What would a tent city occupied for nearly two months by humans be without animals? Some of the residents of the 450 tents that make up the Occupy Los Angeles encampment on the grounds of City Hall in downtown L.A. brought their dogs and cats. Many of the animals actually belong to homeless people who have moved in, seeking a safer haven than skid row.
Animal welfare advocate Analee Brodie has taken on the task of roaming the camp, identifying pets that need help and providing collars, leashes and even appointments for shots. Some animals need veterinary care. She spotted a man with two sickly pit bulls, and last week she rescued a kitten suffering from an eye infection that was found playing in the trash between tents.
Brodie, along with Bill Dyer -- the Southern California regional director of In Defense of Animals -- have been soliciting donations to defray the costs of providing the pets vet care. They're also looking for help transporting animals. They are calling their efforts the Ocupuppy Project. (For more information on helping out, contact Dyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brodie at email@example.com.)
The Occupy movements in Los Angeles and elsewhere have done a compelling job of raising consciousness about wealth disparities, and have made into a rallying cry the idea that 1% of the people hold sway over the other 99%.
It's nice to know that there are people also watching out for the pets -- of the 99% -- who fall between the tents.
Photo: An Occupy L.A. camper's cat takes in the scene. Credit: Carla Hall