Goats abandoned at sanctuary
January 2, 2013
Two goats were abandoned in front of Animal Place sanctuary between Dec. 20 and Dec. 22, forcing the already jam-packed shelter to take on extra animals during the busy holiday season.
Such a heartless action does not only affect the animal being abandoned, stressed Kim Sturla, executive director of Animal Place. The organization that takes the time, money and space to shelter the creature is also impacted.
"Shame on somebody who would dump an animal off," Sturla said. "People don't take full responsibility, and there's all these repercussions people don't think about when they dump on others. It's not nice to the animal or the people you did it to."
The goats' owner tried to give the goats to Animal Place a week or two prior, and the shelter offered to help put up a posting online to place them. But the owner abandoned the goats at the sanctuary last week.
Sturla said there was no documentation of the man's contact information or address.
"It's frustrating because we were going to work with them, and we offered to help find placement," she said. "That wasn't good enough, and they dumped them on us. And we're swamped … Folks here don't get time to spend with (their) families like they'd like to."
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According to California Penal Code Sec. 597S, animal abandonment is a misdemeanor, and anyone who abandons an animal is subject to a $500 fine and/or up to six months in jail.
Animal Place acts as a referral service, posting an animal that needs placement, conducting screenings and bringing the two parties together.
"We help facilitate adoptions," Sturla said. "We do screening over the phone and sometimes home checks. Sometimes people send photos of their yard or barn, and each criteria is different depending on the species."
The abandoned goats are a miniature breed, estimated at being less than a year old.
"Because they're small, that will help," Sturla said. "Smaller animals are easier to place, and that is what we will try to do."
The shelter is funded primarily through individual donations and comprises one of the roughly dozen animal sanctuaries in the county that shelters farm animals.
Anyone interested in adopting an animal from the sanctuary can find an adoption application at http://www.animalplace.org.
The goats won't be available for adoption for three to five weeks, as they will need to be neutered and vaccinated and have time to recover.
"We want them to go into a home in tip-top shape," Sturla said.
To avoid the abandonment situation from recurring, the shelter plans to install security cameras.
"It's definitely an idea that we're looking into and pricing out," Sturla said. "Because if people are going to dump, I want to know who it is and have abandonment charges pressed. It's not OK."
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email email@example.com or call (530) 477-4230.
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