Flying Tails: Central Valley shelter with too many animals gets helping hand from San Francisco SPCA

Flying Tails

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — In tonight’s Flying Tails episode, KRON4’s Ken Wayne takes a trip to the Central Valley where an animal shelter is struggling to keep up with a flood of unwanted dogs and cats.

Thanks to the help of the San Francisco SPCA, they’re starting to turn things around.

Also on board the flight is Krista Maloney with the San Francisco SPCA.

They took off from the San Carlos Airport, bound for the Central Valley town of Visalia. 

They’re heading to the Tulare County Animal Services to pick up four dogs.

“We take in usually 20 to 40 dogs every single day,” said Cassie Heffington with Tulare Animal Services. 

As many as 8,000 animals a year are dropped off at the shelter.

One pup has a leg injury.

Another one appears to be healthy and another pup is wearing a dog cone and is also missing an eye.

It can be dispiriting to work here and see this kind of suffering every day.

“You concentrate on the times when you win. By winning I mean we get the animal out alive and are able to get any medical treatment they need and move on to a good home,” Heffington said. 

She credits the San Francisco SPCA with helping with the medical treatments.

“That’s one of the things we really count on our Bay Area partners for. And that’s one of the brilliant things that have come out of this partnership, especially with SF SPCA,” she said.

The San Francisco SPCA also helped out when the Tulare County shelter was hit with a severe case of dog distemper last October.

“They couldn’t continue to hold them like we could. We are able to do that because we have foster homes. We have isolation facilities. The shelter in Tulare does not,” said SPCA Director of Shelter Medicine Dr. Barbara Laderman-Jones.

The SPCA is helping Tulare and other Central Valley animal care facilities with access to vaccinations and affordable spay and neuter services.

“We’re really trying to reach out to shelters all across the state to help them be as successful as we have been with controlling disease and having a healthy community,” said

Back in San Francisco Ken and Krista find Argos, one of the Tulare County dogs struck with distemper.

Thanks to foster volunteers he’s recovered and ready to be adopted.

Lauren Sivley of Oakland is meeting Argos to see if he’s the one she’ll take home for good.

“I think with this dog I’d probably fall in love and end up adopting him,” she said. “So I’m just going to go home and sleep on it and make sure this is what I’m ready for and then I’ll email them tomorrow.”

In the end Sivley said yes. 

Now Argos has his forever home.

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