A tribute to Red

Yesterday, heaven got another angel, Red, our sweet senior dog, who was adopted only seven months ago, made his transition.  Red was a dog that Debbie and Deb introduced me to at the South LA Shelter.  He had come into the shelter as a stray.  What an amazing dog he was, so friendly, good with other dogs, someone had truly loved him but his past life would always be a mystery.  He was listed as ten years old but I thought, he has to be more like 14 years old.

Red-12 years

There was definitely something very special about Red.  So special that I wanted to bring him into our rescue, thinking if he never got adopted, I would keep him with me.  He was such a cool dog who adapted to life at our kennel in South Gate as if he always lived with us.  He loved the girl dogs, our walks down the street, past all the auto body shops, nothing phased this road dog.  I took him out to Dog Man’s class where former adopter and Dog Man student Barnaby met him and was taken with his personality, just as I had at the shelter.red towel

Barnaby decided to bring Red home and it wasn’t easy.  Red was accustomed to being with someone almost 24/7.  He had separation anxiety.  Barnaby and I worked together, Red spent some time at the kennel, going back home and then back to the kennel.

Big Red

Finally he settled into his new home life, but then the sad news was delivered by Red’s vet, he had cancer.  The next months were “Red’s Bucket List” Barnaby would bring him to the kennel to visit his “girlfriends” at every visit, he seemed happier.  Red-poolOur girl dogs still adored him.  What a wonderful life he had, those short months with Barnaby and his pack, who towards then end, finally accepted him.  There was never enough time with Red, he left us too soon.  This past Sunday Barnaby brought Red to the kennel one final time for me and Debbie to say goodbye.

Tears, as I write this post…


R.I.P. Petey 1998 – 2015

Today we lost one of our old DDR dogs, we lost Big Petey Boy. A blind 17 year old dog, who just this morning, had his normal spring to his step and ate a hearty breakfast, but later in the day, we knew something was wrong. Pete had two tumor removal surgeries within the last five years, some of the tumors had come back and he was no longer a candidate for surgery. He died peacefully, sleeping on his favorite blanket on his Kurunda bed around 4:00 this afternoon. I’d like to think that it was time for me to give him back to his daddy, pictured above, in happy days, before Vietnam Vet Steven passed away and left me Petey in his will. At the time I did not know the gift that I received.


Not an easy dog, I met Petey because he had landed in the North Central Shelter, Steve had been arrested, he was homeless and lived in his van with Pete. The first time I bailed out Pete, I met a person who has become an important part of my life and the Shelter Intervention Program, Trainer Larry Hill. At that point in time, he was the only person to encourage me to return Pete to his owner and not rescue him. Then he got impounded again and again and AGAIN. Each time I would come up to the shelter and get him out, returning him to Steve who loved him more than anything. Steve got very sick and could no longer care for Pete. Boarding him at a vet, my friend Esther went and walked him on all the days I could not, together we made it work until Steve died from health complications and I inherited Pete. At that point I thought What the hell am I going to do with this dog. Then I met Dog Man, one of the only people who didn’t think I was CRAZY to take on Pete and told me “You can do this!” Week after week I met Dog Man at the Coliseum with Pete, each week we got better and better and the class got bigger and bigger. Pete was a rock star and I actually could do recall and walk him without him taking me down to the ground. Pete lived many years in my home in Altadena as a country dog, living among rooster, chickens, horses and lots of birds that he loved to watch. He moved with all the other dogs to our kennel in South Gate where he grew to love Daniel, Shyann and recently Miguel who took care of him. Tons of volunteers loved Big Pete. His favorite thing to do was to chase his friend Bernadette around each evening, super cute, he always loved the ladies, no matter how dog aggressive they were. Pete taught me a very important lesson, some of the things that you feel you are […]

Tribute to DIAMOND – RIP / Compassionate Care in our communities


by Lori Weise
Founder and Director, Downtown Dog Rescue
What would you do if you could not afford to take your sick dog to a vet?  Many dog owners face this challenge and are forced to surrender their suffering pets to animal shelter where they die alone.  Not every old dog was “dumped” by their owner, some had no alternative.  Downtown Dog Rescue’s Operation Safety Net provides that alternative so that a dog owner can treat their dog, sometimes paying part of the cost, other times, DDR pays 100%, whatever it takes to make the dog comfortable.  We also offer end of life, humane euthanasia which is something that not all dog owners understand that they need.  Again, some bring their old dogs to the shelter because that’s what they saw their parents or neighbors or friends do with their dogs.  For many of us, it’s not a culturally acceptable way to see a beloved pet spend their last hours of life, sitting in a cage, waiting to be euthanized at a shelter.
Carrie reached out to DDR when her pit bull Diamond was sick.  Sam Simon Foundation generously removed the first tumor at no charge and Diamond appeared to be doing well but that didn’t last long.  About a month later, she had trouble walking and even breathing.  Because Carrie was so connected to her dog, she knew it was time or at least she thought it was time.  She came to our Watts clinic and we talked, then she wrote to me several times until she decided that she couldn’t watch Diamond suffer anymore.  An appointment was made to humanely euthanize her.  Which also meant that she could hold her in her arms, not sign a paper, hand over the dog and walk away, as her dog of ten years would be pulled down a hallway at a shelter.  Diamond passed peacefully on Wednesday July 25th at noon.  Her suffering is now over.  I asked Carrie to tell me what Diamond meant to her and this is what she wrote, “I rescued diamond when she was puppy off the streets three days after my first pit bull died in my arms. To me, she saved my life. I was so depressed about killer (my first pit) that I really didn’t want to live without him.  Diamond gave me a reason to live and a way to cope with my grief, as well as a new place to channel my love.”


Downtown Dog Rescue and PITStop staff would like to express our condolences to Frankie and Alanna Carranza for their recent loss. Speck Carranza, their well behaved and loyal pit passed on last Sunday. Speck was lovingly mentioned in an interview here on PITStop last January on a DDR Volunteer Profile on Frankie.

RIP Speck, you will be missed.


Indie Printing, more than just a business

Sad to announce that our honorary Indie Printing mascot “Speck” passed away this past Friday. Typically we feel that this should be kept private, and personal, but it was important to post about him to communicate why we as a company donate and spend so much time supporting the positive portrayal of pitbulls, and animal rescue.

Speck struggled over a year with cancer, but spent almost 15 years proving that pitbulls are no different than any other breed of dog. In the wrong hands, pitbulls can be deadly because of their strength, but so can any german shepherd, mastiff, rottweilers, labrador, or any other large breed dog. Unfortunately it’s people who train these animals to be vicious and for some reason the media picks up on these stories and chooses to make any aggressive pitbull breaking news, hard to imagine that pitbulls were once portrayed as “the family dog,” and now are the dog people are scared to have around their families.

Having Speck in our lives proved the complete opposite. We found him to be an amazingly kind, and affectionate pitbull with a gentle soul. We never had any problems with aggression, bad temperament, or territorial traits of any kind. We will surely miss Speck, but feel fortunate that he lived a full comfortable life, and are grateful that he helped us realize how special the breed really is.

We ask that you please support the following organization in support of positivity, common sense, and the reality that we all can be part of positive change in any capacity. The Downtown Dog Rescue spends countless hours to creating positive change in low income areas by putting on Spay/Neuter Clinics, Free dog training, and animal rehabilitation. If you’d like to learn more about the Downtown Dog Rescue, you can visit the following link http://downtowndogrescue.org

RIP “Daddy” Millan

The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan and his faithful dog, DADDY
as featured in USA Today

Cesar’s longtime friend and partner in canine rehabilitation, died peacefully surrounded by family on Friday the 19th of February. He was sixteen years old.
from Cesar’s Way