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.

DDR HISTORY LESSON: Amy Tenowich’s mini-documentary about DDR

Lori Weise of Downtown Dog Rescue has dedicated her life to rescuing dogs running loose near Los Angeles’ skid row, or who would most likely be euthanized in shelters. She also helps pet owners who are homeless, or too poor to care for their best friends. Made in 2006.


Los Angeles

Amy has worked as a freelance producer for non-fiction TV shows on Discovery HD Theater, WEtv, PBS and A&E Biography Channel. She’s written for the LA Times, Pasadena Weekly, and has had humor op-ed columns in the LA Daily News and the Huffington Post. She won the 2006 Art Buchwald Humor Writing Award for her story about Los Angeles newswomen and their abundance of cleavage, spilling over anchor desks across the Southland. Amy also won an LA Press Club Award for a 2007 article on the Los Angeles salsa-dancing scene.

She did her undergrad in Anthropology at UCLA, and her Master’s in Broadcast Journalism at USC. When not making web videos about cool people, Amy likes to eat free samples at Trader Joes, improvise in the kitchen, travel to far off lands to see wild primates, and tear up the dance floor to salsa music.

Amy hopes to keep the insightful giggles going throughout her journalistic career, and to keep finding like-minded people who think it’s cool to care.


Thank you 

We are so honored and excited 
to be chosen!!!!

Special thanks to 
Eric Richardson 
Frankie Carranza!

What’s All the Love About?

DOWNTOWN DOG RESCUE (D.D.R.) BELONGS TO A COMMUNITY THAT BELIEVES IN SECOND CHANCES. Since 1996 D.D.R. has administered innovative programs in Downtown L.A. to multiple communities that promote responsible pet ownership, empower individuals to become advocates for their companion animals and provide opportunities for compassionate dog lovers (friends, volunteers and donors) to make a difference in the lives of people and rescued “downtown” dogs.

D.D.R. is the only volunteer run program in California, and possibly the United States, specifically founded to assist homeless dog owners spay/neuter, vaccinate, license their dogs, as well as offer a variety of services including crisis care for the life of the dog.

Each year D.D.R. assists in rescuing and adopting out over 300 dogs.

Every year through “Operation Safety Net,” we keep hundreds of family dogs from entering the shelter system by providing low income dog owners & guardians with medical assistance, dog food & dog training support.

Show Your Love

Every dog that is adopted from D.D.R. allows another to be helped. Please show your love for such a unique cause by telling your friends and neighbors to adopt from Downtown Dog Rescue.

Adoption Event

564 S. Main Street • 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM

Learn more about D.D.R. and see our available dogs:

DDR MEDIA: Walking for Stone

“Walking for Stone” article on LOS ANGELES BEST FRIENDS Website

Home » Go Local » Los Angeles » News » Walking for Stone

September 07, 2010, 1:49PM MT
By Sandy Miller, Best Friends staff writer

Strut Your Mutt team comes together to help pay for pit bull terrier’s surgery

The first time Lori Weise saw Stone was when his owner brought him to one of Downtown Dog Rescue’s free weekly training classes in South Los Angeles.

The pit bull terrier’s ears were infected and swollen, the result of a botched ear cropping (see Stone to the right).

She knew the dog’s person was a breeder and that he probably planned to use the puppy for that purpose someday. After all, there’s big money to be made breeding pit bull terriers in South L.A. A stud fee can bring $4,000 to $5,000 and puppies can sell for $1,500 a piece.

“The bottom line is that these guys don’t look at dogs as pets,” says Weise, founder of Downtown Dog Rescue. “They’re money-making machines and when they can’t produce, they get rid of the dog one way or another.”

But Weise didn’t give Stone’s person a lecture on the evils of dog breeding, even though it turned her stomach. Instead, she took the opportunity to educate Stone’s person about how to properly take care of Stone. She also told him about the resources Downtown Dog Rescue had to help pay for the veterinary care Stone so obviously needed. She knew that if she could establish a dialog with Stone’s person, she could work on changing his mind about the breeding later.

But Stone’s person never came back to the training class. Two years later, Stone’s person dropped him off at the trainer’s house, saying he was moving and he didn’t have room for him. Stone was in bad shape. His ears were still infected and he was 20 pounds underweight. Stone was fortunate in that his person put him in the hands of Downtown Dog Rescue instead of dropping him off at one of the shelters.

Today, Stone is living in a foster home and doing much better. Thanks to Downtown Dog Rescue, Stone is putting on weight and is receiving veterinary treatment for the infection, which robbed him of some of his hearing. However, Stone still needs surgery to correct his ears, and that’s one reason Downtown Dog Rescue is just one of the Best Friends Network Charities that will be taking part in the upcoming Strut Your Mutt event Sept. 19 in L.A. Some of the money raised by Downtown Dog Rescue’s Team […]


Dogs Speak Out Against Dog Fighting from For Pits Sake on Vimeo.


The Knock Out Dog Fighting program has been working to end violence in our communities and stop the torture of dogs used for dog fighting for over a decade. We continue to break new ground by reaching different audiences with the message that abuse, whether to a human or animal, is not a sign of strength, power or greatness. Kris Crawford says.

Our youth intervention program for schools, community centers and juvenile detentions facilities consist of one time assembly presentations or ongoing weekly classes and workshops. We have programs specifically geared to hot spots for gang activity that have an emphasis on behavior modification for At-Risk, High-Risk, Impacted and Intentional youth and adolescents.

One of the things that is unique about our program is we don’t just go to schools or juvenile detention facilities and tell kids not to fight dogs….we work with them so they stop abusing animals AND we give them healthy alternatives. We don’t go in and say don’t do this and don’t do that. We bring in positive role models that tell them you CAN do this and you CAN do that and them we show them how! We foster hope by helping them come to the realization that they are capable of much more than they have ever dreamt possible. We engage them so they can rise above their circumstances and become champions and help us end the distress of these animals…to help us Knock Out Dog Fighting.

Mona Liza “MO” Reyes – Kris Crawford
NPC Figure Champion

“Being a champion takes drive, discipline, dedication and a whole lot of heart…. Dog fighting is animal abuse and we need your help to stop the torture and suffering of these animals. I’m exercising my strength out side of the weight room, so please join me in stopping dog fighting.”

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