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So far Debbie Fan has created 21 blog entries.

Pet Support Space is now open

I want to share some good news with all of you who have supported DDR, and for those new supporters who are learning about our programs.

We opened our new office, called the Pet Support Space (PSS), on July 4th.  Because the South LA Shelter is still closed to the public, except by appointment, we needed a space to continue to assist pet owners who have no where to turn in a crisis.

Our office is staffed with two counselors, six days a week, Monday – Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm or by appointment.  We are offering all of the same veterinary services, and more by combining our Shelter Intervention Program with services from our Pet Resource Center program, including pro bono legal assistance, access to services for pet owners experiencing homelessness, free spay and neuter, grooming on site via a mobile groomer, and so much more.  Post COVID, our goal is to incorporate mental health services, creating peer led support groups, and eventually mental health care vouchers for those who pet owners suffering from the effects of trauma, who cannot access counseling.  All of our services are created to conform with the trauma informed care model.

Due to COVID, turning most of our work “upside down”, we had to get creative, looking for ways to keep both our counselors and pet owners safe.  At our office, it serves as a pet food pantry, crisis counseling for pets who are extremely ill and / or injured, and a place where pet owners who feel isolated can connect with people who care about them and their pets.

We continue to work with LAAS staff and volunteers, who refer pet owners in need to our program.  During business hours, counselors are there to listen and problem solve immediately.  The way in which we provide services might have changed but our goal of keeping families with their pets remains.

In less than a month, our counselors met with 149 pet owners providing the following services: 3% contacted our office because they had a senior dog that could not walk, wasn’t eating, was terminally ill and required humane euthanasia instead of being surrendered to the shelter.  48% needed financial assistance and a treatment plan for a pet with medical issues ranging from emergencies to chronic skin and ear infections. 1% needed legal assistance to prevent being illegally evicted from their home due to their pet.  19% needed access to get their dog or cat spayed or neutered.  28% required pet food.

I remember speaking to a woman who explained that she ran out of pet food and was feeding her dog “people food” but she wasn’t going to be able to do that much longer because it would take food away from her and her daughter.  By the end of each month, she was out of food for the whole family.  Another elderly woman pulled up at our office, driving a car that looked as if she might be living in her […]

Senior Dog Buster Needs a Special Foster Home + Hospice Care

Buster, who is currently living at our kennel, needs hospice care in a home. Can you help us by fostering Buster for the weeks or months he has left to live? We knew when we rescued this sweet senior dog that he had medical issues, but we didn’t know how serious.  While living at the South Los Angeles shelter, the staff adored him, but they could not figure out what was wrong with him.  He was vomiting and had diarrhea for weeks. The medical staff at the shelter did the best they could to treat him, but could not diagnosis his condition. When we pulled him from the shelter, we sent him to Alondra Animal Hospital for tests and observation. He was referred to a specialist who gave us the sad news that Buster has a mass on his spleen and hemangiosarcoma.  Right now, he is a happy dog, who has  mostly good days. He has a good appetite, is happy to go on short walks, and loves to snuggle in one of his three beds while living at our kennel in his senior suite. We are looking for someone in the Los Angeles, who does not have other pets, or can keep him separated so that he can rest (he is NOT dog aggressive). We would provide veterinarian care and medication Are you able to give Buster a loving home?  

Giving Tuesday

Some of the DDR dogs got all dressed up for the holidays to remind everyone it’s Giving Tuesday.  At the end of each year, we ask for your support to help us continue the work that we do all year long.

2019 was another busy year for us.

To date, our Shelter Intervention Program has prevented more than 13,000 cats and dogs from entering the South Los Angeles Shelter because our counselors provide low income pet owners with a variety of services and resources six days a week, with a goal of keeping people and pets together.

Our Pet Resource Center for the Skid Row community of pet owners has provided services for more than 3500 pet owners who are homeless or extremely low income, living with their cats or dogs. Thanks to a partnership with LA Animal Services, ASPCA, Inner City Law Center, we now offer veterinary care on site, once a month, often seeing more than 100 pets in a day!

With the success of the Skid Row Pet Resource Center, we expanded to Watts in 2019, and plan on expanding this model to other locations in 2020. We know that if we invest in spaying and neutering more cats and dogs, providing supportive veterinary care, and other services and supplies, we can keep more pets out of the shelter system and with the people who love them.

With a focus of rescuing shelter dogs that require medical care and senior dogs, we continue to be committed to rescuing the dogs that are overlooked by the public.

Please consider making an online donation today –

Kobe has been waiting two years for someone to adopt him.

Senior dog Big Donut was rescued from the South LA Shelter when his owner died

Senior Dog Bruno’s owner died and now he is looking for his second forever home.

Shy Stella is hoping for a home for holidays

Felicity, Big Donut, Kobe, Stella, Bruno, and all of the DDR adoptable dogs and volunteers THANK YOU!!!

Race for the Rescues is Saturday October 12th!

Big Donut is gearing up for the biggest race of his life on Saturday October 12th

BIG Donut has been busy trying on costumes, working on his leash skills in order to prepare for our big fundraiser Race for the Rescues.  DDR is one of many dog rescues, all walking and running to save more shelter dogs, like Big Donut.

This year, we have dedicated our fundraising to our senior dog adoption program.  When we rescue a senior dog, we typically spend $1500 to $3000 + for medical care.

Shelter dogs like Astria, who needed a major life saving surgery, now have loving homes because of your support.  When we decide to rescue a dog from the shelter, we look for the under dogs, the senior dogs, the dogs that have spent months waiting for someone to adopt them.

Astria was adopted after having a major surgery to remove cancerous tumors. She spent over a year at the North Central Shelter before we rescued her. 


Sometimes, we can’t save them, despite a surgery. We all hoped that Phoebe would recover from her surgery, and get adopted.  Sadly, she was full of cancer, and did not find an adopter before she died.  During the brief time that she spent with us, she lived in one of our senior suites, had multiple dog beds, lots of volunteers who spent time with her, made sure that she was comfortable up to the last day of her life.

Sweet Phoebe did not survive. Her surgery revealed that her cancerous tumors had spread throughout her body.














Can you help us reach our goal of raising $20,000 so that we can continue to rescue more senior shelter dogs?  Check out our page here 


Please donate to the DDR team, even if you can’t come out to walk.  All of the DDR dogs and volunteers

THANK YOU for your support!



Race for the Rescues SAVE 15% this weekend

See you at Race for the Rescues!

Big Donut, our team mascot, wants everyone to know that there’s a 15% discount if  you register this weekend.
Here is the link to our team page, where you can sign up.
Register by midnight September 3rd SAVE 15%.
To help us save more senior dogs with medical issues like Big Donut, a cancer survivor, JOIN OUR TEAM, and set a goal of raising $500 or more.
WE REALLY need everyone to bring awareness to our mission, and help us raise funds to pay for all the life saving programs that DDR runs 365 days a year.  It’s in the last quarter of the year that we raise most of the funds that pay for an entire year of programs.
If you support free spay and neuter, keeping pets with their families, rescuing the shelter underdogs, help us get to our goal!
Big Donut will see you at the Race, and yes he will be dressed up and serving donuts!


Forever Fosters Save Lives

Gemma a former South LA Shelter medical dog

Reo the day he found out he was adopted!

It’s with great sadness that we received the news that Reo aka Oreo crossed the rainbow bridge.  His forever foster family gave him the best five months of life. He was a loved family member, and went on great adventures with his pack.

We all knew when we rescued this special dog, his time with us would be months, maybe a couple years if we were lucky, due to a large tumor that turned out to be thyroid cancer.

He had a very extensive surgery that removed all the cancer, at that point in time, but the cancer came back. His amazing family has already expressed interest in bringing another senior dog into their home.

As the City of Los Angeles shelters are able to find more and more homes for puppies, small dogs, young healthy dogs, it’s the senior dogs and the dogs with medical issues that often are the most overlooked and do not get adopted.  Therefore, when we search for dogs to join our adoption program, we look for the true underdogs.

Recently we took two new dogs, Astria and Phoebe.  Both dogs required surgeries to remove mammary tumors.  Astria’s surgery was so extensive, she required over a week of hospitalization.  Phoebe was alerted, with less than 24 hours before she was scheduled to be euthanized, we decided to bring her into our adoption program.

Both dogs are a great example of how LAAS shelter staff and rescue work together to save lives!

8 year old Astria spent over a year in the shelter

In order to save more senior shelter dogs, we need more forever foster homes.  To become a DDR forever foster, you open your home and your heart to one of our senior dogs who might not have a lot of life left to live.  Give them the best months or final years of their lives, and we cover the medical costs when you take them to our approved animal hospitals where we have accounts in place.

You could make it possible for us to save another dog like Phoebe, a dog that had hours at the shelter before being scheduled to be euthanized.  To see all of our adoptable dogs, check out our dogs for adoption, and fill out our questionnaire.  Let us know that you want to forever foster, and we will match you with a wonderful senior dog.

If you can’t foster, you can donate to help us cover the cost of each senior dog’s medical care.

On average, it costs $1100 or more for surgery, hospitalization and follow up care.  Thank you for your support!

August South LA Dog Clinic

Our August dog clinic at Fred Roberts Recreation Center, partnering with the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association and Spay4LA saw more than 230 puppies and dogs.  202 dogs were vaccinated, microchipped, dewormed, protected against fleas and ticks.  30 dogs were spayed and neutered and more than 60 dogs signed up for free spay and neuter services next month.  7 dogs received medical vouchers after being examined by one of the volunteer veterinarians.  We issue medical vouchers for pets that have chronic painful conditions that cannot be treated at the park clinics. 5 dogs were groomed, most of the dogs were severely matted and suffering.

We could not run these free monthly clinics without the support from the volunteer veterinarians, technicians, student veterinarian and technicians. All of which make the time on their very early Sunday morning to bring much needed services to the community.  We want to thank Merial who donates all the Frontline which prevents fleas and ticks from living and infesting the pets and their families’ homes.  So many pet owners have learned about flea and tick prevention from our clinics.

These clinics are more than just “free shots” every pet is offered a brief exam, all pet owners learned about and sign up for spay and neuter services. Pets are microchipped and our volunteers register them.  We invest in a community, often staying at one location, for up to two years, vaccinating the population of puppies and dogs, driving down the infectious disease rate for diseases such as Parvo, which has been documented by the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

This model is strategic, increasing spay and neuter, increasing the numbers of pets that are vaccinated, increasing general knowledge of pet health, providing both free and low cost resources so that when we leave the location, the community knows where to go, and how to continue to access services for their pet so that no dog needs to suffer because someone didn’t know better.

DDR pays for the vaccines, microchips, and sponsors all additional costs involving spay and neuter surgeries and covers all or a percentage of the medical vouchers.  No one is turned away at these clinics unless we know someone is breeding and selling puppies, and that is very rare.  Most pet owners are unsure of how to get their pets spayed and neutered, how often they should be vaccinated, why a microchip is important.  To sum it up, most people need more support.  You can help us by volunteering at one of our South LA dog clinics, and / or donating to cover the costs.  We are in year 4, and thousands and thousands of puppies and dogs are in better health thanks to a mission of working together with the SCVMA, SPAY4LA, LA Animal Services and Los Angeles Park and Recreation.

Working together we accomplish more good!

We wanted to share a very touching story of a family with three dogs, who lost everything when their home burned down.  They came to the South Los Angeles shelter believing they had no other option but to surrender their three dogs because they were homeless after the fire, living in their car.  A shelter staff member asked our counselor to help them create a plan.

Working with LA Animal Services, instead of surrendering their pets, the dogs went into the shelter as a 30-day personal property hold, which enabled the family to keep their pets safe while they looked for housing.  To add to this family’s challenges, mom and one of the daughters is deaf and the other daughter suffers from epilepsy.

Can you imagine what it would feel like to lose your home, all your belongings, and escape the fire with only a few belongings and your pets?

This week, they came back to the shelter to pick up their three dogs.  Before they left, the ASPCA spay and neuter clinic sterilized all three dogs at no charge.  Due to the families disabilities, the dogs will be allowed to stay where they are living. Because our counselor shared the resource of 311 with the family, they were able to get motel vouchers, and other support.  Amazingly, they found a small house to rent!

We would like to tell you the reader of this post that this is an unusual story, it’s not. Low income families with pets can fall into homelessness due to a wide variety of tragedies, including fires, and homes being “red-tagged”, due to slum lord type conditions that far too many of the families that we meet put up with because they can’t move. There is not enough affordable housing in the City of Los Angeles, and definitely not enough places to go with pets.

Since 2013, our South Los Angeles Shelter Intervention program – SIP has prevented more than 11,000 cats and dogs from entering this one shelter.  Because of you, who support DDR programs, we are able to do more and help more families.

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