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The city of Ontario, California, about 50 miles from downtown L.A., last year created a camp where the homeless and their pets were welcome. Their intent was to have a place where down-and-out residents from Ontario could safely camp away from city streets and neighborhoods. But word spread, and the camp grew to about 400 people—many of whom came from other areas to live.

Now the city is scaling back its homeless enclave, restricting it only to those who can prove they once had another home within city limits. In the process, they have posted new rules and regulations that ban residents of the camp from having animals. Current residents who would be allowed to stay under new rules must get rid of their pets by Monday, March 24.

A group of veterinary students from Western University who have been providing spay/neuter/vaccination services to residents have asked for an extension. The students plan to present a proposal that offers a humane solution to the situation.

The Ontario City Council instead of planning for a way to help end homelessness in their community has moved them outside the city limits. They now have the nerve to ban pets because the homeless population was larger than they expected. Does anyone see anything wrong and hypocritical about this? This pet ban is not a solution to the bigger problem.

For more information about the proposal and what you can do to help these students get an extension on the pet ban before Monday's deadline -


Contact the City Official of Ontario California:
Ontario City Hall
303 East "B" Street
Ontario, California 91764
(909) 395-2011

Letter to
Board of Supervisors Gary Ovitt
Mayor Paul Leon
Mayor pro Tem Jason Anderson
Studies have shown that pets provide homeless people with mental and physical well-being and that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression and drug use. The bonds formed between homeless people and their pets are often very strong. Many homeless people take better care of the animal than they do themselves. Some will skip a meal in order to feed the animal. Some turn down shelter if the animal is refused.

Surveys also reveal that a pet is the one good thing in many homeless people's lives. Many said that companionship was the best thing about having a pet when homeless.

As city representatives, work to find a solution to the bigger problem of homelessness without further punishing those that are suffering in the camp by forcing them to give up their pets. Please break the 'vicious circle' that pet-owning homeless people find themselves in.

Find a workable solution for the city's homeless that does not include banning their pets. Extend the deadline and work with Jamie Lee Slingluff, SC-ACVP President, DVM Research Club President and Student Chapter of Christian Vet Mission President at Western University’s School of Veterinary Medicine to find a humane solution.

Cease the harassment of individuals who are homeless. Work with local nonprofit and organizations to find solutions. The shelter and housing of individuals should involve diverse programs managed and staffed by individuals whom have been homeless. Shelters are only part of the solution, education, job opportunities and drastic reformation of the city welfare policies.  


Debbie S started this petition with a single signature, and now has 63 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.