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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.

Successful South LA Dog Clinic!

Our July South Los Angeles Dog Clinic at Fred Roberts Recreation Center was one of the BUSIEST clinics that we have had this year!

A total of 291 puppies and dogs came out last Sunday

Working with the Southern California Veterinarian Medical Association, DDR is able to provide free vaccinations, micro chipping, de-worming, wellness exams and medical vouchers for more extensive care, including tumor removal surgeries, treatment for chronic health issues that cause a great deal of suffering.

The veterinarians and vet techs volunteer their time each month.  We purchase all the vaccines, microchips and other supplies to make these clinics happen every month for more than three consecutive years.  Thanks to a generous donation from Merial, we are able to provide Frontline to every dog who needs flea and tick prevention.

Here is a rundown of what services were provided

291 puppies and dogs received services of which 159 were already spayed or neutered

54 dogs were signed up to be sterilized later this month, or in August using the Spay4LA mobile clinic which provided the free spay and neuter surgeries at our clinic.  There was a full clinic, with a long waiting list of pet owners who didn’t have an appointment but hoped to get their dogs into the mobile clinic.

No one was turned away without some type of spay/neuter resource.

12 dogs required medical vouchers for a variety of conditions such as infected ears, eyes, growths/tumor removal, hernia repair surgery, medical care that we could not provide in the park.

Our monthly clinics would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers and YOU who support our work.  These free clinics are free to dog owners who live in some of the most under served areas in South Los Angeles.  Areas that lack veterinarian care, and other pet services.  The pet owners who attend the clinics are often homeless, on the verge of becoming homeless and very low income, living on a fixed income.  During our time hosting these monthlyclinics, we have increased the rates of pets sterilized and vaccinated, and decreased the number of pets being diagnosed with parvo and other infectious diseases.

Will you consider making a donation to help us continue this important work?  Thank you ! 









Los Angeles Poverty Department Gallery Show

Save the date and join us on Saturday August 17th at 6:00 PM at the opening of Dogs in the House

Downtown Dog Rescue has loaned the Los Angeles Poverty Department vintage DDR calendars, photos, and an original wood painting from our old kennel on 7th Place in Downtown Los Angeles. We are thrilled to be part of this show that highlights people living in poverty and their pets.  Below is more information about the show.

EXHIBITION DATES: August 17, 2019  – October 26, 2019

Thu, Fri, Sat: 2-5-pm
Skid Row History Museum and Archive, 250 S. Broadway

OPENING EVENT: August 17th 6pm – Hear from these pet champions and the visual artists involved in the exhibition in person: David Askew, Helen Kim, Marissa de la Torre, Emma Newton, Diane Prado, Lori Weise and James Gilliam.

Having a pet can be a great comfort if you are on the street.  In many cases, it’s also a barrier to getting off the street.  Our furry friends can also be cited as reason for an eviction.  Fortunately there are a bunch of people and organizations working to address these concerns.

DOGS IN THE HOUSE showcases the work of organizations, My Dog is My Home, Housing Equality and Advocacy Resource Team, Downtown Dog Rescue, and Inner City Law Center, that utilize advocacy, and direct services to overcome the obstacles faced by low income and homeless pet owners. The exhibit will feature multimedia works by artist Helen Kim, photographs by Marissa de la Torre, and paintings by visual artist David Askew.  Additional elements include a barkscape, sound installation, designed by Helen Kim and LAPD resident media archivist Henry Apodaca.  Settle into a dog shaped bean bag chair to view videos or listen to photo / audio collaged stories of Skid Row residents as they talk about themselves and their pets.

Advocacy group My Dog Is My Home works nationally, (including work in LA), to increase access to shelter and housing for people experiencing homelessness with companion animals.  LA based, Housing Equality and Advocacy Resource Team HEART LA, provides legal representation and advocacy to keep people and their animals housed.  Downtown Dog Rescue (DDR) rescues dogs and provides services for low income pet owners in Los Angeles County.  In partnership with DDR, Inner City Law Center hosts a free pet resource center in Skid Row, providing folks with much needed services, and also works to keep people and their pets together, enabling families to stay housed and decreasing the number of animals abandoned and entering the shelter system.


Senior Dogs who have Cancer

Today we received the news that Big Donut, a 13ish senior dog who we rescued from the South Los Angeles Shelter less than a month ago, has malignant melanoma and mast cell tumor, which was removed when he was neutered last week.  We will have chest x-rays done to see if the cancer has spread, so we can get a better idea of how much time he has left.


Big Donut stole our hearts when DDR volunteers met this old dog and tested him with a variety of big and small shelter dogs.  He has an amazingly stable temperament with dogs and people, and is so grateful to be rescued.  It’s clear that whoever owned him, loved and socialized him until his owner died.  Family members brought Big Donut to the shelter, and reported his age to be 18 years old, however the shelter estimated him to be 10 years.  Our guess is that he is somewhere in between 13 or 14 years, and despite having cancer, has a good appetite and energy.

Sadly, Big Donut’s diagnosis wasn’t the only cancer news we received, our senior dog Bruno has hemangiosarcoma and possibly melanoma, which will require surgery.  We rescued Bruno as a puppy and he had a wonderful home until his owner died about three years ago. Unfortunately, his owner had only a brother, who could not take care of Bruno, so he was returned to us as a senior dog.  All of the DDR dog walkers and kennel staff love Bruno. He is comfortable and happy at our kennel, which is set up like a home, but it’s not a loving home.

We hope that someone reading this post is interested in fostering or adopting Big Donut or Bruno, giving them a real home for the time that they have left to live.  If you can’t foster, can you consider making a donation to help cover the cost of their surgeries and follow up care?  We are dedicated to rescuing senior shelter dogs.  It’s only through your support and generosity that we are able to open our hearts to dogs like Big Donut and Bruno.

Bruno with Dr. Ramirez at Los Angeles Veterinary Center

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