Shelter Intervention & Prevention (SIP) 2017-05-24T08:43:59+00:00


What is Shelter Intervention?

The Shelter Intervention Program (SIP) is the innovation of Lori Weise, Founder and Executive Director of Downtown Dog Rescue. It’s a program born of more than 20 years working with pets owned by the homeless community and low-income residents of Los Angeles, and is founded on the idea that the national’s shelter euthanasia crisis is not solely a pet problem, but a poverty problem.

SIP reduces pet intake in LA animal shelters by assisting individuals to keep or reclaim, as well as properly care for their animals.

Delivered in partnership with the municipal shelter, volunteer counselors offer solutions to individuals who often believe surrendering their pet is their only option. SIP works to deliver multilevel social service support, aiming for compassionate outcomes for people and animals in crisis.

Where and how does SIP work?

DDR’s direct experience has shown that most of the people surrendering their pets to the shelter are going through financial hardship. In general, we confront two basic situations:

  • pets are impounded by Animal Control and people can’t afford to reclaim them,
  • or owners have made the difficult decision to surrender their pet for one of various reasons.

Each client who expresses interest in keeping his or her pet fills out an intake form and speaks with an Intervention Counselor. Counselors are trained to listen without judgment, trace the root causes of the problems being presented, and offer holistic solutions.

DDR assesses, listens, and formulates an individualized plan with each client, empowering them in the process. Owners become invested, helping to raise funds when needed, problem solving, and contributing however possible.

The first Shelter Intervention Program was launched as a pilot program in the South Los Angeles City Shelter in April 2013. Now, with guidance and support from Downtown Dog Rescue, SIP programs have been replicated and are operating in three additional municipal shelters, run by separate nonprofit animal welfare organizations.

First Home, Forever Home

First Home, Forever HomeSelf-published by Lori Weise, this easy to understand book explains how to start and run a Shelter Intervention Program.


Since its launch in April 2013, the SIP program has served:

Pets and families assisted since 2013
Average Interventions Per Month
Average Cost Per Pet / Family
Number of SIP Inspired Programs in the US

What are the most common solutions/services provided by SIP?


Happy 4th anniversary to SIP!

April 24th, 2017|Comments Off on Happy 4th anniversary to SIP!

On April 6th we celebrated our 4th anniversary of the South LA Shelter Intervention Program (SIP). For four years, three counselors (one full-time and two part-time) have sat at the South LA Shelter every week from Tuesday [...]

Data on evictions and how it effects pets

February 2nd, 2017|Comments Off on Data on evictions and how it effects pets

We see first hand through our SIP program and even at the Pet Resource Center how evictions hurt families and their pets. Countless animals are in the shelter now due to eviction, as we see it as [...]

The 2016 numbers for our Shelter Intervention Program are in!

January 23rd, 2017|Comments Off on The 2016 numbers for our Shelter Intervention Program are in!

Transparency is important to us. We want you to know where your dollars go when you support our work, and we want you to feel good about it! So let us tell you about how [...]

DDR is featured in the Harvard Business Review!

January 3rd, 2017|Comments Off on DDR is featured in the Harvard Business Review!

We've been featured in the latest Harvard Business Review, and we're excited to tell you all about it! In an article titled, "Are You Solving the Right Problems?" author Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg reveals that most companies [...]

Community outreach – first quarter stats!

April 21st, 2016|Comments Off on 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, [...]

Happy third birthday to SIP!

April 6th, 2016|Comments Off on 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 [...]