LANCASTER – Skye was wandering the desert on a rainy day when she was spotted by concerned residents, who teamed up to safely corral the soaking wet, frightened poodle.
Today, Skye is healthy and happy and has found a loving home with Palmdale resident Dalida Ohanian.
“At home she’s relaxed, she doesn’t bark and she’s really sweet,” Ohanian said.
Skye and many others like her have been saved thanks to the Lost & Found Dogs in the Antelope Valley (LAFDAV), an online information center supported by Antelope Valley residents who are advocates for animals.
“Our motto is reuniting pets with their families and helping the ones left behind,” said Jeanette Portocarrero, who started LAFDAV in 2011 to have a central online station for locally lost pets.
“I started a Facebook page in hopes of trying to reunite these pets with their families, and in doing so, I discovered a much deeper need,” Portocarrero said. “There are so many stray dogs, abused dogs, abandoned and neglected dogs in this Valley, so now I’m deep in the trenches.”
LAFDAV’s mission continues to expand, and the network now provides support, education and funding for the local pet community, as well as a resolution towards pet negligence and abandonment, Portocarrero said.
On Sunday (Oct. 6), the group hosted its inaugural “Run with Pets” event, a 5K “run/walk/crawl” aimed at raising awareness of the pet crisis in the Antelope Valley.
Sunday’s 5K brought together about two dozen participants and pooches of all breeds.
The 5K started and ended at Sol Plaza, at 1140 Commerce Drive in Lancaster. Participants paid $15 to take part and received a LAFDAV “No Kill” T-shirt.
Funds raised from the event will be used to help continue LAFDAV’s mission, which includes getting more residents involved and eventually opening a weekend adoption center in Sol Plaza, Portocarrero said.
“I think there’s a lot of people that see the need and don’t really know how to help or where to begin, so the network gives them a start,” Portocarrero said. “We need to bring awareness to this community that every individual who owns a pet needs to take proper care of it, because at the end of the day, it’s people like us left to pick up litters of unwanted pets.”
For more information about LAFDAV or to make a tax deductible donation to support the cause, visit http://lafdav.com. If you are in the midst of trying to locate a lost pet or have found a pet and are looking to locate its owner, you can post pictures at LAFDAV’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lostdogsintheantelopevalley.
You can also join the LAFDAV network’s Facebook group, by visiting https://www.facebook.com/groups/lafdav/.