By Councilmember Laurene Weste
“Dogs don’t make judgments about physical appearance or abilities, and they don’t care how big your house is or what you can do for a living. They care about the quality of your character and your capacity to love.” – Elizabeth Eiler
Animals have always been a pivotal part of my life. As someone who owns a ranch and sees to the needs of farm animals on a daily basis, I know how much love, understanding and patience it takes not raise but to care for an animal. Whether it is one of my three dogs or my beloved donkeys and horses, I have found so much joy in having animals around me, but it is just as important to be responsible in caring for your animal, as it is to adopt one.
Adopting animals from local animal care centers or rescue organizations not only saves lives but also brings immense joy to both the adopter and the adopted pet. Our local Castaic Animal Care Center houses a diverse range of animals, from playful puppies and kittens to mature and senior dogs and cats looking for their new home. One of the primary advantages of adopting from this center is the screening process they undertake to match pets with suitable families. The staff at the Castaic Animal Care Center are dedicated to working to ensure a successful and lasting connection between pets and their new owners. This helps minimize the chances of pets being returned to the Center and creates a positive and welcoming environment for both the animals and the adopters.
To encourage our residents to adopt and not shop, the City of Santa Clarita is offering a second “Pet Adoption Day” in collaboration with the Castaic Animal Care Center. Residents are invited to join us this weekend, Saturday, February 10, at the Mitchell River House from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., a beautiful historic place to meet a variety of cats and dogs up for adoption! The City is even covering the adoption fees for anyone who adopts an animal at the event. Leaning into the Valentine’s Day spirit, we hope that when residents attend the event, they will open their hearts and fall in love with one of the many animals up for adoption. Whether you are a cat lover or a dog fancier, there are so many animals who were found as strays or surrendered that are looking for a loving family to give them a second chance. By choosing to adopt, residents are actively participating in the effort to combat pet overpopulation and supporting the humane treatment of all animals.
In addition to adopting, responsible pet ownership in Santa Clarita also emphasizes the importance of spaying and neutering. The City has partnered with the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control and the Simi Valley Non-Profit Spay and Neuter Clinic to offer low-cost services to our residents here in Santa Clarita and neighboring communities. Each week, the mobile clinic parks at the Newhall Community Center, and offers residents pre-registered appointments to get their dogs and cats neutered or spayed. According to the Santa Clarita Municipal Code, all pet owners in the City must have their dog(s) and/or cat(s) that are older than four months spayed or neutered. This service is not only the law but has health benefits for pets and helps prevent pet overpopulation from unplanned litters which contributes to the overpopulation crisis.
By choosing to adopt and prioritizing spaying and neutering, residents contribute to building a community where animals are treated with the care and respect that they deserve. In doing so, Santa Clarita continues to be an example of responsible pet ownership and a place where we love and care for our four-legged friends while we help them, they help us humans with unconditional love. If you would like more information on the Pet Adoption Day or the spay/neuter services, please contact the City’s Community Preservation Division at (661) 286-4076.
Councilmember Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at email@example.com.