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Animal Shelter Needs More than a Makeover

Editor,

Let me preface my letter with the disclaimer that I am not discounting the damage that has been done to private homes and businesses in town with the recent flood.

If you did not know, construction was just about to begin on a remodel of our town’s animal shelter. The facility was going to get a much-needed redo, but the existing structure was going to stay, and they were only going to add a tiny amount of new square footage.

If you have ever been to the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, you know what I am talking about when I say that it was tiny, cramped, poorly planned and virtually falling apart. Due to the horrible amount of damage that it sustained with the flooding, I think it is time to consider scrapping the entire building and doing it right.

As a veterinarian and founder of The Pet Rescue Center, I am honestly embarrassed by what our city had been providing as shelter for stray dogs and cats awaiting loving homes. The staff does an excellent job with the animals but the facility was ridiculous. I am also a life-long resident of Laguna Beach, and I believe that our pet-loving community should be clamoring for a facility that can appropriately serve the needs of our city.

Additionally, the new building could be constructed in a way that would enable better protection for these storms that are going to continue to be a problem for that area. What about an elevated structure, maybe even tying in a little lower level parking lot so that the future flooding does not wipe out what our tax dollars are going to build?

Dr. Matthew Wheaton, Laguna Beach

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