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Thank You Jackson Galaxy for Helping Us Raise Over $1,500

We were very fortunate to be chosen as cat behavior expert Jackson Galaxy’s Shelter of the Month. Jackson donated $10 of every fundraising t-shirt sold in the month of February to Downtown Dog Rescue.


There are multiple factors of success during these types of fundraisers, none more important than contributing to the fee’s associated with Bebe’s eye surgery which has enabled him to see for the first time in his life! Last week, Bebe went from having a condition called hypermature cataracts that left him blind at 5 years old to being able to see. We rescued him through our South LA Shelter Intervention Program and quickly discovered that he was a special dog who needed a very expensive surgery. Thanks to all of you who donated, and to Jackson Galaxy for singling us out as a worthy rescue to raise money for.


Announcing The 2014 Clancy The Underdog Award Winner

ClancyOn February 23, 2013, our DDR mascot, Clancy made his transition into heaven, may he rest in peace. To honor his spirit, we are honoring one outstanding college bound student who exemplifies the term “underdog.”

The winner of the 2014 Clancy the Underdog Award is Sonia Martinon!

Despite many challenges Sonia has faced, she has continued to study and work hard, and has been accepted to Cal State Los Angeles University where she plans to study courses related to becoming a social worker.  On March 28th, we will be honoring Sonia by hosting a luncheon at her school and presenting her with a new MacBook Pro computer, which was anonymously donated. Classmates, friends and family will all be present to watch Sonia accept the 2014 Clancy Underdog Award.

We first met Sonia through her teacher, Bernice Orsoto, who leads the Students for Animals Rights Education and Advocacy at Aspire Academy in Huntington Park. This group of young people has volunteered at various community events we have organized in South LA. To learn more about SAREA visit www.facebook.com/SAREA

Young people are our future. Knowing that students like Sonia are so passionate about animal welfare and empowering families in underserved communities gives us all so much hope for a bright future. To learn more about Clancy and my amazing journey with him visit http://stubbydog.org/2012/03/clancy-the-elderbull-therapy-dog/

Please take the time to read Sonia’s winning essay below, and f you would like to assist a student in need, please get in contact with Ms. Orsorto.

If you would like to join me and all the people who love and support Sonia, please RSVP.


SoniaMy name is Sonia Martinon and I am from Huntington Park, California. Growing up in Huntington Park was a struggle- not being able to have everything that I wanted; I learned to appreciate the little I had even though both of my parents worked day and night. Everything seemed to be a perfect world for me, because I was satisfied to have the little my parents offered me. One day my mom went to the doctors to get her annual physical test and they noticed that something started to go wrong with her health. My mother’s hands started to deteriorate due to her health. Eventually my mother was fired from her job and everything started to change in my family. My family and I started to notice how much it was affecting everyone the way we had to limit the things we wanted to and to be happy with the things we had. My dad has always done everything he can, so he pushed himself to work night and day to get us everything that was in his hands. We started to notice that my mom’s health was not improving at all […]

Cesar Millan’s 2013 Pack Leadership Grant Awarded to Downtown Dog Rescue

We’re honored to be not only considered, but awarded Cesar Millan’s 2013 Pack Leadership Grant.

The Pack Leadership Grant was created to support people and organizations that help fulfill the Cesar Millan Foundation’s mission and Cesar’s vision. While reviewing several hundred deserving and diverse grant applicants from around the world, our global search led us on a path back to Los Angeles.

Announcing-the-Second-Pack-Leadership-Grant-of-2013-2Cesar and the Foundation Pack are proud to announce that Downtown Dog Rescue of Los Angeles has been awarded the Pack Leadership Grant for the second grant cycle of 2013. This grant comes in the form of a full scholarship and accommodations valued at $7,000 to attend the Training Cesar’s Way Fundamentals of Dog Behavior and Training Iworkshop in February. Click to read more

No Need For The Breed, Thanks to the ASPCA

ComptonIn 2013, the ASPCA generously funded our Compton Community dog clinics, with no breed restrictions. We were able to spay/neuter a total of 615 dogs, at an average cost of $69 per surgery. Check out the graph, it’s interesting to see that with no special incentives, to target the two breeds of dogs that are commonly thought of as a challenge to adopt when surrendered to a shelter, Chihuahuas and Pit bulls, the community loves them. Thus, these two breeds, accounted for about 50% of the surgeries, when you consider that “terriers” are often really pit bull or Staffordshire Terriers. Some people can’t have paperwork due to a landlord or insurance issue, that reads “pit bull”
DDR_ASPCA 06-2013 to 02-2014

We used a mix of both mobile clinics and local animal hospitals. The mobile clinics we hosted were by far the most productive, since we were able to provide a service for dog owners who often lacked transportation, did not have a working-reliable telephone, or just could not plan for an appointment, they were walk ups. Just because the surgery is free, doesn’t mean that the families with dogs who need the service the  most will find us. We rely on repeat customers and referrals, coming to the park, the secondSaturday of each month, for over six years. Offering consistent, quality, easy to access services, thanks to our 2013 ASPCA spay/neuter grant that made it all possible is how we will see less stray dogs and unwanted litters, people working together for positive change in the community.

Guest Post: A Heartfelt Rescue Story

As dog guardians, we accept certain responsibilities.  We pick up poop, we shove pills down throats, we clean up vomit.  But, none of that really matters: the goo, hair and smell are small prices we pay for wiggly butts and sloppy kisses.  But there are a few things that we dread; those vet visits that give us chills, when we know something is wrong and we can’t explain it to our beloved furry friends.

Our journey started in July of 2013 when a post by Downtown Dog Rescue (DDR) hit Facebook about a 13 year old Rottweiler, named Ryoko. Rodney, her guardian had received a college scholarship, and no one within his family was physically or financially able to take care of her.  So, out of options, Ryoko was taken to the South LA shelter, Rodney hoping someone would adopt her.  But most of us know the likelihood of a 13 year old dog being adopted in a low income area is not good.  Fortunately for Ryoko, DDR had established their Shelter Intervention Program just months earlier.

Rodney, believing this was the last time Rodney would ever see his girl, was crying as he walked towards the shelter. However,fate intervened. Seeing the banner by DDR offering help, they walked inside and met Amanda Arreola.

Amanda listened to their story and asked if they could hold on to Ryoko for a bit longer, DDR would reach out to their rescue partners and social media to see if a foster/adopter could be found. Thankfully time was on their side.

ryoko-post2I saw the postings on Facebook about a sad owner and a happy dog. The pictures said it all, Rodney knowing a decision would have to be made, the dog just happy to lay next to the human she loved. The pleas to help Ryoko went on for several weeks, but no one stepped forward. People cared, and wished them the best, said prayers, kept their “paws crossed.” But no real offers of help emerged.

After seeing the pictures for weeks, I finally caved, and asked my family if they would consider taking on another dog. My husband, eternally supportive, responded “whatever you want my sweet.” I know that sounds corny, but that is how we are with each other, when something really matters to the other we are supportive.

That weekend we drove from the San Fernando Valley to South Los Angeles to meet Ryoko.  Hillary Rosen, who was also at the shelter the day Rodney was there, met us at Rodney’s home.  Ryoko was out in front just as she was in the pictures, Rodney looking dire.  We talked.  He was worried –after all we were pretty much their last hope.  But I knew it was right when that place in my heart lit up.

I can’t help it, I love the senior dogs (she […]

2013 South LA Shelter Intervention Program Statistics

SLA-lil girlAs we closed out our first year for the South LA Shelter Intervention Program, I want to share our year-end stats with everyone, hoping that this will inspire other cities and counties to think in terms of expanding existing resources for families in need with pets. Most of the 2041 pets that we assisted were dogs – 1789, 241 cats and 11 rabbits. At the South LA shelter, we just see more people with dogs asking for help.  We realize that when kitten season starts up again, in early spring, we will be better equipped to help more cats.  With that being said, I want to thank Stray Cat Alliance for covering many of the spay/neuter surgeries.

Spay/neuter was very important and while the numbers were huge – 986 pets (almost 50% of all reasons why a family was considering surrendering their pet), we have to consider that in many cases, spay/neuter might have been the first reason, but the situation was often multi-layered. For example, a family might not qualify for a voucher due to lack of ID or other reasons. We paid for the surgery but they also needed pet food, a dog house, maybe a gate or fence repair and often other medical needs, such as a cherry eye surgery or an ear infection; all very treatable issues.

Without the support of the ASPCA spay/neuter grant, we could not have said “YES” to many families with pets who needed our help and their pets were spayed/neutered only because of this grant. To get the spay/neuter surgeries done most efficiently, we used two mobile clinics, Spay4LA and Amanda Foundation and two local hospitals, ARC Animal Hospital and North Figueroa Animal Hospital. I want to personally thank Katie Larkin, president of Angel City Pit Bulls and her team, who sponsored many of the surgeries for our intervention dogs in the month of December. They also volunteered at the intervention desk every Wednesday on Amanda’s day off so that we could cover the days the shelter was open.

We offered 151 pets a more humane end of life.  This number represents how many senior and terminally ill pets were humanely euthanized with their family present at Ber Mar Animal hospital in Inglewood, instead of being surrendered to the shelter South LA shelter.  All but one person, who was offered this service, gratefully accepted this alternative option.

2013 Stats

Lots of dogs were right on the edge of being surrendered because of barking, pulling on the leash, aggression and more.  Thanks to Larry Hill, lead trainer at Puppy Imprinters, who worked tirelessly with countless dog owners, inspiring them to not give up, try one more day, stay committed to your […]

Annual Watts Dog Clinic Brings Holidays Cheer to Needy Families And Their Pets

Free-Clinic-FlyerOn Saturday December 14th DDR and the Amanda Foundation are teaming up to do our annual Watts Dog Clinic at the Youth Opportunity Center in Watts. We are asking our volunteers and supporters to donated food items for the families who will bring their dogs to be spayed and neutered and their pets. Canned food such as soup, pasta, beans, rice and other non perishable foods will be gladly accepted the day of the event at the Youth Center located at 1513 East 103rd Street near Compton Blvd in Watts as early as 9:00 A.M. Volunteers will also be accepting all brands of dog food both canned and kibble.

Each year, the Amanda Foundation’s mobile clinic performs 50 free spay/neuter surgeries which includes free vaccinations for dog owners in Watts. All dogs must have an appointment and services. We are also grateful for the support from the Watts Project volunteers this year who will be organizing activities for the children who live in the community. Our goal is to offer a food basket for 100 families in need. Please be part of this special day by stopping by to donate your canned foods or donate online to support our work.

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