During a November meeting, Jeremy Prupas, the chief veterinarian for the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, said he spoke with clinical nutritionists, a shelter medicine specialist and a veterinary toxicologist. None of them, he said, “thought it would be a good idea to feed shelter dogs a vegan diet.” When another commissioner asked him if any other shelter in the United States gave vegan food to animals, Dr. Prupas did not hesitate: “No.”
After dozens of comments supporting the change, the commission asked for a formal analysis on the benefits and risks of moving dogs in the shelters to a vegan diet. Staff members are expected to deliver the report in February. Still, the proposal to go vegan has attracted several high-profile supporters, including Moby, the musician who also runs a vegan restaurant in the Silver Lake neighborhood.
“If we adopt this, it’s one more thing that proves to the world that Los Angeles really is the progressive capital,” Moby said during the meeting last month.
Critics point to two primary reasons to keep the omnivore diet: expense and digestion. Moving to a vegan diet with higher fiber is likely to mean frequent doggy diarrhea, said Madeline Bernstein, the president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, which would make it difficult for staff to maintain the health of thousands of dogs. (Ms. Bernstein described herself as “an occasional and conscious” meat-eater and said the group is careful to have vegan food at staff meetings and events.)
(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)
• The Trump administration may begin separating parents from their children when families are caught entering the country illegally. The move is meant to curb border crossings, but immigrant advocates denounce it as inhumane. [The New York Times]
• The story of an Oakland mother who was deported back to Mexico this year, leaving behind three of her four children in the home they’ve owned for years. [ San Francisco Chronicle]
• An $81 billion disaster aid package meant to help California recover from wildfires (and would have given aid to the Gulf Coast states and Puerto Rico to recover from hurricanes) failed to pass Congress on Thursday. [The Los Angeles Times]
• California is now home to 39.6 million people, according to a population report released by the state Thursday. The most rapid growth came from the Sacramento suburbs, the Inland Empire and the Central Valley. [Associated Press]
• Are cute toys bringing hackers home? Cybersecurity researchers warn that this season’s new, interactive toys are vulnerable to hacking threats. [The New York Times]
• A photo of firefighters sleeping on a hill outside Montecito during a break from the Thomas Fire has been shared thousands of times on social media this week. [The San Luis Obispo Tribune]
• All remaining evacuation orders were lifted in Santa Barbara County on Thursday morning. [The Los Angeles Times]
• A new poll found just 41 percent of likely California voters back Senator Dianne Feinstein, a five-term incumbent, in her bid for re-election, six months before the 2018 primary. [The Mercury News]
• San Francisco’s Department of Public Works is rolling out boulders in freeway underpasses to stop homeless people from setting up encampments there. [Mission Local]
• An employee from Amazon’s fulfillment center in Sacramento, where workers have complained of being denied rest breaks and overtime pay, vomited blood and died last week. Now, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating. [The Sacramento Bee]
• Robotic cameras from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have spent hours in more than two miles under water, providing stunning photos and helping researchers figure out some basics of the deep ocean’s food web. [The New York Times]
• How John Marshall High School in Los Feliz became a Hollywood star. [Curbed Los Angeles]
• An Irvine couple has kept their Christmas tree alive for 34 years. It is older than both of their sons. [The Orange County Register]
And Finally …
Is it looking a lot like Christmas where you are?
For the most part, there’s a slim chance that California residents will experience a White Christmas come Monday. But there’s no shortage of locals embracing the holiday. With a final weekend to get into the holiday spirit, here are a few places to visit throughout the state.
In Palm Springs, Kenny Irwin offers Robolights — a four acre plot decked out with millions of lights. (Some claim it is the largest residential private Christmas light display in the country.)
Solvang has been called one of the 10 best small towns for the holidays (an honor it promotes proudly.) Visit the decked out windmill and listen to carols in one of the first Danish colonies on the West Coast.
For nearly a century, Christmas Tree Lane in Fresno has welcomed visitors to see trees and homes in their holiday finest — but only until Christmas Day.
Head to Fort Bragg for a ride on the Magical Christmas Train, and for cookies, hot chocolate and a visit with Santa. (And you’re encouraged to come in your pajamas.)
California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.
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