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Artest scores an assist on Sacramento dog program

King player’s funding boost follows troubles in Placer County
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Sacramento Kings basketball player and Loomis resident Ron Artest is showing his dog-loving side this month. But none of the love “ and estimated $5,000 in spay and neuter donations “ is coming to the county he calls home. Artest was in the doghouse last year with canine support groups over treatment of his pet Great Dane Socks. The dog was seized by Placer County Animal Control officers from his home after officers noted Socks was suffering from weight loss and malnutrition. But the county District Attorney's Office determined that charges weren't warranted. Artest was at the Sacramento SPCA Tuesday to greet dog owners bringing pit bulls to the Florin Road facility to participate in the Pay to Spay pit bull spay-neuter program. According to the ww.sacpaws.com Web site, Artest had donated funds to spay and neuter more than 50 pit bulls and pit bull mixes “ for an estimated $5,000. The operations are free of charge to owners “ but the SPCA Website says that only Sacramento County and West Sacramento residents can take part. ID is required showing home addresses before the procedure takes place. Phone calls to the Sacramento SPCA were not returned but an official with the Placer County SPCA said Tuesday that Artest's assistance would have been just as welcome in the county he makes his home in. Leilani Vierra, Placer SPCA CEO, said her office did make some inquiries but that the Kings and the Sacramento group already had an established relationship, including holding pet adoptions outside Arco Arena. We're glad to see him contributing to animal welfare, Vierra said. And we're grateful to all the others who do support our program. The Journal's Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com, or post a comment at auburnjournal.com.