Dog Adopted After 667 Days at spcaLA Shelter

Los Angeles, CA — Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) waited almost two years to say these words: Melvin has left the building! At 3 years and 10 months, Melvin was set to celebrate another birthday at spcaLA, but instead, he’ll celebrate with his new family. Melvin is one of 1,298 animals adopted by spcaLA since the beginning of the pandemic.

Man and woman kneeling with black Pit Bull type dog

Melvin’s Adoption Day

“A dog with a long length-of-stay like Melvin’s receives hours of training and daily enrichment in order to remain mentally and physically resilient and stable in the shelter environment,” said Sara Taylor CABI CPDT-KA, spcaLA Director of Animal Behavior & Training. “There is also a significant emotional investment because we become their interim family, waiting for someone to give them a chance to become a companion.”

To keep a long-term animal like Melvin healthy and engaged requires support from many of spcaLA’s programs. Melvin completed hundreds of hours of animal behavior training, spent the last four months in foster care, and received medical care from spcaLA veterinary staff and outside providers. Just last month, Melvin required a TPLO surgery (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy) for a cranial cruciate tear. Performed by one of spcaLA’s veterinary hospital partners, the $2,500 procedure was made possible by donations from spcaLA supporters.

Melvin’s biggest challenges in finding a home may have been the two things he couldn’t change: the color of his coat and his breed. spcaLA tried social media, networking, and media partners to broadcast Melvin to the public, but ultimately, it was an spcaLA adoption counselor who matched Melvin with a family in search of the perfect Pit. Many phone conversations and a cautiously optimistic meet-and-greet made it clear that Melvin had a home at last. Melvin’s new family has years of large breed experience, and room in their hearts for another dog after the death of one of theirs. Melvin now has two Pit Bull siblings to call family.

While Melvin spent the last 667 days in the care of spcaLA, he began his journey as a lost dog with Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS). The City of Long Beach and spcaLA have a public/private partnership that began in 2001. With the help of spcaLA, and the evolution in the public’s perception of spay/neuter and animal adoption, LBACS live release rate has gone from less than 43% to 98% for cats and dogs (LBACS, Strategic Plan March 2021).

“While I thank the family for adopting, and the staff for working so hard for Melvin, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our supporters, whose help makes everything we do possible,” said Madeline Bernstein, spcaLA President. spcaLA is a non-profit agency that relies on donations for its programs and services, including animal cruelty investigations. To donate, please visit or call 323-730-5300 x3233.

To adopt your Friend for Life, visit