Helping Shelter Pets During the Dog Days of Summer

By Michael Berick

shelter pets

Families can visit the new Wallis Annenberg PetSpace to adopt a new pet. PHOTO COURTESY WALLIS ANNENBERG PETSPACE

As late-summer heat makes the great indoors (and the AC) look ever more inviting, SoCal programs are working to get homeless pets off the streets and into the arms of their forever families.

The Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, which opened earlier this summer, gets creative in forming pet-person connections. The Playa Vista facility (at 12005 Bluff Creek Dr.; has behaviorists on hand to help match adoptable animals with families – and the family’s existing pets. Public areas in the interactive 30,000-square-foot space are also open to visiting pets, as long as the animals are up-to-date on vaccinations, are spayed or neutered, get along with other animals and are on a six-foot non-retractable leash.

“Paws and Pages” story times, where families can listen to stories and read aloud to adoptable pets, are held at noon on Sundays; and behind-the-scenes tours of the Animal Health Center take place at 2 p.m. Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Meanwhile, NBC4 and Telemundo 52 are teaming up again for Clear The Shelters, a drive to give shelter pets loving homes. Kick-off events take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Grove (189 S. Grove Dr., L.A.) and Aug. 13 at the Citadel Outlets (100 Citadel Dr., L.A.). The main event happens Aug. 19.

Last year, more than 53,000 pets were adopted during this nationwide event, with local adoptions topping 8,200. Adoption fees at the kick-off events and Aug. 19 at more than 60 participating Southern California shelters and animal rescue organizations will be $20. Visit for a map of locations.

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