Dogs Without Borders, a nonprofit dog adoption and rescue organization located in Los Angeles, held one of its many "dog adoption fairs" on Sunday at , 16571 Ventura Blvd. The event , and the organization had a sidewalk sandwich board sign and a large banner in Centinela Feed's window.
From first glance, it looked like Sunday's adoption fair had a large turnout, with about a dozen small- and medium-size dogs surrounded by just as many, if not more, human admirers. But most of the people were volunteers and a few staff from Dogs Without Borders.
Even at 3:30 p.m., a half hour before the adoption fair's end, only one dog was fortunate enough to have been adopted.
Dogs Without Borders staff member Betsy Rue thought the adoption fair could have been more successful with better visibility to passersby on Ventura Bouelvard. A volunteer mentioned that it may have been hard to see the adoption fair's sandwich sign streetside, "if people are driving too fast down the boulevard."
But there is also another adoption fair next Sunday, which provides another chance to get their rescued dogs into new homes.
All of the dogs available at the Centinela Feed location appeared healthy and in good care, although some of the dogs attracted more attention than others with their jumping and high-pitched barking.
One young, small terrier/chihuahua mix named "Lychee" stood her ground in a wire-bound area and growled and barked whenever a camera came near her. But moments later, Lychee was in the arms of a volunteer and all her growling and barking was replaced with tail-wagging, licking and cuddling. The camera mattered no more.
In another small, fenced area inside Centinela Feed were two well-behaved and calm sister dogs, , a mix of chihuahua and poodle. Their story was that their former owners "moved and left them outside to roam free."
"Normally we get our dogs from the high-kill shelters, they're all over L.A. city and they're super-overcrowded," Rue said. "They're euthanizing about 9,000 dogs a month."
Rue said that many of the dogs that Dogs Without Borders rescues come from animal shelters in Downey, Baldwin Park, Carson, the East San Fernando Valley and North Central Los Angeles, areas where dogs are more likely to be abandoned and unclaimed.
Why are the dogs ending up in the shelters?
"Because people get them as puppies, then they don't want them [once the dogs become adults]," Rue said.
Rue gave the typical reasons are abandoned: "[The dogs] have medical issues; [the owners] can't afford them. [The owners] have too many [dogs], so then they get confiscated. [Owners] move, a lot of people are losing their houses;[the owners] move to an apartment where they don't accept dogs. So there's just a plethora of reasons."
How many adoptees does Dogs Without Borders place in approved homes during any given adoption fair?
Rue said normally three to five dogs will get adopted per adoption event. But due to the influx of abandoned dogs, Dogs Without Borders will rescue around five to 10 dogs every week.
"We'd like to see 10 dogs get adopted at every adoption fair," Rue said. "But the biggest problem is that people are not spaying or neutering their animals. So there's always puppies. So there's just way too many dogs."
See www.dogswithoutborders.org for more information on how to adopt a dog.
Upcoming adoption fairs at Centinela Feed are scheduled for 1-4 p.m. on July 15, July 22, Aug. 5, Aug. 12, and Aug. 19.