Sanctum of Second Chances

by G. Rockmael

Waiting for a loving home.
Photo: G. Rockmael

Situated in the beating life force heart of technology in Southern California that has been affectionately dubbed “Silicon Beach,” PetSpace is a pet adoption, rehabilitation and general resource center. PetSpace is an extraordinary concept, the likes of which has been unavailable until the vision and financial resources of philanthropist Wallis Annenberg made it possible.

While approaching the PetSpace’s edifice, one could be misled into thinking that they took a wrong turn and wound up at the headquarters of a technology company, but the magic awaits within. Upon entering the PetSpace’s cavernous interior, visitors especially architecturally observant ones, may be astonished by the unusual juxtaposition between the large glowing “techno” touch-screen wall display and the industrial and utilitarian nature of the structure’s exposed rafters and steel rod rafter ties, providing a clue regarding what to expect throughout the facilities.

After checking in with the receptionist who stands within a circular counter of an apropos dog collar design, visitors and prospective pet adopters alike will be greeted by an enormous adorable animatronic dog and curious cat amongst the rafters that are motion activated, reminding visitors about the canine, feline and leporid (hare and rabbit) residents this facility really serves.

Ascending to the second floor, visitors will be awe-struck by the level of sophisticated technology that makes PetSpace the envy of conventional pet adoption facilities. All of the surgery/operation rooms are furnished with state of the art equipment.

Dogs that are a little “ruff” around the edges, may need some physical therapy and PetSpace is certainly the right place to be. One of the more impressive rehabilitative equipment available is an aquatic treadmill. Dogs in need of physical therapy, but have difficulty putting weight onto their joints, can use the aqua treadmill’s water tank to take advantage of the buoyancy of the water to ease some of the pressure on their joints. Use of water in a rehabilitative manner is called hydro-therapy, which not only eases pain, but can hasten healing.

While at the rehabilitation room, visitors can even converse with physical therapists who are helping an animal get back on its feet, by placing one of their hands on a window mounted touch-sensitive pad, which activates an intercom.

In most animal shelters, animals usually spend most of their time outdoors in cages, but not at PetSpace; here animals spend most of their time in climate controlled suites. Grates are placed just above the floor in the suites where quadra-pedal residents can sniff a hand or bare foot of bi-pedal visitors.

Even the “get to know each other” area known as the Fetch Deck is indoors, out of the hot Sun and elements. However if prospective pet adopters want to take advantage of the usual balmy weather, they have the option to use the pet and people friendly outdoor park-like areas known as Paws and Reflect and Barks ‘n Rec.

So whether you are visiting PetSpace to adopt a four-legged family member, plan to attend pet related lessons and other “petsentations” or just want an animal oriented adventure; sniff your way over to PetSpace where you are sure to have a ruff day.