I have been to the Tracy Animal Shelter one time, and honestly, I have no wish to ever go back. The place is downright depressing. But for all the people who have never been there, here is a short description:
First, you have to drive at least 15 minutes, give or take a few depending on your starting location, out of town to get there in the first place. And you wind up in an area that you didn’t know was even part of the city at all. There is nothing around but dirt and fields and that factory with the smoke stacks that burn — what? In such a dreary place, the imagination can work overtime, especially being that they do put animals down.
Anyway, there is the office to the left, and then there is a room you can walk into, which is full of caged cats of various ages. The first thing they do as soon as you walk in is stand up and meow. The whole room becomes filled with their pathetic, desperate cries for attention. They want love and a family.
Then, you walk though this room into the area where they keep all the dogs. Perhaps because it was twilight when I visited, but the whole area just seemed really dark and a little bit scary. The dogs are not nearly as active as the cats and they just sort of lay there. It was really dusty because, from what I remember, part of their cages were exposed to the outside environment, and with nothing around but the flat fields, the wind can get pretty gusty, I’m sure.
I’ve volunteered for Animal Rescue of Tracy for the past three years, and I know that all the volunteer groups work together to save the animals and get them to good homes, but there is only so much they can do. Eventually, there is no more room for cats and older animals stay longer than the babies — everyone wants a puppy or a kitten. Room fills up fast, and the ones left at the shelter usually have no choice but to accept their dark fate.
How is keeping them at that rundown place any better than letting them run the streets?
The city really needs to get its act together. What is sad is that even things of high priority take months and years to even get started around here, and with the animal shelter so low on the list, it’s most likely that it’s going to be another 30 years before the “temporary” shelter gets replaced. But it only takes one step into that terrible “meow-schwitz” room to see that action needs to be taken sooner rather than later.