LORI’S CORNER: Downtown Dog Rescue Kennels

One of the big assets that Downtown Dog Rescue has is our licensed kennel. We are also very fortunate to have a great kennel helper, Billy who works with the dogs six days a week. Running a kennel is a full time job in addition to my “real” full-time job as General Manager of Modernica. I work seven days a week with our rescue dogs and have a lot of great volunteers, like Richard,our Modernica Plant Manager who helps walk dogs during the week, twice a day. We typically have 20 dogs at our place that need forever homes. Some like “Coco Puff” or “Freeway” are real long shots and will live with us for years not months. Others are here a week or a month until they are placed.

Our day begins at 6:30AM, we feed the dogs and they are released to play in our yard with agility equipment and lots of room to chase, tackle and just be dogs. Most of the dogs are out together in our large pack, whereas others who may not be good with same-sex dogs, play in smaller packs with dogs that they enjoy. All of our dogs get out of their runs to exercise off leash twice a day. The entire kennel area is cleaned up before the dogs go back into their runs. At 4:00, we begin to feed dinner, release the dogs to play and clean all the runs again. This is the same schedule for the dogs seven days a week, 365 days a year, even on holidays, in the rain, no matter what. It’s this routine that promotes a sense of stability so that the dogs can relax and enjoy being dogs. In addition to playing in a pack twice a day, I take dogs out during the week to the park to walk, Billy takes dogs out running on his bike and our volunteer Debbie comes by to do one on one leash work so that when our dogs are adopted, each one can walk on a leash and have some basic house manners. On Saturdays, Sandy picks up dogs to go out to adoption, an event some of dogs like Cookie, wait for all week. On Sundays, other dogs go to our Pit bull School at the Coliseum. My dog Clancy loves this class! Right now, Roja, is going to school every Sunday. Leroy, a new volunteer who can’t own a dog right now because he lives in an apartment, meets us at class, and is teaching her basic obedience. Many of the dogs go home with me at night or to my home on Sunday afternoon. Our goal every week is to get every dog out to do something fun, outside the kennel.

Modernica generously donates the land where we our kennel is located. I believe that because the dogs are so happy at our kennel, they get adopted and stay in those new homes because we don’t rush them into an adoption. Each dog has his or her own timetable. For some dogs, they come to us very dog and people social, others have issues such as dog aggression that we need to work on. For thousands of dogs who have lived at our Downtown Dog Rescue it’s a place to call home until his/her forever home comes along. Running the kennel is a dream come true for me and was something that I’ve wanted to do all my life. There is no better place to be than in the yard with 15 dogs that were formerly defined as unwanted, abused, aggressive towards other dogs, thrown away on the street, all playing together, happy, enjoying being dogs!

As part of our efforts to grow Downtown Dog Rescue programs and provide more resources to the community in 2010, we are launching our new fundraising initiative – THE DOWNTOWN DOG RESCUE PitLANTHROPY CIRCLE. As a Pitlanthropist, you will be part of a distinguished group designed to ensure a bright future for Downtown Dog Rescue.

Under this initiative, we are also unveiling our first ever Sponsor-a-DDR Kennel Program. Pitlanthropy Circle donors can sponsor a kennel in memory and honor of family, friends and pets. Pay tribute to a beloved companion animal or loved one. Inscribed metal plaques are mounted permanently on dog kennels and can contain a message of up to 65 characters.

To participate or for more information, please contact DDR’s Fundraising Coordinator, Irene Soriano Brightman at (818) 245-2301 or DDRDonor@gmail.com