Family Ties

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Pasadena Humane strives to keep animals with their pet parents

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Whether it’s meowing for water in the middle of the night or urinating outside of a litterbox, pet parents sometimes need a little guidance with their fur babies.

Pasadena Humane has the answer for that. It offers a robust in-person and over-the-phone support with the Animal Resource Center’s six animal behavior specialists. Owners can make an appointment with one via the free behavior helpline. 

The helpline provides guidance for common problem behaviors such as potty training/litter box issues, barking, leash manners and scratching furniture. It can also provide advice for new puppy, kitten and critter adopters. 

“If someone is having behavior issues like a litter box with cats or reactive dog issues, we can connect them with our free behavior helpline to resolve that problematic behavior,” says Dia DuVernet, Pasadena Humane’s president and chief executive officer.

The center is devoted to helping pet owners whenever possible. 

“For example, if there’s a pet owner in financial hardship, we can connect them with a food bank, or if someone temporarily does not have a place to live, we will provide temporary boarding for the animals until (their owners) get back on their feet.”

Pasadena Humane’s support includes assistance for people who have lost or found pets, need to rehome their pet, or are seeking advice on any pet-related issue. Since the pandemic started, Pasadena Humane has increased its efforts to return lost animals with identification to their owners in the field, rather than having the pets come into the shelter. 

Sick or injured wildlife are cared for as well. DuVernet says Pasadena Humane sees many varieties of birds, squirrels, possums and skunks. Injured or orphaned baby hummingbirds are brought to Pasadena Humane occasionally.

“Any wild animals we might have in our community can be brought to us,” she explains. 

“We don’t have jurisdiction over larger predatory wildlife like bears, which are under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. We see all sorts of little critters.”

DuVernet says the goal is to rehab the animals and release them back into the wild. For example, if a baby bird falls out of its nest, wildlife experts can tell residents how to reunite the bird with its mom. If that works, there is no need to bring in the bird.

Animals that are brought into Pasadena Humane are nursed with incubators and fed with their proper diet. 

“The goal is to have as little human interaction as possible to keep them wild,” she says. “We keep them until they’re healthy or old enough to take them out and release them.”

Resources go beyond Pasadena Humane’s walls. It provides animal control in Altadena, Arcadia, Bradbury, Glendale, La Cañada-Flintridge, La Crescenta-Montrose, Monrovia, Pasadena (city and unincorporated), San Marino, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena. The communities contract with Pasadena Humane for animal control.

Animal control handles animal cruelty investigations, stray animal assistance, owner relinquishment, nuisance complaints, law enforcement and citations, pet licensing, wildlife and community education. 

“During the pandemic, we equipped all animal control officers with microchip reader and computer so when an animal control officer picks up a stray animal in the community, they can contact the owner and take the animal directly home, rather than take it to the shelter.

“We just want to keep animals in their homes.”

Pasadena Humane

361 S. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena


Pasadena Humane Animal Behavior Hotline

Wildlife helpline

626-344-1129 (text is preferred) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

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