AGUA DULCE – When you’ve already got 150 dogs, what’s a few dozen more? That was the feeling of Tia Torres-Cardella, who runs Villalobos Pit Bull Rescue in Agua Dulce when she got a call Sunday from Bobby Dorafshar, the owner of New Leash on Life pet rescue in Placerita Canyon. Dorafshar was on his second mission of mercy into the flood-ravaged Gulf Coast to rescue animals stranded by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “He started the conversation with ‘Honey, before you say no,’ so how could I not help?” Torres-Cardella said. “First there were 80 pit bulls, then other groups took some and it went down to 35. So we were there at LAX Monday night, picking up all these dogs.” Her mountainside compound is lined with plastic cages in which the dogs traveled. Many are housed in a steel construction trailer, others against the shaded patio or in a utility van parked near the back door of Torres-Cardella’s house. Several resident dogs watched calmly as a handful of volunteers fetched bowls of water and dog food for the refugees. “Pits are the most resilient of breeds, they bounce right back. Give them a day and they’re ready to party,” she said. “The funny thing was when we got to the plane, we heard thump, thump, thump, all those tails wagging.” Most of the dogs are in good health, but a few have problems; a couple have curable ringworm, one is pregnant and another has skin infections from the toxic stew of the flood waters. The dogs came from an emergency animal evacuation center set up at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La., that stopped accepting animals last Friday and will close by Saturday. At one time, the center sheltered more than 5,000 animals. “They told me that whatever dogs don’t get taken to rescue will be turned over to the National Guard and who knows what will happen to them then,” Torres-Cardella said. The animals will be acclimated to California, examined by vets and cared for until their pictures can be posted online for a possible reunion with their owners. Torres Cardella said that pit bulls’ reputations might pose a roadblock in their adoption, but that the breed is actually very loving toward people – it’s other dogs that bring out their aggression. “I expect to hold on to them for awhile,” she said. “I still have a couple of rescues from Hurricane Charlie last year. I love the breed’s fiestiness and personalities. They are so forgiving of people.” If original owners cannot be located, potential new owners will be grilled about the environment they intend to provide the animal and how much they know about the pit bull breed. “These dogs have been through two hurricanes, a flood and a cross-country plane trip. That’s a stressful environment for them,” she said. “I don’t want bleeding hearts. They have to be willing to learn about the breed. Don’t just feel sorry for the dog.” The other 150 residents of her rescue were quiet in their cages behind the house, probably because of the human-dog interactions that continued through the late morning. “Do you want to go back to Louisiana?” Torres-Cardella barked at a howling dog near the trailer, reaching out to pet the dog after admonishing him. “We make them toe the line.” Owners looking for their pets or those looking to adopt a pit bull rescued from the hurricane area should log on to www.petfinder.com. Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Last week, The Sun said it would cut 75 jobs, or 5 percent of its work force, with 12 to 15 expected to come from the newsroom. In September, Newsday, the Tribune Co.’s dominant daily newspaper on Long Island, said it would reduce its coverage of New York City and cut 45 positions from its newsroom staff. Last month, Chicago-based Tribune, whose holdings include 11 daily newspapers, 26 television stations and the Chicago Cubs, said third-quarter profits tumbled 82 percent because of an adverse tax ruling that forced it to take a huge charge. The media company’s results also showed continuing sluggishness in advertising sales and lower revenue from newspaper circulation, although Tribune executives said recent circulation trends show improvement. Tribune Co. spokesman Gary Weitman said there was no directive to the dailies about job cuts but said they are being made as individual papers develop their operating plans. Last month, Chairman and CEO Dennis FitzSimons said in his third-quarter letter to shareholders that “all of our newspapers are pursuing further cost reductions to be implemented by year end.” Newsroom cuts do not necessarily mean diminished news coverage, said newspaper analyst John Morton, president of the media consulting firm Morton Research Inc. “These newspapers generally have by industry standards fairly fat news staffs, so generally the layoffs are not draconian,” Morton said. In September, The New York Times Co. said it would cut about 500 jobs across its company, or 4 percent of its work force; Philadelphia’s two major newspapers said they would cut a combined 100 jobs. The San Jose Mercury News, owned by Knight Ridder Inc., cut 16 percent of its newsroom staff earlier this month through attrition and buyouts. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Publisher Jeff Johnson told employees in a separate memo that job cuts in other departments will be announced over the next three weeks, as will initiatives to boost circulation and advertising revenue. In Chicago, the total number of Tribune jobs cut will “likely” be fewer than 100 and will be distributed across all departments, publisher David Hiller said in a memo to employees. Many of the jobs being eliminated are open positions but there will be no voluntary buyouts, he said. Decisions on layoffs will be made in the next two weeks. The Orlando Sentinel’s publisher, Kathy Waltz, told staff in a memo the paper would cut “a limited number of positions,” according to copies of the memo posted on several industry Web sites. Waltz did not say how many jobs would be cut or from which departments. The Florida paper did not immediately return a call for comment on Wednesday. Three newspapers owned by Tribune Co., including the company’s two flagship papers in Chicago and Los Angeles, said Wednesday they will cut jobs amid declining circulation and revenue. The cuts come one week after another Tribune paper, The (Baltimore) Sun, and Knight Ridder Inc.’s San Jose Mercury News both announced similar cost-cutting moves. The Los Angeles Times said Wednesday it is eliminating about 85 newsroom positions, or approximately 8 percent of its editorial staff. Some of the cuts already have come through attrition and some will come through a voluntary separation program, editor Dean Baquet wrote in an e-mail to staff. The balance will come through layoffs by year’s end.