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A Message from Our Founder, Lori Weise

The building currently housing our rescue dogs is being sold and we need to raise $120,000 to purchase a new building by August 26th, 2013.

We need to outright own a building, so these dogs are guaranteed a place to stay while we prepare them for adoption as family pets.

We’ve found a property for sale in South Gate, with an existing structure that can be easily modified to suit our needs. It’s not a brand new, modern building, but with the right amount of work, it is the answer to our prayers.

I’ve put my own personal home up as collateral, which is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I believe with all of my heart and soul it’s the right thing to do.

We’ve raised the majority of the purchase price, but we are $120,000 short and escrow closes on August 26th, 2013. Our goal is to pay cash for the property so that we can continue to run our program in under served communities with resources and services to prevent pets from entering the shelter system.

If we can pay cash and outright own this larger building, not only will we be able to rescue additional dogs, but it will also allow us to give back through our Shelter Intervention Program, covering needs that current grants may not meet.

We see a lot of families going through financial challenges. Loss of a job, home or other uncontrollable life event often leading to the family feeling as if they have no alternative but to surrender their pet to a shelter. Sometimes if a pet’s need can be solved by vet care, training, food, etc., it’s the difference between the animal entering the shelter or being able to stay with their family. L.A. Times was kind enough to recognize our program, and wrote a great article about it, which you can read here.

We need your help. No donation is too small. If you can’t participate financially, please post/share our Go Fund Me Fundraising Page with your friends, family and any organization/Facebook page you can think of.

Your donation or social media share helps us rescue shelter dogs in Los Angeles and continue our shelter intervention program.


With many thanks,

Lori Weise
Founder, Downtown Dog Rescue


The Real Story Behind South LA Shelter Intake

Girl_Chi-250x300In the first quarter of the South LA Shelter Intervention Program, our team which includes Amanda the full time interventionist, Downtown Dog Rescue and Angel City Pit bull Volunteers, intercepted 650 pets from entering the shelter. A really impressive number for a program that was supposed to intercept 400 pets total in 2013. However, the number only tells part of the story of what’s going on at the South LA shelter, more importantly, the South LA community as a whole.

South LA has one of the highest rates of poverty and people living without health insurance in the nation:

• Over 40% of people live below the poverty line.
• There is only 1 job for every 7 people.
• Over 400,000 residents live more than 3 miles from a hospital emergency room.
• Blacks and Latinos are twice as likely to be exposed to hazardous waste.
• Voter turnout is consistently 10-15 percentage points lower than in more affluent communities


The daily challenges of running this program can be daunting. As we aim to engage the community, we often deal with an overall mistrust of the shelter system, “all they do is catch and kill animals.” We deal with the influences that gangs have on the overall community. I recall more than one pet owner surrendering their pet to the shelter because a neighbor in a gang had threatened to do harm against their pet and or the entire family, thus they felt that the shelter was the only option for the pet to possibly find a better life, away from violence.

Failure to comply with the spay/neuter ordinance, failure to obtain a dog license, failure to secure the pet on the property due to a wobbly fence, a broken gate and failure to provide medical care are all reasons that pet owners come to us for assistance. It’s not that they don’t want to comply, they can’t afford to pay for the services. The “problem” is that simple. We can keep more pets in their homes just by offering free /low cost services, averaging our cost spent on each pet owner at $50.

Because we recognize that pet owners in South LA often have difficult lives with complex problems, a service that costs as little as $10, like a rabies vaccination, is too expensive for someone living on disability, social security or general relief. To further illustrate the level of poverty, even though the service is free, one might lack the money necessary to access the free service and feel too ashamed to admit this fact. Another challenge we face is connecting and building the trust of pet owners who are undocumented, who often won’t access services out of fear.

Our team has created a level of trust by listening to people who need help, asking them how we can serve them and then do the work. People who benefit and use the program […]

Jesse Golden Selects DDR as the Models-N-Mutts Charity of the Month

Check out adoptable dog Allie photographed with the multi-talented Jesse Golden. Special thanks to Jesse for choosing Downtown Dog Rescue as the Models-N-Mutts charity of the month. Read more about Jesse, and Models-and-Mutts here, and if you’re interested in adopting Allie, you can find more information or submit an adoption application by clicking here.


Downtown Modernism This Sunday June 30th, Supporting Downtown Dog Rescue

Downtown Modernism
Support Downtown Dog Rescue and meet some of our adoptable dogs on Sunday June 30th at the Downtown Los Angeles Modernism Show: Vintage 20th Century Design hosted by comedian Andy Dick and Modernica. There will be over 75 Mid-Century modern dealers, food trucks, music and our adoptable rescue dogs, including Mr. B who will be getting up extra early that morning to meet you.
Mr. B chair

Come out for great shopping, admission is only $3 and the proceeds benefit DDR’s South LA Shelter Intervention Program. For more information visit www.downtownmodernism.com See you there!

2901 Saco St. LA, CA 90058

8 AM – 2 PM

CLANCY THE TEACHER : Stubby Dog Feature

OCTOBER 9, 2012

By Lori Weise

Formerly abused and neglected, this elderbull now helps other dogs work through their issues

Clancy, at 15 years old, is a Canine Good Citizen, therapy dog, Kings Hockey fan and mascot of Downtown Dog Rescue. A survivor of animal cruelty for many years, he came into my life at 10 years of age. Together, he and I have worked to end dog fighting and promote spay/neuter in some of the most underserved communities in the greater Los Angeles area. He has helped me prepare countless rescued dogs who needed a little tune up from Papa Clancy before they were ready for their forever home. He goes to work with me every day, loves every person, every dog and basically loves life now that he is the most cherished part of my life. I honestly can’t remember what my life was like before this old man came to live with me and my dogs.

Even though Clancy was forced to fight and made to be a dog that he clearly is not, the amazing thing about him is that he is so intelligent and is such a great “worker” that he will do literally anything to please his person. In the case of his former life, it was criminal activity, dog fighting and yet he still gave that “job” 110 percent effort because that’s what his person wanted him to do. When I rescued him and offered him the “job” that he has now, he finally was allowed to blossom into the dog he always should have been.

He has an amazing way of reading dogs. An aggressive dog, whether male or female, will get a pass, he won’t make eye contact and will want to keep it moving. A dog that appears fearful and aggressive will often get an investigation and a push to see if the dog really means it. Shy dogs, playful dogs, wild hyper out-of-control puppies who have never been disciplined properly by their mama or daddy dog is Clancy’s specialty. I’ve watched an almost feral dog open like a flower to Clancy and breathe a sigh of relief that finally someone understands her.

He lives with me and all of my dogs, which include dogs that were labeled fear biter, human aggressive and dog aggressive, dogs that I would not adopt out but nonetheless have a wonderful life with me in their retirement years. Like Clancy, the dogs who have come into our program and are not easily adopted out have jobs in helping the younger rescued dogs, the ones that people submit several applications on, get a tune up and into their forever homes. Clancy is a truly dominant alpha who is confident and careful about how he disciplines dogs. He is social with a 4-pound Yorkie and 120-pound Cane Corso because he is a wonderfully balanced […]

2012 STRUT YOUR MUTT EVENT – Downtown Dog Rescue

What a wonderful group of people that came out to walk and support Downtown Dog Rescue’s participation in STRUT YOUR MUTT at the Pan Pacific Park in mid-city LA.
Take a look at these wonderful men and women that came out + the pooches!
We raised over $7,000+ this year which will be routed to our Operation Safety Net projects!
Thank you everyone!















OPERATION SAFETY NET Success Story – Honey and Oso

To: Sandy and Lori

From: Liz R. and Lettie M.
Date: September 20, 2012

Dear Sandy and Lori,

Thank you so much for your contribution to prevent these dogs from going to doggie heaven just yet. We are happy to report that Honey and Oso got their vaccinations, license, microchip and most importantly, spayed and neutered.

The report from the Vet indicated that Honey and Oso are in good health so we can rest assured that Manuel (aka. homless guy) does take good care of them. We took them back to the Vet last Wednesday to get their stitches removed and there was no sign of infection, yeaahhh!!

Manuel also thanks you; he is so appreciative of everything we have done for him and his dogs (his family.)


by Lori Weise

For all of you that are not aware, Red Man was adopted this past Saturday, thanks to Brandon Fouche and Dog Man’s help. I could not have done this without their support. Dog Man fostered Red Man for about three months in his home and gave him a great life. However, it was Brandon that was able to put Red Man in a pack of dogs and those videos are what really had an impact on his adopter. So much so that he was set on adopting Red Man after watching all ten video!

For all of you that are not aware, Red Man was adopted this past Saturday, thanks to Brandon Fouche and Dog Man’s help. I could not have done this without their support. Dog Man fostered Red Man for about three months in his home and gave him a great life. However, it was Brandon that was able to put Red Man in a pack of dogs and those videos are what really had an impact on his adopter. So much so that he was set on adopting Red Man after watching all ten video!

While I was at Brandon’s place on Saturday, I met Jim who has terminal cancer and is homeless, by a general definition. He was there to visit his dog Jesse who had never been off leash or played with another dog in his life due to what Jim defined as an “anger inside” Jesse. He went on to describe the fights and how aggressive Jesse acted when he would see another dog. Learning more about his life, I wouldn’t call Jim homeless since he had a van, people that cared about him and of course a best buddy in Jesse. The sad reality is that he is very sick and may not survive, so what would happen to Jesse? Who would consider taking a dog aggressive pit bull that never lived in a traditional home but had a home, a great home with Jim? Natalia. She is someone that I had actually met before at one of our Watts clinics, what a small world. She was Jim and Jesse’s guardian angel. If Jim dies, she is going to take Jesse. Jim’s one wish is to see his dog play with other dogs. Brandon made this wish come true. In fact, I heard that Jesse was actually at the dog park, incredible as it sounds, it’s true! Here is a video of Jesse playing with dogs

Check out the video of Jim speaking about Jesse:

Watching Jesse enjoy himself makes me so happy to watch. I can only imagine the sacrifices that Jim has made over the years to keep Jesse. I’m sure that he could have found a more traditional place to live if he did not have a big white pit bull. It’s difficult enough to transition from living outside to an […]

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