Thank you Mary Garcia and Katie McGuire from Wallis Annenberg PetSpace for joining me on the Born To Talk Radio Show Podcast. Located in Playa Vista, California, Wallis Annenberg PetSpace is a unique community space that features an interactive place for pet adoptions, educational programming, and an academic leadership institute.
Annenberg PetSpace’s mission is to strengthen and promote the human-animal bond. Their mission is supported by their wonderful staff. Including my guests today, Mary Garica, Adoptions & Fostering Coordinator, and Katie McGuire, Animal Behavior & Training Coordinator. The animals that come to PetSpace are from the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control. They work together to place pets back into homes, beginning with support for a comprehensive behavior and enrichment program for the animal’s social and mental well-being. Kittens are considered one of the highest-risk animals in shelters. They require constant care, something most shelters are unable to provide.
How did PetSpace adapt to the Covid challenges?
At the start of the Safer at Home order, they placed the majority of their pets in foster care with volunteers and friends of Annenberg PetSpace. The remaining few that needed extra training or care stayed on-site with a smaller team, to avoid cross-contamination.
They also shifted to a lot of online programming, like virtual pet encounters and PetSpace Pals puppet shows. Last summer, they started up adoptions by appointment, which let them limit the number of people in the space.
They offered dog meet-and-greets outside in their Barks & Rec yard. Cat meetings were done virtually via Zoom. It worked well to showcase cats with staff members who they already recognized and were comfortable with. Potential adopters could see how they could potentially be, rather than the often shy or nervous encounters they could have in-person. It sure worked out well for me!
If you are looking to adopt, maybe consider fostering first to experience having a pet at home. Keep an open mind to determine what pet might fit best in your lifestyle.
For first-time pet parents. Set up a veterinarian appointment right away to get a relationship started with someone local who you can trust to care for your pet. For dogs, determine habits your dog will need to learn. Plan for training classes with a positive reinforcement trainer.
How can you get involved?
PetSpace continues to have a wonderful volunteer program, with a team of dedicated people who help out with a variety of needs. They include walking dogs and cleaning up after our animals. Consider assisting with guests and programming.
They also are accepting donations to help support their work. Most recently PetSpace launched their foster program, connecting animal lovers with pets who may need a bit more attention and care before they’re ready for adoption.
Here are just a couple of examples of classes and events that Katie and Mary participate in.
Mutt Matters with Katie.
Cat-O-Rama Adoption Event on June 19, Mary will be part of this.
PetSpace has played an important part in my life when I adopted Miss Kitty. I would suggest, regardless of where you live, look into the agencies that also provide for fostering and adoptions.
Check out their website for more information! Where People & Pets Connect!
Conversations + Connections = Community