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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

Fundraiser for Senior Dogs!

Senior dog Bruno’s owner died and he has been waiting for someone to adopt him for two years

We love rescuing senior dogs, especially senior pit bulls. However, the reality is that the process of finding these super senior dogs homes, often takes more than a month or two.

In order to make these dogs as comfortable as possible, while they live with us at our kennel, we decided to do some renovating. We are in the process of  building  two senior  dog suites. Each will have their own private entry. One of the suites, has its own private side yard, and doggy door to leave the suite and enter the yard outside.

While these suites are not homes, for some senior dogs it’s better than anything they have experienced in their lifetime.

We are also installing an outdoor dog washing station that will have hot and cold water to bathe all the dogs at our kennel. A dog washing station was on our wish list when we purchased our kennel property back in 2013, but never finished.

Our goal is to raise $2500 to complete this renovation before the 4th of July.  Check out our progress, and consider making a donation to help us finish this project.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Lady Royale had a huge tumor growing on her shoulder when we rescued her from the shelter. She is all healed up and hopes to be adopted soon!

Beautiful Laila has waited a year to be adopted

Stella loves to cuddle and is a low energy low rider who is waiting for you to adopt her!

Consider being a Forever Foster like Minnie’s family Minnie was adopted and happily living with her forever foster family

Compton Spay & Neuter Clinic

37 dogs and cats were spayed and neutered

Our June spay and neuter clinic was full, with enough pets on our waiting list to fill another mobile clinic. When volunteers arrived at East Rancho Dominguez Park in Compton at 6:10 AM, there were already pets waiting, including “Milo” a six month old shepherd tied up in the back of his owner’s truck bed. His owner had received a citation from an animal control officer, and wanted to make sure to get Milo neutered, vaccinated and micro chipped. While there wasn’t a spot for Milo on the mobile clinic, his owner was issued a free neuter voucher so that Milo will receive all the services he needs free of charge, and we discussed how dangerous it is to transport a dog in the back of a truck. Milo wasn’t the only big dog who showed up, looking for our help.
Many of our pet owners walk to the park, some don’t have telephones, like a gentleman with two kittens that we met last month. He didn’t have a permanent address or phone to make a follow up call for an appointment, but there he was, with both kittens, ready to get them spayed and neutered. In fact, we had quite a few cats at this dog clinic. In 2019, we set a goal of sterilizing more cats at our community dog clinics, a goal we are attaining each month. We wanted to help people like such as a kind woman who had been caring for a community cat. She had tried to catch her, but not before she had three litters of kittens. She finally was able to catch her, and thankfully, we spayed her. She told us that without this free service, she probably would not have been able to afford to spay this mama cat.
We met one dog owner who had an appointment, but had second thoughts, and was just about to leave the line, when the person behind her in line convinced her to get her dog neutered. Often, other community members have a much greater influence on helping a reluctant pet owner make the right decision. There was a very sweet poodle who had a hernia, and required more care than the mobile clinic could offer, we wrote a medical voucher so this dog could be spayed and have the hernia repair surgery, something her owner could not afford.
We met a young man with a male husky, who received a free neuter voucher. Talking to the owner, we learned that he had a female husky at home. He wasn’t sure about getting her spayed. Apparently, the two dogs had already had one litter of puppies, and that’s why he was at the clinic, to prevent more puppies. As volunteers, running these monthly clinics, we try our best to provide as much information about the benefits of spay and neuter, and allow the pet owner to decide. Overwhelmingly, pet owners want to […]

Keeping Chiquis where she belongs

Dagoberto and his beloved Chiquis

Senior citizen Dagoberto visited our Watts Pet Resource Center, looking for help last month. He was being harassed by the manager at his senior living apartment building because of his dog, Chiquis.  Despite being spayed, vaccinated, and microchipped, the manager was requiring proof that she was healthy, or she had to leave.  The description of the proof was very ambiguous, and sounded like a way to force him to move out, since giving up Chiquis was never an option.

One of first clients of the morning. They arrived at 6:05 AM for an 8:00 AM clinic

These pet owners brings their dogs every month for flea & tick prevention

Like many of the pet owners we meet through our programs, they often believe that they don’t have options, feeling stressed out and desperate.  Thanks to our partnership with HEART LA we were able to connect him to free legal services.  The manager received a letter, stating that Chiquis is not violating any rules, and she is allowed to stay with Dagoberto. Despite the rain last Sunday, he came out to thank us at our free dog clinic at Fred Roberts Park.  The worried look on his face was replaced with a smile, as he communicated to us how truly grateful he was for our help.


Chiquis was one of the more than 170 puppies and dogs who came out in the rain to receive free services.

Each month, we spay/neuter, vaccinate, microchip, deworm, and provide flea and tick prevention for upwards of 200 dogs who live in South Los Angeles

It’s through your generosity that we are able to help pet owners like Dagoberto keep their pets where they belong – in their homes!

Thank you for your support


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