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Can California’s Animal Shelters Support Pets and Their People?

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California’s stray animals face a slew of challenges that might sound familiar to human residents of the state: a lack of affordable housing, prohibitive health care costs, and a shortage of service providers. Animal shelters that emptied during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic have since refilled, and placing those animals in homes can be a struggle. We speak with a veterinarian and two shelter administrators about how they’re adapting to the volume of animals – and people – in need of their services, and how community supporters can help. We’ll also hear from a journalist covering animal welfare at the national level, and from you: Have you tried to adopt, or rehome, a pet? What was your experience?


Ann Dunn, director, Oakland Animal Services

Cynthia Karsten, director of outreach and shelter medicine, University of California-Davis

Kenny Torrella, staff writer, Vox

Sarah Aguilar, director, Santa Barbara County Animal Services


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