In a display of community spirit, Animal Services Commissioner Alison McBeth-Featherstone, shelter volunteers Danielle Howard and Debra Vigna, and Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s team spearheaded a monumental clean-up operation at the Chesterfield Square Animal Shelter on Sunday, Oct. 1.
The shelter is beyond capacity and houses over 400 dogs daily. Also, the shelter has been impacted by a dwindling staff. Last weekend, over 200 volunteers cleaned kennels and small animal cages, and walked dogs.
The goal was clear – to create a healthier and more comfortable environment for animals awaiting adoption at Chesterfield Animal Shelter in South Los Angeles. This collective effort lightened the load on shelter staff and marked the beginning of a sustainable cleaning schedule moving forward.
“We believe that a clean and safe space is essential for the well-being of our four-legged friends,” stated Harris-Dawson, who sponsored the initiative.
“By uniting volunteers from the community, city departments, and neighborhood councils, we’ve taken a significant step towards improving the animal’s lives. I hope people continue to come together for this cause.”
The volunteers included staff from the Mayor’s Office and City Controller Kenneth Mejia. The sheer scale of the operation was immense, with 33 rows of kennels, 15 crates along hallways, and eight kennels in the receiving lobby. Five-to-seven teams each comprised of 8-10 volunteers worked efficiently to complete tasks with each group focusing on specific roles, ensuring that no detail was overlooked.
This community-led endeavor transformed the shelter and raised awareness about the challenges faced by the Department of Animal Services.