Senior Nearly Loses Dogs After Thousands in Fines

Kitty Alvarado

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Josefina Gallo arrived to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus heartbroken and resigned to give up her two dogs Gordo and Panda, 

“I will suffer without them and them without me,” she said in tears adding, “yesterday I received a letter telling me I owe $2,000 in fines, I don’t have that money so I‘ve come to turn them in but it makes me so sad because I‘ve had them since they were puppies.”

Josefina does not speak English and didn’t realize what the letter said until she had someone translate, that’s what brought her to the shelter. She explained the situation to the animal campus employee.

“I think the fines are from the license and vaccinations,” she said. 

I asked if there was something they could do for her, that she was devastated and frightened she was going to have to give up her pets.

The animal campus employee said they do everything they can to work with people so that doesn’t happen. Another employee added that they can put her on a payment plan and that’s something they often do for families that cannot afford the fees.

For the first time Josefina had hope saying she’d been up all night crying and praying, “Let’s see what happens.”

After some investigating the animal campus employee said she had to get both dogs vaccinated next door at Animal Samaritans and come back and pay the registration fee for both dogs. The total: $64 dollars per dog, a fee she could afford.

“I’m so very happy god bless you,” she told the animal campus employee.

Josefina walked out with a big smile, her little dog Gordo, and good news for Panda.

“I’m so happy, I was already so sad because I was going to leave them but thank God and you, you were here at the moment I arrived, God bless you,” said Josefina with a smile. 

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