By Karen Plascencia and Londy Hernandez
As many as 44,000 stray dogs are estimated to be wandering the streets of Los Angeles. These dogs come in various sizes, breeds, and colors. Stray dogs at times can be a danger to the community, because they can be aggressive or cause car accidents. Since the founding of Animo Pat Brown, there have been stray dogs that wander onto campus.
Many students attest to the issue of dogs on campus. Out of the six people interviewed, five of them believe that APB and our community as a whole has a stray dog problem. Junior Alejandro Ramirez said, “Last week there was [a stray] just crying outside, whining so loudly you can hear it in school.” Senior Manuel Gutierrez and CSO Mr. Garcia both agreed to seeing stray dogs in school.
There has always been an issue with abandoned pets in our community. However, some, like 10th grade Biology and 12th grade Anatomy teacher, Ms. Ohara, believe that the issue was worse before. She said, “I feel like it was worse in the past when I would see random dogs like chihuahuas running into the streets… I feel it’s gotten better.” On the other hand, Mr. Garcia said he has seen a stray dog almost every single day.
When asked the cause for so many abandoned pets around our community, there are different opinions. Sophomore Ivan Frausto, junior Alejandro Ramirez, and freshman Rut Jimenez all believe it is the fault of owners who choose to abandon their pets. Alejandro says “People are mean and just abandon their dogs… sometimes they switch houses or can’t take care of them anymore.”
Others believe the reason for stray animals to be the lack of neutering and spaying in our community. Manuel says the cause is that“owners fail to neuter their dogs [who then] make puppies and then, [owners] don’t know what to do with them.”
With so many strays roaming around the community, students were bound to encounter them outside of APB. When asked what their response is to seeing a stray dog, many students expressed how they always try to help. Junior, Alejandro Ramirez expressed, “I love animals… if they are on a big street
(like Firestone), I try to help them get off the street because I don’t want to see a dead dog on the street.”
Others, like Freshman Rut Jimenez, try to feed the animal, or drop them off at the pet shelter. Students seem to at least attempt to help the animal, even if it’s in a small way.
When asked if they believed that spaying or neutering would help fix the stray dog problems most interviewees agreed that it would. Senior, Manuel Gutierrez, says, “Neutering your dogs — that’s a pretty good solution. There’s [also] the pound, but they just go there to die.” Overall, it seems like the best solution is to spay and neuter pets though there may not be an immediate and obvious decrease in stray animals.