Dozens of animals fill the Carson Animal Shelter’s kennels as strays or as owner-surrenders.

As more animals are brought in, the shelter reaches out to one nonprofit to help bring pets home.

  • Many pet owners unable to afford licensing fees when dogs wind up in shelters
  • Nonprofit helps families reunite with pets by paying bailout and licensing fees
  • Organization helped one Compton pet owner reunite with his dogs 

Monstro is one of two dogs that have been missing for two days after a family member opened Ramon Garcia’s gate at his Compton home. It was an accident that left Garcia’s family searching everywhere.

“When I see around, I don’t see my dogs. So I started looking around for them on the street, this and that, and the next day, the first thing I did was come over here and look for them,” Garcia said.

Garcia found his dogs at the Carson Animal Shelter in Gardena. But, between licensing, kennel and neuter fees he wasn’t able to pay over $400 to get both of his dogs back.

“I feel bad because I feel like something is missing from my house,” Garcia said.

At the shelter, over 100 of the 144 kennels house dogs awaiting adoption or owners to bring them home. Javier Gutierrez is the animal care manager and he said the shelter covers areas from Rancho Palos Verdes to Universal City.

This is their slow season.

“About 80 percent of them are stray animals that were lost,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said when owners like Garcia aren’t able to pay the fees needed to get their dogs back, the shelter reaches out to nonprofit organizations like Captain Care that can step in financially and prevent having dogs be put down when the shelter is at capacity.

Captain Care is a nonprofit shelter intervention program that relies on donations to help keep pets in homes by providing vet care, bail out shelter assistance and animal supplies.

“People have lots of animals in their homes and they’ve often taken them off the street or they’ve gotten them from another family member. But they can’t always afford to keep them. Our job is to help keep that animal in the home that it’s loved for as long as it lives,” Jill Overdorf, a volunteer with Captain Care, said.

After Captain Care stepped in to help with half the cost and provided pet supplies, Garcia and his family reunited with their dogs.

“We’re happy, we’re all happy now,” Garcia said.

Garcia said when he gets home, he’ll make sure his gates are locked every single day. Because he never wants his family to be apart again.