Many hands work together to save local animals

OCEANSIDE — An adoption fair hosted by Mission Animal and Bird Hospital will take place at 3 p.m. July 18. The event is being held to make room for dogs confiscated from Alice Via of Boxer Rescue San Diego that are being temporarily housed at San Diego County Animal Control’s Central Shelter.
Pets that will be available for adoption include 12 toy-sized dogs such as a Pomeranian mix, a poodle mix, a Chihuahua and an 8-month Yorkie. Also looking for permanent homes are an adult lab mix, a partially deaf white boxer, two cats, a kitten, three parakeets and a dove.
Adoptions are handled through Boxers N Birds Rescue, which is operated by Linda Hamilton, who is also hospital administrator.
Hamilton reports that she has collaborated with Via on rescues for more than seven years.
“Alice is a dear, sweet lady,” Hamilton said. “She’s dedicated her life to helping animals. Most of the time she was sending dogs our way. It was a very cooperative relationship.”
In March, Via was arrested on suspicion of felony animal neglect, along with misdemeanor counts of failing to provide veterinary care, poor sanitation and having an illegal kennel which housed 60 boxers and Chihuahuas.
Upon hearing the news, Hamilton said her initial concern was to help exit dogs from the county shelter. She reports having space for 40 dogs in a vacant building that housed the hospital until operations moved into a new state-of-the-art facility seven months ago.
“We are on a wait list for six Chihuahuas and two boxers from the county shelter,” Hamilton said. “They will be the first to be transferred because they need medical care. If there are more, we can take them.”
On July 10, animal trainer and behaviorist Randy Abbott, and his wife Anya, recruited a team of men from the Fellowship Center in Escondido to help prepare the older building for the arrival of new dogs.
“They scrubbed down the walls and floors with deck and brushes,” Hamilton said. “Then they opened and washed the cabinets and helped us throw away things so we could bring the dogs to an environment that was clean and comfortable.”
Hamilton added that volunteers will work in shifts to care for the animals.
Prior to being adopted, all animals will have been spayed or neutered as well as treated for medical and dental issues. They will also have received all vaccinations, heartworm prevention and Frontline flea control.
Prospective owners will be screened before being approved to adopt an animal. A donation is requested in lieu of an established fee.
Hamilton began her all-breed rescue group several years ago when she began exiting animals tagged for euthanasia at the county shelter due to medical issues.
“My husband and I had the means and would pay for their care,” she said. “I had support from my children as well.”
Hamilton reports that Dr. Robert Cartin, who owns the hospital, also collaborated on the effort by donating his time, medicine, supplies and use of facility.
“Last year we helped more than 100 shelter animals,” Hamilton said. “All received medical care and were placed in homes.”
When Mission Hospital moved to its new home Hamilton said that Cartin offered the old building as a permanent home for the rescue group. The facility is equipped with12 indoor runs and 40 stainless steel kennels that can accommodate more than 50 dogs, cats and birds.
“We have applied for our 501 (c) 3 status and are looking for major donors to underwrite the cost of rent, a staff of four, medicine and supplies,” Hamilton said.
To make a donation or volunteer call Hamilton at (760) 433-3763.
The Mission Animal & Bird Hospital is located at 655 Benet Rd., on the southwest corner of Highway 76 and Benet Rd. Hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sundau, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit Missionanimal.com.

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