About Katya Friedman

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So far Katya Friedman has created 24 blog entries.

The Dog Film Festival is coming to town, and we are beneficiaries!

Please consider this your exclusive invite to the Dog Film Festival, coming to Los Angeles in just three weeks! It will be a weekend of unique, like-minded joy.

For starters, on Saturday, June 4th, there’s a “pooch party,” which will be an afternoon tea party on the tented roof at the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital. We, along with the Lange Foundation, are beneficiaries on all ticket sales!  Then the next night, June the 5th, is a BYOD celebration — Bring-Your-Own-Dog! The Dog Film Festival is the first film festival entirely for, by, and about dogs… and their people. To find out more and get your tickets for these awesome events, please click here!

We hope to see you for this fun-filled, good-willed, canine-billed weekend! Thank you for supporting art that centers around animals, and thank you as always for supporting us.

LA Pooch Party Invite Final

1st Picks for 2nd Chances – Meet Rudy!

Hello to Rudy! Rudy is a sweet, 2-year-old America Staffordshire Terrier mix who weighs 70 lbs. He is a sweet, special dog that is best suited for a simple, quiet life. Adopted as a puppy, his previous owners wanted a dog who could go to doggy daycare and dog parks, but Rudy ended up not being a very good match for that. He’s been waiting patiently ever since for the “right” family to come along.
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A peaceful home with a yard and someone who doesn’t leave for long periods of time would be Rudy’s ideal. He doesn’t need to play with other dogs or go on long walks as these activities make him over-stimulated and anxious at times. He is super friendly with people, and good with children. His foster family says, “Rudy is perfectly content laying quietly by your side or lounging in the sun all day!”  He would rather sit with you on a patch of grass than be the social butterfly of the neighborhood. So if you’re looking for a lovable four-legged friend who can keep you company at home and be your best buddy, look no further – Rudy is just the dog for you!

As DDR the rescue group, we’re all about second chances. We believe animals deserve a second chance, and we stand by each of our rescue dogs. They’re all worthy souls living up to their potentials, some getting there easier and quicker than others.

And yet there are a few dogs that stand out because they have unique needs, because they’ve been with us so long, or because they’ve been waiting waiting waiting for a family to call their own. Rudy’s story is the third of our four-part series called 1st Picks for 2nd Chances. We sincerely hope you will read these tales, share them widely, and open your hearts. Who knows – maybe even consider opening your home if you’re the rRudy2ight fit! Whoever adopts one of these dogs will get free boarding at the DDR kennel whenever traveling, as well as a lifetime of support, spanning from dog training to assistance with medical care.

Rudy is house-trained, neutered, vaccinated and micro-chipped. Currently living in a foster home with other dogs, he is doing well, but would prefer to be your one and only. To learn more about Rudy, please click here! And don’t forget to share his story with your friends, family, and coworkers! We just know his perfect match is out there waiting to meet him. Thank you for helping us make it possible for them to find each other.

1st Picks for 2nd Chances – Meet Stacie!

 

We’d like to introduce you to Stacie! At DDR we like to say that if Stacie were a car, she would be a Ferrari. Lots of people can drive a car, but only a few can handle the power and speed of a Ferrari!

We know that there are a lot of Pit bulls out there to adopt, but we believe Stacie is special. She would fall into the elite 10% of dogs who need a specific kind of owner, the kind of person who will give her structure and act 1 8.52.05 AMintentionally because what is asked of her, she will deliver. Stacie is so smart, she will teach you and train you to be a more experienced dog owner! With her classic good looks, she is the type of dog who connects very deeply with her person and wants to work hard for them. She has completed basic obedience classes and is well mannered, up to date on vaccinations, microchipped, and spayed. Though only 1 year old and 45 lbs and a smallish Staffordshire Terrier/Pit mix, she is huge amounts of love to give. Stacie likes other dogs, already knows how to walk well on leash, and is house-trained. Whether you live in an apartment or have a big back yard, she would do well and is more than ready for her forever home.

As DDR the rescue group, we’re all about second chances. We believe animals deserve a second chance, and we stand by each of our rescue dogs. They’re all worthy souls living up to their potentials, some getting there easier and quicker than others.

2And yet there are a few dogs that stand out because they have unique needs, because they’ve been with us so long, or because they’ve been waiting waiting waiting for a family to call their own. Stacie’s story is the second of our four-part series called 1st Picks for 2nd Chances. We sincerely hope you will read these tales, share them widely, and open your hearts. Who knows – maybe even consider opening your home if you’re the right fit! Whoever adopts one of these dogs will get free boarding at the DDR kennel whenever traveling, as well as a lifetime of support, spanning from dog training to assistance with medical care.

For more information on Stacie, please click here. And don’t forget to share her story with your friends, family, and coworkers! We just know her perfect match is out there waiting to meet her. Thank you for helping us make it possible for them to find each other.

Community outreach – first quarter stats!

We do much of our work in South Los Angeles, and have been doing it for many years now. But there are other areas where we offer intervention assistance, such as Bell, Compton, Lynwood, South Gate, Maywood, Inglewood, Huntington Park, Paramount, Watts-Willowbrook and Florence-Firestone.

Among these communities, in the first quarter of this year alone, low income and homeless pet owners received 566 services, including free spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations, and medical assistance such as blood tests, X-rays and medication. We also provided humane euthanasia for pets who needed it, dog training classes, fixed fences, built dog runs, gave monthly pet food donations, and delivered dog houses to a total of 276 pets. Of these almost 300 animals, 36% were large dogs (mostly Pit Bull mixes and Siberian Huskies), 57% were medium to small breed dogs (mostly Chihuahuas and Poodles), and 7% were pet cats.

helping in Gilbert

This work was in addition to the 317 cats and dogs who we’ve assisted in the first three months of 2016, preventing them from entering the South Los Angeles Animal Shelter through our Shelter Intervention Program. On top of it all, we vaccinate free of charge an average of 150 dogs and cats living in South LA every month at Gilbert Lindsay Park.

We added it up and are proud to say that in the first quarter of 2016, we’ve assisted 1043 dogs and cats by offering free and subsidized services, helping to keep them with their families! We are so proud of the work we’re lucky enough to do day in, and day out. How do we make this happen? How do we continue to expand our services into the communities that need our help the most? We do it with your support, your donations, and your volunteering. We do it because of you, and we do it with you.

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There is an old saying: whatever you focus on grows. We see this truth in animal behavior all the time! So let’s take it a step further. Let’s focus on what we want in our communities, instead of what we don’t want, and offer families with pets an alternative to surrendering them to a shelter when their situations gets dire. Let’s help keep pets in their first home, their forever home. And let’s continue doing it together.

Here’s to working hard to achieve three more successful quarters this year, and onwards.

1st Picks for 2nd Chances – Meet Bruce!

We’re happy to be known as DDR who helps the community, DDR with the Shelter Intervention Program, DDR who is making a difference. But we’re also DDR the rescue group, and we’re all about second chances. We believe animals deserve a second chance, and we stand by each of our rescue dogs. They’re all worthy souls living up to their potentials, some getting there easier and quicker than others.

And yet there are a few dogs that stand out because they have unique needs, because they’ve been with us so long, or because they’ve been waiting waiting waiting for a family to call their own. This is the first of our four-part series called 1st Picks for 2nd Chances. We sincerely hope you will read these stories, share them widely, and open your hearts. Who knows – maybe even consider opening your home if you’re the right fit!

Please know these four dogs are extra challenging and not for every person or family. But whoever adopts them will get free boarding at the DDR kennel whenever traveling, as well as a lifetime of support, spanning from dog training to assistance with medical care.

So let’s start with our first pick for a second chance, Bruce! This three-year-old Bulldog/Pit bull mix is a happy guy with loads of energy. However, he’s very relaxed in a home environment and is learning to curb his excitement when he’s out on walks. Bruce is a strong dog, and has that true Bulldog stubborn streak you just gotta love. But he’s come a long way in his foster home over the last few months.

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Bruce first came to us when he was just over a year old. He was adopted from us then, and all was well from what we knew until about a year later when that adopter surrendered him to an animal shelter. This is quite baffling for a rescue group as the owner never contacted us about any sort of issues or tried to bring him back into our care. Who knows what happened to his life while he was in that home, or why the owner felt so desperate he had to relinquish him to the shelter, but all that matters is we got Bruce back.

When we picked him up, we noticed he was a bit traumatized. Thankfully, with a little consistency and TLC that is all gone now, and he is a joyful guy who loves belly rubs and snuggling up with his foster mom. Bruce has a forward personality and a rough play style with other dogs, although we’re confident that this will mellow out over time as he gets older. He currently goes to day care and continues to socialize with others, improving his manners around other canines and going for several pack walks every day.

The truth is, Bruce is not really a dog that has “problems,” he’s just energetic and strong and gets excited when he’s out in the world. But maybe there’s a person out there who’s exactly the same way, or wants just this type of dog! To top […]

Happy third birthday to SIP!

Today is a special day for us. It is the third anniversary of our Shelter Intervention Prevention (SIP) program at the South LA Shelter. That’s three years of sitting in our little table inside the lobby of the shelter, five days a week, being available to the community 24/7. To date, we have assisted more than 5,000 families by keeping their pets with them, in their first home, which we believe should be their forever home. We’ve done so by offering a variety of services at low or no cost.

For three years our counselor Amanda has been meeting people where they’re at, without judgement, and helping provide them with resources and options so they can keep their pet. Provisions we have covered in medical care have ranged from treating mange to ear infections, suturing wounds, removing tumors, treating painful teeth, X-rays and bloodwork for sick pets, even saving puppies dying of parvo. We have also offered free dog training, both on the spot and in a weekly class for the community.

Three years of helping pay redemption costs for pets impounded at the shelter so families can stay together. Dog licenses and pet deposits have been covered, and we have even gone so far as to advocate for families struggling with landlord issues. We’ve provided free grooming, which can be quite necessary for dogs with painfully matted hair, as well as given rides to people and pets who couldn’t otherwise get to a veterinarian. On top of it all, monthly pet food is available to those who might be out of work or are homeless and need our help.

There has been so much work to do over these last three years. So much so that we’ve added another counselor, Yesenia, allowing Amanda to spend some of her time out in the community and expanding our range of services. Volunteers handle our hotline, which constantly receives calls, and Mauricio is our go-to handyman who we send out into the community to repair fences, deliver dog houses, and install dog runs  as needed. We often work with animal control officers who field complaints in order to secure proper pet safety. We’re so grateful these officers and LA Animal Services have been our partners in the program.

Since 2013, we have offered 1500 free spay/neuter surgeries. That’s 4,500 pets we’ve altered in the last three years! On the first Sunday of every month, we host free wellness care, including dentistry, ear, and skin treatments, all via a mobile clinic. On average, we do 175 free vaccinations and microchips each month at clinics, largely due to the incredible volunteer veterinarians and vet techs who donate their time regularly.

So what’s next? How will we make the next three even bigger and better? For starters, we’ll be launching a resource center at Inner City Law on Skid Row. There we will have the ability to assist homeless people and very low income pet owners who live on Skid Row. We will work to help them keep their pets healthy and happy as they hopefully transition out of the cycle of homelessness.

Thank you for celebrating with us today, and for supporting us over the past several years. Will you […]

Another successful clinic

Please don’t doubt how much of an impact you can make one day, in one way. On a lovely Sunday morning several weeks ago, in the middle of Gilbert Lindsay Park, 163 dogs and a few cats were vaccinated, microchipped, given flea and tick medication, and examined by volunteer vets, all at one of our free clinics.

We’ve been doing regular clinics at this park since June of 2015, and have literally watched puppies grow into healthy dogs before our eyes. Puppies who had come to our first clinics of the year are now spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated. For many of the families we have served, learning about the importance of vaccines as well as getting their dog microchipped and sterilized, is the beginning of setting their pets on the right path for life.

This clinic also brought about many new cases. New puppies were dewormed for the first time, and new clients got to know us. Some people came with specific health care concerns, like Maria who brought her two senior Chihuahuas, both already spayed/neutered and vaccinated, but who had problems chewing their food. After a volunteer vet examined their teeth, he discovered severe placque build up and several painful, rotting teeth. Maria knew her dogs needed dental care, but spending the majority of her income on rent and barely getting by, there was never money left over for her dogs to get it. We find this type of situation happens often. People know their pets need to see a vet, and yet they can’t afford it. It’s not that they don’t care; it’s that they don’t know where to find free or low costs resources, and in many cases, the options don’t exist. We work hard to be the resource they’ve been looking for. We work hard to be the option they need.

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For Maria, we paid to have both of her dogs’ mouths cleaned and any bad teeth pulled. The Chihuahuas were also given a full senior blood panel. Maria was over the moon grateful for the assistance, but we were over the moon grateful, too. After all, we got to provide it. We got to be a part of offering a necessary service, to fill a gap that’s been building for way too long. A gap that has hurt our communities, people and animals alike. A gap that, simply put, stems from lack of support. At any point, it could be any of us needing that support. Wouldn’t you appreciate it if it were you?

We continue to find people who want to do the right thing but simply cannot or do not know how. Every clinic and every day, in one way or another, we intend to help narrow this gap which doesn’t have to exist at all. We intend to witness as many more animals grow into healthy pets in their happy homes.

A great article on financial problems and pets

We were so glad to see this article on Dogster.com. Every time our work is put out into the world, in front of new people, we garner more support. And more support inevitably means more animals get saved, more families get served. This is what matters to us.

Financial struggles should not be a reason that people have to leave beloved pets behind at the shelter. In many of the underprivileged communities in which we work, affordable vet care is scarce to absent. For many of the families we help, resources are not available, or if they are, the very people they’re made to assist don’t know about them. But how much money one has in their bank account does not correlate with the type of pet guardian they are, or how much love they have to give.

Therefore, we sit in the lobby of the South LA Shelter, week after week. We want people to know that it is safe to hope, that somebody else does understand and care, and that there are options. Whether it’s paying for spay/neuter or medical care, helping fix a backyard fence to keep a dog contained, contributing to fees to reclaim an impounded cat, offering free dog training classes, and more, our SIP program exists to provide an alternative to shelter relinquishment.

When we raise funds, it’s so that we can turn around to the people who need a hand and say, “Here. Let us help you pay for that.” It’s amazing how more often than not, those we serve do not take our assistance as a handout. They chip in whatever they can, too, and invest in their pet however they’re able. When we work long hours, weekends, and evenings, it’s so we can say, “Yes, we have the time to listen.” It’s incredible how many people simply need somebody to listen. And when we don’t give up and watch another pet leave the shelter doors, tail wagging, heading back home, we know our efforts are not in vain. It never gets old or commonplace to help a pet avoid the shelter, or to help keep a family whole.

Most of the people we work with are neither careless nor inconvenienced by their animals. Coming into the shelter is a last resort, it is the place they enter with tears in their eyes and a heavy heart because they’ve come to say goodbye. Being able to offer another way and to support them has proven to be not only rewarding for our organization, but most importantly, it’s proven to be quite necessary.

We hope our program and more programs like it create a domino effect of change, shift perspectives, and inspire action. We hope many more articles like this one bring the real issues to light, and encourage support where there was once judgement, faith where there was once fear, and life where there was once euthanasia. In our experience, most people are good. So are their pets. It’s our pleasure to help them.