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So far Debbie Fan has created 39 blog entries.

Cecelia & Chocolate find a place to call home

We first met Cecelia W. and her beloved 4.5 year old dog named Chocolate, when she visited our Pet Resource Center on a Wednesday at Inner City Law Center. Our counselors learned that she had rescued Chocolate when she was only 3.5 weeks old, had bottle fed her, and always found a way to somehow provide for this beautiful dog.

When Chocolate was just a puppy, Cecelia was able to hide her from her landlord, but as she got bigger, she realized that she would need to move because there was a no pet policy at her apartment complex. Taking Chocolate to a shelter, or giving her away was never an option. As she worked during the day as a waitress and even working a pastime job at a car wash to make a living, she used all of her tips to pay for doggy daycare so Chocolate could be safe while she worked.

Sadly, Cecelia and Chocolate became homeless, living in a Santa Monica shelter for awhile, until the shelter cracked down on pets, and she moved to Skid Row. Living on the streets of Skid Row is a hard life for anyone, but especially for a woman. She credits the C3 Team with saving her life about 7 weeks ago. They were able to find her a place to move with Chocolate. We often work with the amazing C3 outreach team when someone experiencing homelessness has a pet.

Chocolate is her everything, and she would dog anything to keep her safe and healthy. We have been helping Cecelia with Chocolate’s health care for a couple months because our veterinarian diagnosed her as having early stages of kidney failure. She is comfortable now, needs to lose some weight, and is on special diet. This is where YOU, reading this blog post can help this pair directly.

We are looking for one sponsor to buy Chocolate’s special dog food each month, on an ongoing basis. Here is the link to the type of food she needs https://www.chewy.com/blue-buffalo-basics-limited/dp/37040

Let us know if you can help. We need just one special person to make this monthly donation commitment!

Watts Pet Resource Center – First Quarter Stats

The Watts Pet Resource Center takes place the last Monday of each month. This resource center opened in January, and for three consecutive months, we have served a total of 75 pet owners in the following ways.
61% needed a free voucher for a spay or neuter voucher, 12% needed help with a problem, which was multiple issues that included medical treatment for their cat or dog.
10% needed pet food or other supplies, and the rest of the 17% needed a variety of services, for dogs attacked by other dogs, dogs hit by cars, dogs that needed surgery (tumor removal or dental), and even one dog that had been shot, and likely would have died if our counselors didn’t work with the owner of the dog immediately to save her life.

96% of the pet owners were in housing. Of the 4% experiencing homelessness, all were working with a case manager or an agency. 79% are women bringing their pets. Almost 50% of the pet owners were bilingual or only spoke Spanish. 43% were employed full time, 20% part time, and the rest were either retired or disabled. 80% identified as being Hispanic 18% Black and 2% White
62% receive some type of public assistance

60% of the people had owned their cat or dog for 1-10 years 9% more than 10 years. 70% of the pets had never had a litter, 20% had a litter, and the rest did not know.
Only 50 % of the pets had ever been taken to a veterinarian by their owner. 66% acquired their pet from a family member or friend and about 20% found the pet as a stray. Interestingly, only 10% adopted from a shelter, with a small percentage buying a dog from a breeder.

Of course this is a small sampling of pet owners, and we assume that the people who truly love and care about their pets would show up to our monthly resource center, but some of these numbers reveal a great deal about what’s going on in the Watts community in regard to families with pets.

We will continue this monthly clinic the last Monday of each month through the summer. Some of you reading this post may wonder, why the last week of the month? From our experience, doing this work for two decades, we know, money can run out, choices have to be made, and if there isn’t enough money to buy dog or cat food, people get creative, and feed them whatever is available. This is one of the many reasons why communities like Watts has free roaming dogs, who have a home, but are hungry, or intact and looking to find a mate.

Being in the community we can meet puppies like the adorable pup in this photo, make sure they get vaccinated, microchiped, and sterilized before their first litter. This project is a collaboration with LA Animal Services and […]

Happy 7th Anniversary Shelter Intervention Program

On April 6, 2013, with one counselor, and a goal of maybe preventing 400 pets per year, our South LA Shelter Intervention Program was launched.  Today, as we did back in 2013, we ask one simple question, “How can we help you keep your pet?” Today, our this program is run as a full time, six day a week program, thanks to a generous grant from the Michelson Found Animals Foundation, partnering with Los Angeles Animal Services, we have assisted more than 11,000 family pets stay in their first home – forever home.

Most of the need is medical services, which range from a vaccination, to a tumor removal surgery, relief from a chronic eye, ear of skin condition, and all types of medical treatments, including crisis care for parvo and pets being hit by cars or attacked by another animal.

All of our pet owner are low income, most living at, or below the poverty line.  Some live pay check to pay check, with little or no extra money in their budget for a pet emergency.  While others are experiencing homelessness, and their cat or dog is their best friend, and they have no money to pay for any services.

This model has spread to three other shelters, run by two other non profits. Home Dog LA runs the North Central program and Rescue Train runs both the East and West Valley shelter programs.

Imagine a day when every shelter has this type of program.  A pet owner would never have to surrender their pet to the shelter because they could not afford to pay for a spay/neuter surgery, a dog license, redemption fees, costs associated with a notice to comply, humane euthanasia, and all types of medical care.

While this program is not 100% free to the pet owner, we ask each person to pay what they can, offering them assistance in raising money, finding solutions to cover the costs involved.  DDR pays what the pet owner cannot afford.  This is more than a shelter diversion program, or program to reduce the numbers of cats and dogs being euthanized at shelters due to space.  Shelter Intervention is about helping people, many who are in a personal crisis that involves far more than their pet.  Many tears, both happy and sad, have been shed at the shelter intervention table, over these past seven years, some stories too personal to write on this blog or share on social media.  Not every case has a happy ending, but to offer a pet owner options, to offer hope, to let people know that someone cares about them and their pets is the priceless gift that our counselors give Tuesday – Sunday at the South LA Shelter #becauseweallneedhelpsometimes

Adoption + Benefits

DDR dogs that are available for adoption, who come with special benefits, including “forever foster” agreements, free ongoing dog training, and free boarding.

Check out some of our dogs who would love to meet you.  Can’t adopt, you can sponsor one of our rescue dogs until he or she is adopted, or sponsor the adoption donation.

 Alpine’s tail never stops wagging.  She loves everyone she meets and walks well on leash.

Cedric is a love bug who loves people, dogs and cats.  This super senior is available to forever foster. You provide a loving home for Cedric, we cover his major medical expenses for life.

Leila is another super senior who is available to forever foster, and comes with a free dog training option. She knows all her basic commands and walks well on leash, thanks to her weekly training sessions.

Kobe has been in our adoption program for almost two years! If you adopt this handsome dog, he comes with free dog training and free boarding at our kennel when you travel.  Kobe trains every Sunday, knows all basic commands, including down stay, loose leash walking, and more training tricks.  What Kobe truly needs is his own home, preferably with a yard.

Nosey  LOVES to play! This social butterfly is a petite dog who walks well on leash, and loves people and dogs.

Pet Resource Center Puppies


Each week, our Pet Resource Center Program serves 80-100 pet owners who live in the Skid Row community.

For the past several weeks, we have seen a lot of new puppies join our program. Thanks to our partnership with LA Animal Services, all puppies and kittens, receive free spay/neuter vouchers.

We pay for the vaccinations and micro chipping. We also pay for the dog license once the puppy is old enough to receive the rabies vaccination.  In order to be a member of the program, the pet owner must agree to sterilize and vaccinate their pet.  Not only do we reduce potential unwanted litters of puppies and kittens in this community, we reduce infectious diseases such as parvo, distemper, and protect pets against fleas and ticks on an ongoing basis.

The last Wednesday of each month, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department Veterinarians and LA Animal Services are on location with a community pet wellness clinic that offers vaccinations to puppies and kittens to young to be sterilized and to sterilized cats and dogs.  In addition to vaccinations, we offer micro chipping, wellness exams and basic care. For the more challenging cases, we refer the pet owner to a partner veterinarian, and we cover 100% of the cost for the pet’s exam and treatment.

There is no reason any pet living in the Skid Row community is not spayed or neutered, and no pet needs to suffer from a chronic medical condition such as an ear or skin infection, thanks to this collaborative partnership with the participating veterinarians, Los Angeles Animal Services, Inner City Law Center, and Downtown Dog Rescue counselors and volunteers who run this program, including driving the pets to the animal hospital because lack of transportation is a challenge.

We want to thank everyone who has donated pet food and other supplies to this program from our Amazon Wish List.  If you would like to support a cat of dog monthly, please consider purchasing a bag or cat or dog food.  All donations will be used to feed the cats and dogs who live with their owners, who otherwise, would struggle to feed and care for their pets.  DONATE HERE http://a.co/2aMKmQv








Super Bowl Sunday Spay & Neuter Clinic

On Super Bowl Sunday morning, in the rain, 80 dogs and cats were spayed and neutered at East Rancho Dominguez Park in Compton.

One mobile clinic completely full of cats, and the other for dogs. What an amazing team Spay4LA, who performed all the surgeries. We love to collaborate with Spay4LA because they have the same mission as Downtown Dog Rescue, helping pet owners who cannot afford to sterilize their pets.

Usually, we focus on dogs, doing a few cat surgeries, but in 2019, we are committed to doing more free spay/neuter surgeries for pet cats.

Many of the pet owners that we assist live in South Gate, Lynwood, Paramount, Bell Gardens, all cities that do not offer any type of free or low cost spay/neuter vouchers.  We are grateful to all of our donors who continue to support these free surgery clinics each month.  Our next clinic will be Sunday March 3rd for the Compton community.

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