Adopting Mya From West LA Animal Shelter

— by Caroline on Crack

Mya the pitbull

Mya at Scoops Westside by Noms Not Bombs

Mya was scheduled to die today. She had been at the West LA Animal Shelter since July and her time was up. “They can’t live here,” said one of the shelter volunteers. She had a point. The West LA shelter isn’t exactly no kill but they do keep their animals longer than most other shelters. However they also only have so much space for the rescued animals. Fortunately for this 6-year-old pit bull some volunteers had taken it upon themselves to “network” her, sending out an email to all their contacts asking if anyone was interested in adopting her.

I got the email last Friday and after watching the YouTube video someone made of this adorable pittie I knew I had to meet her. I have wanted to get a pit bull since I had one when I was a kid. They’re adorable, loyal and lovable. And Mya seemed very mellow. Love how she kept carrying her own leash.

I arrived at the shelter, which is right near Best Buy on Pico, the day after getting the email. Holly, the one-woman animal rescue who actually helped me with Molly the Houdini dog last year, set up the appointment. We were lead into the kennels where all the dogs started barking uncontrollably. “Every time I go here, I make sure to not look at the dogs,” Holly said, using her hands as blinders as we quickly walked past all the dogs so desperate for attention. I tried the blinders trick, too, but it didn’t work. I was still overcome by how many dogs there were. They barked frantically trying to get our attention. It was so sad. Suffice it to say, I was bawling.

Finally I was taken to Mya’s pen. Unlike the other dogs jumping against their gates, she sat quietly and obediently, looking up at us with those brown eyes. I knew immediately I wanted her. Since she had been at the shelter for more than 30 days, she was discounted. Normally it costs about $120 to adopt a dog but with the discount she was only $83.

When you adopt a dog (which are microchipped and spayed/neutered), the shelter hooks you up with a collar, leash and some Pet Co coupons to get you on your way to pet ownership. They’ll take the dog in the back while you fill out the paperwork and do a quick examination of it. You’ll get all the dog’s medical records. By the way, the shelter takes donations for leashes, treats and collars, so if you want to drop them by, please do. Here’s more stuff on their wishlist.

After we got Mya’s paperwork squared away, I walked her down the street to the pet supply store, My Pet Naturally. It’s where people who love their dogs A LOT shop. They have raw bone marrow in the freezer, dog collars with astrological signs on it and a variety of grain-free kibble. A couple of doors down there’s also groomers where your dog can get a quick 20-minute grooming for $15. Only problem is that you have to make an appointment as they book up fast.

So I took her to Pet Co where I didn’t need to make an appointment. After living in the shelter, Mya was a really dirty girl so I wanted to get her all cleaned up before I let her in my house. Grooming at Pet Co takes about two hours and it cost about $40 but it was worth it.

Mya is now all cleaned up, has a crate to call her own and gets walked three times a day. She is so sweet and gentle, great with people. I can’t believe she almost died today. And how there are so many other great dogs out there looking for homes that won’t get a reprieve like Mya did.

In any case, if you’re looking for a pet, I highly recommend adopting. Some shelters will even let you foster the dog for a bit so you can see if it’s a match. West LA doesn’t have a foster program but they said they’re looking into starting one soon.

11361 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90064 (map)