Angeles National Forest- a dumping ground for unwanted animals

The Angeles National Forest above the Los Angeles region is a dumping ground for unwanted pets.

In one of those moments of synchronicity, a reader sent me her story from last weekend of rescuing an abandoned dog in the Angeles National Forest, and almost at the same time Michael over at "Three stray cats" wrote a piece about feral cats in Los Angeles. Three stray cats, Feral cats of Los Angeles.

The map below is via an online site that includes the Angeles National Forest here.

This is, briefly, the story that my reader told me (only slightly edited for length).

~~She and a friend were volunteering at a place in/near the Angeles National Forest last weekend- (~March 2, 2009)
We came upon a Pitbull girl, who had obviously given birth to a litter of puppies pretty recently... she was roaming around in the middle of the street, in the middle of nowhere... in the middle of the Angeles Forest!!! Poor thing!!! We pulled over and got her to come out of the middle of the street, thank goodness! The roads up there are so winding, they are worse than Mulholland, and we were so afraid that she was going to get hit by a car! We were out of cellphone range and didn't know what to do, she wasn't really amenable to the idea of getting in my car.

Then, within 5 minutes a Fire Truck happened along and blocked off the road, so no one would come whipping around the corner and hit everyone. Then, two more guys (one was a dog trainer) and a woman (who was a vet tech) happened along and pulled over to help them, too!! The guys said that the poor girl had been running around the street for over a week, and that no one had been able to get her to come, she had run from everyone who tried to catch her. Everyone in the area had been convinced she was going to get hit by a car. One of the fellows had spent a solid 45 minutes the day before trying to get her.

They said that people drop off their animals in the Forest all the time, as if domesticated cats, dogs, and bunnies would survive out there!! The guys said that people think that the animal's "natural instincts" will take over once they are in the forest. Very sad. That is how we ended up with our rescue cat- my family out east have the same thing happen near their home all the time.

The dog trainer ended up taking the woofer home, though he can't keep her forever (he doesn't think). He already has too many dogs, and the city won't let him have anymore even though he has 5 acres of land. He was going to try to call some no-kill shelters. You don't happen to know anyone who wants a female friendly adorable loving golden pitbull in the Los Angeles area, do you?

I went to the google, and found an article about "animal dumping" in the Angeles National Forest. Fair use is 200 words, so I did a bit of snipping to keep within that limit:
Homeowners living at the edge of human development expect to see coyotes and bobcats trotting through their yards. Residents know to keep their animals in at night, lest their pets become prey.

(But the area) also seems to draw city dwellers with pets to spare. A cabin caretaker recently discovered a herd of eight to ten cream-colored pet rabbits apparently abandoned on Chaney Trail.

A homeowner who lives near the Angeles National Forest said: "The rabbits are just one of the more bizarre examples of a chronic problem. People are cowardly and they don't want to take responsibility for finding homes for their animals. They prefer the illusion or the disillusion, if you will, that dumping off their animals in the forest means they'll be free. I can only imagine the fear and suffering they go through before they're 'dispatched' by coyotes or wandering dogs."

Abandoning animals is illegal both in the national forest and LA County. Forest Service (spokeswoman) said reports are referred to LA County's Department of Animal Care and Control. (Their spokeswoman) said the county does not have a widespread problem of animal abandonment in the foothills areas. "It's not something that happens frequently, fortunately."

Two points. One- The above is from five six years ago. I can only imagine that the problem has gotten worse, as people suffer from the current financial melt-down. Two- I really do wonder about the statement from the county's spokesperson. I mean, not that frequently, compared to what? Whatever. However you look at it, dumping animals, in whatever fashion, is cruel and irresponsible. And, illegal.


  1. Hi VG, You wouldn't know what happened to that poor dog? Did they catch her and is she safe?

  2. HI VG, I forgot. I could have put that link to the feral cats of LA on my last comment. Here is the link:

    Feral Cats of Los Angeles

  3. Freddie-


    Updated the post- they caught the dog and the dog trainer is keeping her for now.

    Also got the links to work. It was very weird- never had the problem before and I have to "fix" my HTML all the time when I forget the > or the ".


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