AGOURA HILLS, Calif. — When Alison Eastwood very first started rescuing pets, she witnessed some thing that alarmed her into motion. It is the motive for her current pet undertaking — virtually.
She began a foundation that rescues animals from animal shelters.
The incident took place though Eastwood was traveling to a general public animal shelter in the San Fernando Valley. Two folks confirmed up with a pair of pet dogs. Eastwood approached the couple and requested them why they ended up surrendering the puppies to the shelter.
“‘Well, my mother died past week. These are her canine, and we don’t want them,'” stated Eastwood, recalling the discussion. “I was new to rescue at the time. And it was the 1st time I was truly horrified. It shook me to my core.”
Eastwood observed that she couldn’t imagine how people today would think about pets “dispensable.” And she stated it transpires all as well often. When a pet gets inconvenient, for example, when someone moves or the operator dies, they are quick to fall off their animals at a shelter.
“And just due to the fact they are aged or have smelly breath or maybe they can not hold their, you know, their peeps and poops any longer, it does not necessarily mean that they must be discarded,” Eastwood mentioned.
Eastwood was also incensed for the reason that she discovered that, the quite future working day, that same couple showed up at the shelter to undertake a different pet. What shook her the most about that encounter was the information that those people two dogs would in all probability be euthanized almost as soon as the few remaining the shelter.
“When a puppy or cat is picked up as a ‘stray,’ the [shelter] has a holding period of time to obtain the operator. Having said that, when you ‘owner-surrender’ a pet dog or a cat, they can euthanize it suitable absent. And it doesn’t have any possibility of staying adopted or fostered.”
And shelters in Southern California do that often, Eastwood included. And the purpose is basic: If the shelter is total, they really do not have place for more recent animals. And, she reported, a lot of of the shelters in the location are complete.
“It’s regrettable, but we have a awful [pet] overpopulation dilemma in Southern California.”
Eastwood explained Los Angeles County animal shelters are particularly overcrowded and consequently have a higher “kill level.”
The Finest Friends Animal Culture, California, ranks next in the nation in the number of pets euthanized each yr. According to the most modern stats, California shelters set down approximately 110,000 pets on a yearly basis.
Eastwood has been an animal lover her total existence. Developing up in Pebble Beach, California, she surrounded herself with pets. Even wild animals were welcomed into her house.
“My mother and my relatives took in some orphaned deer,” Eastwood stated. “I experienced bunnies. I had pet rats. I experienced birds. I had fish. I even had hermit crabs.”
Eastwood nevertheless surrounds herself with animals. Now, in her Calabasas household, Eastwood has two canine and 6 cats, and a couple of of those she is fostering until finally they uncover a permanent house. She and her husband developed an indoor-outdoor “cattery,” as Eastwood phone calls it. It’s a bedroom with an adjoining balcony.
“Everyone in the community is familiar with we’re the mad cat people,” she explained, gazing by means of the rooster wire on the balcony.
Eastwood credits her enjoy of animals to her moms and dads, notably her father, who is an avowed animal lover. Her father occurs to be movie legend Clint Eastwood.
And Eastwood dropped a minimal gossip about Hollywood’s horseback hero.
“Big negative Clint Eastwood is allergic to cats and horses,” she stated with a giggle.
Eastwood’s father is accomplishing what he can to guidance his daughter’s most recent endeavor. In 2020, she broke floor on an animal welfare and pet rescue center in Agoura Hills.
Eastwood stated the center’s mission while she walked about the cement slabs that ended up just lately poured onto the assets. It is not a general public animal shelter, she insisted. Men and women will not be in a position to arrive just to drop off their animals.
“Eastwood Ranch Foundation specifically goes to large-eliminate shelters in Southern California to discover animals in the most require and bringing them here, so they have a truly good prospect and the greatest opportunity of currently being adopted,” Eastwood said.
It will have “ranch” or “western theme,” she additional, which echoes her father’s well known cowboy films.
Eastwood stated how Eastwood Ranch will also serve as an educational center as nicely as a area for individuals to deliver their pets throughout a all-natural disaster this sort of as an earthquake or a wildfire. She noted how some folks in the spot experienced to abandon their pets all through the 2018 Woolsey Fire.
But presently, Eastwood’s animal shelter has no shelter. It is unfinished.
“We just have not lifted quite enough revenue to place some walls and a roof on it nevertheless,” she claimed as she gazed out at the mostly empty ton. “But we just received to get it finished.”
She hopes to have Eastwood Ranch open by spring 2023.