accommodate more animals, shelters may put multiple dogs into a single kennel. In response to stress, this often results in fights and injuries, causing the dogs to be identified as having behavioral problems, meaning that they are available for release only to a rescue (versus an individual like you or me). This judgment generally means that they are less likely to find a home and will be put to death sooner.

The need for fosters and adopters (for dogs, especially) from this overburdened facility could not be more urgent. As we go to press, this shelter is currently the location of many female dogs that have recently given birth and are nursing their new puppies- Kayla, #A5599182, for example- and her six puppies. Call 562-940-6898.

Not up for seven new doggos? We understand. Here are a few more of our favorites from Downey:

SEDONA (right)

  • Siberian Husky, white face, crystal-blue eyes
  • Age: Young, female, medium size
  • Spayed
  • Call 562-940-6898

SNOOPY (left)

  • White rabbit with pearl-gray ears and eyeliner
  • Age: Young, male, medium size
  • Neutered
  • Call 562-940-6898.

PANCHITO (right)

  • Male guinea pig with gorgeous long, ginger fur
  • Age: Senior
  • Big (for a GP) and cuddly!
  • Call 562-940-6898.

DOUGLAS (left)

  • Male Large Australian Cattle Dog/ Blue Heeler + German Shepherd Mix
  • Age: Young
  • Neutered
  • Call 562-940-6898.

Love is a Guy Called Bobby

This doggy dreamboat, Bobby (#A55992550),might be a great match for a family or adult seeking an adult dog who still loves to play. At the LA County Baldwin Park Animal Care & Control Center, (4275 Elton Street, Baldwin Park, closed Sundays, 24-hour call center, 626-962-3577 – press 5, 2, 2).

  • Case #A5599255
  • Male, Old English Coonhound Mix
  • Age: 6 years old (approximate)
  • Classic black, white and chestnut markings
  • 24-hour call center, 626-962-3577 – press 5, 2, 2


Special thanks to rescuer Bonnie Barron for sharing this story. Hopper is currently safely fostered by a kind-hearted family in San Diego, but this big guy needs a permanent home.

  • Hopper is a “Boxolie” – Boxer/Border Collie Mixed breed
  • Male, neutered
  • Age: 1 – 2 years (approximate)

Hopper’s foster family asked him to describe himself.

Here’s what he has to say: “I love to cuddle and play hard, but sometimes I don’t realize my size, so I’m best with large dogs and kids six years and older. I really adore kids! I’ve learned a lot from my foster family: sit, down, up, paw, bed, leave it, and even how to jump through a hoop! Although energetic, I enjoy a quiet evening on the couch to cuddle with my family. Actually, cuddling is one of my favorite activities. I’m very loving and bold, but I’m still learning about the world. You can count on me, but I want to learn to feel confident while we are on walks, so please take me out often and give me praise and treats.

Here is a complete list of Hopper’s favorite things:

Frozen pumpkin in a Kong, tearing apart stuffed toys, dirty socks, soft blankets, cuddling, baby talk, playing with my people, playing with big dogs, trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot, Starbucks puppuccinos, walking, running, car rides and steak.

I have recently learned to enjoy getting my teeth brushed. Some other things you ought to know about me: I do alright in my crate and will get in it if you offer me a treat and leave the TV on low volume. I am uncomfortable at the vet, but have grown more confident thanks to my foster parents because they’ve taken me on short trips there for treats. I do not like baths, noisy kid toys, or the car wash. I love to run and am a motivated athlete, so I will need an active lifestyle.

I love my foster family, but I know they’re trying to help as many dogs as they can so I hope to find my forever family so their home can open again. Keeping my paws crossed that the right people will find me.”

Enjoy Christmas Year-Round with NOELLE!

If you’re saddened, as we are, by the sight of once-adorned Christmas trees tossed to the curb, maybe you need to feel that holiday joy year-round by adopting Noelle! This young dog—barely more than a puppy—has been in foster care for over a year by @bubblesdogrescue moments before euthanization. She’s healthy and safe for now, but needs a fur-ever home. Thanks to rescuer Elizabeth Kennedy for helping with this story.

  • German Shepherd
  • Female, spayed, in fine health
  • Age: 1.5 years old (approximate)
  • Loves kids, a great dog for an active fam
  • Puppy energy! Also great with other dogs!
  • To meet Noelle, contact [email protected]

A big woof, meow, squawk, squeak and thank you to all our readers and local rescuers who make this column possible. If you have an animal in need of fostering or adoption, please email [email protected].

The short URL of this article is:

Victoria Thomas

Victoria has been a journalist since her college years when she wrote for Rolling Stone and CREEM. Victoria describes the view of Mt. Wilson from her front step as “staggering,” and she is a defender of peacocks everywhere.
Email: [email protected]

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