No Heat For Homeless Animals At Chowchilla Shelter

Lucky, a three-year-old pit-bull, has been at the Chowchilla Animal Shelter for more than a year.

He's been fighting mange. But after spending much of the year outside and not getting the daily baths he needs, the mange is still there.

Believe it or not, Lucky is lucky to be alive.

"It breaks my heart," Sandy Caracciolo, who is worried about the animals in Chowchilla, said.

Lucky gets to stay inside now.

But many of the dogs at the shelter do not.

"With it being an outside shelter, they're constantly getting sick. They're just not really being well taken care of," Caracciolo said. "There's no heater in the shelter. The way it's set up, all these dogs are outside. They're getting rained on. The ones in particular right here, the way it's slanted, get flooded out. It's just a wreck."

Some of the dogs have access to the inside, but others are stuck outside 24 hours a day.

That's why volunteers put tarps up earlier this week.

But while the tarps can block some of the rain, they can't block the cold.

"We had a city council meeting two nights ago and this was on the agenda for a heater. And for whatever reason, it was taken off, and we were told it wasn't going to be put back on the agenda until January. And that kind of defeats the purpose," Caracciolo said.

KMPH tried to find out why the city of Chowchilla didn't address the issue at its meeting, but our calls to the city administrator went unreturned.

"I don't think they care. I think to them it's a holding cell. Before people started stepping in and making a stink, these dogs were held, and cats, and every Thursday they were transferred to Madera where 80-90% of them were killed that day," Caracciolo said.

With rain possible over the next several days and the temperatures only expected to drop, Sandy worries it will be too much for the dogs stuck outside.

"It's unnecessary. I believe it's completely cruel. They're not even getting the basics," she said.

And she still worries for Lucky, who, despite being moved inside, faces the threat of getting sick in a building without a heating system.

There is something you can do to help the shelter.

Volunteers will accept donations of dog beds, blankets, dog treats, leashes, collars and laundry detergent.

To donate, you can contact Sandy Caracciolo at 559-201-9141.