Responsible Pet Ownership


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About animal adoption

Each year, millions of dogs, cats, and other companions die in animal sheltering systems due to lack of homes. Adopting an animal from a shelter or adoption group, rather than buying an animal from a breeder or pet store, is one simple way to reduce the need for euthanasia of healthy dogs, cats, and other animals.

Friends of Torrance Animals is not an adoption or placement agency. If you are interested in making a lifetime commitment to an animal, or volunteering with an adoption organization, the following resources may be helpful to you.

Please note that each shelter or adoption/rescue group has their own policies regarding fees, and other requirements for adoption. In the interest of finding a permanent loving home, requirements may include proof of approval from a landlord for you to have a pet if you rent your home; a home inspection to ensure the pet's safety; having your prospective pet meet your entire family including your current pets; completion of a questionnaire and interview; and more. For example, click here for information on the adoption process at the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA.

Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control: The LA County shelter closest to Torrance is in Carson: 216 W. Victoria St.between Main & Broadway, 2 blocks south of the 91 Freeway, east of the 110 Freeway. Please note: Victoria St. is the same as 190th St. (310) 523-9566. Hours: Monday - Thursday 12 PM to 7 PM; Friday - Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM, closed holidays. http://animalcare.lacounty.gov

Noah's Bark is a non-profit animal adoption group. They hold Adoption Days every Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at: PETCO, 24413 Crenshaw Boulevard. They have dogs and cats.This PETCO is located in the Torrance Crossroads Shopping Plaza at the Lomita and Crenshaw Blvd intersection. http://www.noahsbark.org

Purrfect Partners is a non-profit cat adoption group. They hold Adoption Days Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at: Centinela Feed and Pet Supplies, 413 N. Pacific Coast Highway. This Centinela is located between Beryl and Carnelian, near Whole Foods Market. http://www.purrfectpartners4cats.com

PetSave Foundation focuses on the adoption and care of domestic rabbits. Contact them by calling (310) 833-7333. http://www.petsave.org

G.R.A.C.E. Animal Rescue holds dog adoptions on Saturdays and Sundays at: PetsMart, 3855 Sepulveda Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503. PetSmart is located on Sepulveda between Hawthorne Blvd and Ocean Avenue, in the same parking lot as Toys R Us. http://www.graceanimalrescue.org

The Pet Press is a free publication distributed at locations throughout Los Angeles and the South Bay. The publication includes two very valuable resources: Animal Help Agencies and Rescue Groups, and On-Going Adoptions. For more information, go to www.thepetpress-la.com

Petfinders: This website features adoptable pets from animal welfare organizations across the country. You can search through more than100,000 adoptable pets, locate shelters and rescue groups currently caring for adoptable pets, browse their resource library, and more. http://www.petfinder.com, http://www.petfinder.org/

Rescuers: On-line directory of pet adoption resources. Includes links to shelters, and local animal adoption groups.
http://www.rescuers.com/

Avian Welfare Coalition - Representatives from bird adoption, rescue and sanctuary groups, humane societies, animal advocacy organizations, published research biologists, animal behaviorists, shelter and research veterinarians, and attorneys and other animal law specialists dedicated to the ethical treatment and protection of birds living in captivity and in their natural habitats. http://www.avianwelfare.org/


Jump to: About animal adoption | Spay/Neuter | Lost and Found | ID/Microchip | Pet Care | Finding a New Home

Spay/Neuter

Spaying and neutering are surgical procedures performed by veterinarians to prevent animals from being able to reproduce. Females are spayed, and males are neutered. (Sometimes the word "neuter" is also used to refer to an animal of unknown gender, or to a group of animals of mixed gender). Spaying and neutering help reduce pet overpopulation and the use of euthanasia on healthy animals.

Spaying reduces the risk of breast cancer and prevents various reproductive tract disorders for dogs and cats. Neutering eliminates the risk of various testicular disease and often resolves undesirable behaviors such as aggression, spraying, and roaming,. Of the dogs hit by cars, 80% are unneutered males (One At a Time, Leigh & Geyer, p. 47)

Why Spay/Neuter: Overpopulation Facts
From: Doris Day Animal Foundation; see cites below

Two unaltered cats and all their descendents can theoretically number 420,000 in just seven years.1

Two unaltered dogs and all their descendents can theoretically number 67,000 in just six years.1

"No homes for littermates" is one of the top ten reasons people relinquish their cats and dogs to shelters.2

The top reason both cat guardians and dog guardians give for not having their pet altered is that they simply have not bothered to do it yet.3

Twenty percent of cat guardians think their cat is too young to be altered, and 18% say they are not able to afford spay/neuter surgery.3

Twenty-one percent of dog guardians want to breed their dog, and 13% think their dog is too young to be altered.3

An estimated 5 million cats and dogs are killed in shelters each year.1 That's one about every six and one half seconds.

Tens of millions4 of stray and feral cats struggle to survive on their own outdoors. Although some are altered and live in managed colonies, most are not altered and receive no health care. They reproduce at will and many suffer from illness or injury before dying.5

Over half (56%) of dog guardians and nearly two-thirds (63%) of cat guardians rank pet overpopulation as the most important pet issue.3

In a study of relinquishment of cats and dogs in 12 U.S. animal shelters, 30% of the surrendered dogs were purebreds.6

The same study indicated that 55% of the surrendered dogs and 47% of the surrendered cats were unaltered.6

It costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $2 billion each year to round up, house, kill, and dispose of homeless animals.7

Over 56% of dogs and puppies entering shelters are killed, based on reports from over 1,055 facilities across America.8

Approximately 71% of cats and kittens entering shelters are killed, based on reports from 1,055 facilities across America.8

1. The Humane Society of the United States Pet Overpopulation Facts (1999)
2. National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy: The Top Ten Reasons for Pet Relinquishment to Shelters in the United States
3. The State of the American Pet: A Study Among Pet Owners.
Prepared by Yankelovich Partners for Ralston Purina, October 2000.
4. Alley Cat Allies.
5. Alley Cat Rescue
6. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 1998, Volume 1, Number 3, p. 213
7. USA Today, June 23, 1998, pg. 1
8. National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy: Shelter Statistics Survey (1997 data)

For information on the importance of spaying/neutering, from The Humane Society of the United States, click here.



Jump to: About animal adoption | Spay/Neuter | Lost and Found | ID/Microchip | Pet Care | Finding a New Home
Lost and Found

Before you lose your companion animal

1. Collars and readable ID tags: It's the law for dogs, it is highly recommended even on indoor-only cats (check out 'break-away' or 'safety' collars for cats if you are concerned about it being caught on something). The tag should have your name, address, and phone number. (Better yet, include information on any medications, and a phone number from out of the area that can be called after an earthquake or other disaster). Unless your animal can speak well enough to tell someone your phone number or address, your animal should have a tag!

2. Microchipping: a microchip about the size of a grain of rice can be inserted into companion animals, and picked up by scanners used in shelters. The microchip has a unique identification number; through registration in a database, you can be notified when the chip is scanned. It is a good back up, not a substitute, for a collar and tag. Talk to your veterinarian.

3. Photos: take photos on a regular basis to help with description and identification. If you try to reclaim an animal at many public facilities, they require proof of ownership (to help insure that animals are not released to the wrong people). Having a current photo can be very helpful.

4. Description: Write a detailed description of the animal while the animal is sitting in front of you. This can be a good way to give your companion some attention and “quality” time. In the event the animal is ever missing, having a detailed description will help you sift through calls from people who have found similar animals, and will help prove when you find the right one. Your black and white dog, or orange and white cat, is certainly unique - but how can other people tell your animal from all the others?

5. Lost poster: go through the process of making up a 'lost' poster: Include a description of the animal, your phone number, and a photo. Store it in your emergency kit or earthquake preparedness kit. If you ever need it, it will save a lot of time to have it all ready to be copied.


When you have lost your companion animal

1. In Torrance, call the City of Torrance Animal Control Office at (310) 618-3850 with a description of the animal in case they have received a report of a 'found' animal that matches.

2. Go in person to the local animal shelter (in Torrance and most South Bay cities, it is the LA County Department of Animal Care and Control facility at 216 W. Victoria Street in Carson). Many, BUT NOT ALL, of the animals at this shelter are listed on the LA County website; you must go in person and check every kennel.

  • Take a photo of your animal, medical records to prove current rabies vaccination, licensing (if applicable) to help establish your right to reclaim the animal, and a leash or cat carrier
  • Tour the appropriate areas (dog kennels, or cat room)

  • Ask a kennel attendant to show you the animals in other areas (observation, new stray, hospital); be persistent, but patient, if you have to wait for a kennel attendant to help you

  • Check the listing of found animals (at Carson, this is sometimes referred to as the 'Live/Dead Log')

  • Fill out a card to list the animal as lost, and post it on the bulletin board. This will be helpful if someone finds the animal, and comes in to look at the board.

  • Return to the shelter every three days and repeat these steps. Shelter workers do not routinely check incoming animals against the bulletin board, or check the bulletin board against their inventory. It is up to you to visit the shelter to see for yourself. Due to the volume of lost animals, cards are removed from the bulletin board after a period of time. Check the board and post a new card if needed.


3. Ask at the shelter for a list of telephone numbers and addresses of other shelters in the area.

4. Ask at the shelter for a list of telephone numbers and addresses of volunteer groups that may be of assistance, such as rescue groups. If an animal is unclaimed for a few days, a rescue group might adopt the animal from the shelter and try to find a new home for it. Although some groups focus on specific breeds, there are many that will rescue well-trained or easily adoptable animals of any description.

5. Post flyers within a five-block radius of your home. Torrance residents who have gone door-to-door with flyers report that their neighbors are very sympathetic and helpful, and neighborhood children (who often see things adults don’t see, like at playgrounds) can be especially helpful.

6. Post flyers, and inquire, at local veterinary offices and emergency animal clinics. Sometimes Good Samaritans take injured animals in for medical attention (for example, after a car accident).

7. Call local newspapers to place ads, and check the 'found' ads:

  • The Easy Reader offers free lost and found ads: (310) 372-4611
  • The Beach Reporter, and the Daily Breeze, offer free found ads, and charge for lost ads: (310) 540-5622
  • The LA Times offers free found ads, and charges for lost ads: (800) 529-4637, ext 70987


8. Change your phone message to include that your animal is 'still missing'. Sometimes a person finds an animal, but figures that posters or ads describing a similar animal are old and outdated, and it must not be the same animal. Encourage people to leave a message with any information that might be helpful.

Don’t give up. Lost dogs and cats have been located many months after they were lost. As soon as your animal comes home, get a new collar and ID tag, and make up a new poster!

For additional tips on finding a lost pet, from Best Friends Animal Society, click here.

For suggestions from Best Friends Animal Society on what to do when you find a stray, click here.


Updated 8/27/2012


Jump to: About animal adoption | Spay/Neuter | Lost and Found | ID/Microchip | Pet Care | Finding a New Home

ID/Microchip

It's a common saying in animal shelters across the country: 95% of lost animals with ID make it home, 95% of lost animals without ID don't make it home.

Can your pet talk?

Unless your dog or cat can speak well enough to tell someone your phone number of address, you should make sure your animal always wears identification.

It's the law for dogs, and is highly recommended even on indoor-only cats. Check out the "break-away" or "safety" collars for cats if you are concerned about it being caught on something. The tag should have your name, address, and phone number. Better yet, include information on any medications, and a phone number from out of the area that can be called after an earthquake or other disaster. This tag is your companion's ticket home.

In addition to a collar and tag, microchipping can be used for identification. A microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, can be inserted into companion animals by your veterinarian. The microchip can be detected by scanners used by Animal Control Officers and in shelters. The microchip has a unique identification number; through registration in a database, you can be notified when the chip is scanned. (If your animal is microchipped, make sure you keep your contact information up-to-date with the registry!) A microchip is a good back-up, not a substitute, for a collar and tag. Talk to your veterinarian for more information.

For information on microchips in birds, go to http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww7eiii.htm


Jump to: About animal adoption | Spay/Neuter | Lost and Found | ID/Microchip | Pet Care | Finding a New Home
Pet Care

Spay or neuter your cat, rabbit, or dog, and encourage others to spay or neuter their pets. For more information, talk to your veterinarian, or go to Spay/Neuter

Make sure your animals always wear current, legible identification.

Using a leash is required for dogs in all Torrance parks. Using a leash, like using your seatbelt, helps keep you safe and helps our law enforcement officers. Even if your dog is well trained, please use a leash to help keep your dog safe from other dogs or other dangers. Dogs on leashes are being kept safe, not being punished. Most drivers wear seatbelts to protect themselves from accidents and bad driving by other drivers, not as punishment!

Keep your cat indoors at all times.

Follow all laws: for local laws, see http://municipalcodes.lexisnexis.com/codes/torrance/

For state laws, go to http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html

For information on pet care from the American Veterinary Medical Association, go to https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/default.aspx

For information on pet care from the Humane Society of the United States, visit: www.humanesociety.org/animals

For information on pet care from the ASPCA, visit: www.aspca.org/Pet-care

Pet First Aid/Disaster Preparedness:

The Humane Society of the United States and American Red Cross present a book, "Pet First Aid: Cats and Dogs". This soft-covered book was written by Bobbie Mammato, DVM, MPH. To purchase it, ask for it (ISBN 1-57857-000-X) at your local bookstore.

Visit RedCrossLA.org for information on their Pet First Aid classes, and tips on including your pets in your disaster preparedness plans (make sure your earthquake kits has supplies for ALL your family members).


Jump to: About animal adoption | Spay/Neuter | Lost and Found | ID/Microchip | Pet Care | Finding a New Home

Finding a New Home

"Something has happened in your life and you can no longer take care of your pet. Or perhaps you have found a stray cat or dog and need to find him/her a new home. Maybe a friend or relative has died leaving one or more pets to be placed in new homes. You want to be able to do something to help find this animal a new and loving permanent home, rather than turn him/her over to the pound or the local humane society, where they may be euthanized." For a booklet from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary on finding homes for homeless pets, click here or here.