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Animal Lovers of Parlier Shelter pleads for help

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Volunteers with Animal Lovers of Parlier, a no-kill shelter just outside the city, spend every hot summer day tending to the animals.

"I feel like they have feelings too," said Margaret Gonzalez. "They feel it when somebody cares for them, loves them."

For shelter manager Juanita Moreno, It's a 24-hour a day, 7-days a week job. "I work Monday through Sunday. I'm here morning to night."

A job she does for free -- and gladly. Since the Parlier city council reduced funding to the shelter in May, from 5-thousand dollars a month to one-thousand... keeping the animals healthy and fed is a struggle.

Moreno said, "Your heart is beating; what happened this morning? What happened last night? Did an animal die, did an animal get sick, how are we going to feed it?"

The one-thousand dollar allowance only goes so far. Last month's medical bill was 17-hundred dollars. Moreno organizes fundraisers to buy food for the 150 animals currently housed at the shelter. She spends part of her day taking the animals to other Valley shelters to keep them from getting euthanized... or from ending up dead on the street.

"In one street, 5 dead animals," said Moreno. "Two teacup Chihuahuas, a cat and two bigger dogs... in the same block."

Parlier city manager Lou Martinez says the city had no other option but to cut funding. "We believe that it is something that is valuable and that its helpful, but we have to make priority choices and that is the problem with every city in the state is doing that right now."

Just last week the city learned they would have to pay the state almost half a million dollars to maintain their redevelopment program... so cutting all funding to the shelter is a possibility.

"We're not in the red -- we're balancing, but we're trying to balance without laying any people off," said Martinez.

With no relief in sight, Moreno hopes Valley residents will come to the aid of her beloved animals.

Moreno said, "I think we can make it if we get people donating, who can hear my plea right now, please... whoever's out there, help me."

The shelter is holding a fundraising dance on August 20th at the Parlier Community Center. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the city of Parlier office.

To make a donation:
Animal Lovers of Parlier
1100 E Parlier Ave.
Parlier, CA 93648
Contact: Juanita Moreno at (559) 470-5671

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Tags:
parlier, fresno county, budget cuts, local, graciela moreno
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