LORI’S CORNER: 500 spay/neuter surgeries to date in 2010

On Saturday, we hit our 500 dog spayed/neutered in our Compton Dog Program for 2010. “Solara” a beautiful Red Nose pit bull who had thirty-three puppies before she came to our free spay/neuter clinic in the park in Compton last Saturday. Her owner walked her to the park with his wife pushing their baby in a stroller. Solara, as I was told, loved the baby and all children who came to the house. She had several litters because they could not afford to get her spayed. I went silent as I heard her owner tell me, “All of the puppies went to really good homes”. I have stopped citing shelter impound information and the true facts about how many pit bull puppies actually do go to “good homes”.

I was more concerned with the chain around her neck. I didn’t get a chance to inquire about the chain, when someone else in line, holding her very well groomed poodle began to tell Solara’s owner how bad it was to chain her. She had all the correct facts. I remained silent as the poodle lady became more vocal. When she was done, I asked him about how long she spent on the chain everyday and he replied, “Only when I go to work”. He told me that she slept in the bed with him and was more of a house dog than a yard dog but they had no fence and for now, the chain was his only option. As we waited for Solara’s turn to go aboard the mobile clinic, I watched the interaction between the two, Solara was very connected to him and he was very gentle with her. Unlike some of the other dogs, Solara was the model dog, walking up the stairs, wagging her tail. When the couple came back to pick her up, they brought one of her puppies, a wonderful 12 week old female. I offered to take her into our rescue and they told me that they would think about it and I believe that they will. Regardless, puppy will be spayed at our next clinic on October 9th.

There are so many dogs like Solara, producing endless litters of unwanted puppies in the Compton area, not because the dog owners want to make money or just believe their dogs should have puppies (we get these people too), more often, it’s a lack of money. Everyone in Compton has been hit hard by the recession, lots of people out of work, losing their homes, some even homeless with their dogs, staying outside in the park during the day. 

LORI’S CORNER: Puppys from Compton

This past weekend, we were back in the park in Compton, spaying/neutering 61 dogs! When we go into the community for a full weekend of service, it’s great because there are so many people who come out to the park on Saturday, see the mobile clinic and want to get their dogs done. If we tell them, “Come back next month”, we have probably lost them, regardless of the fact that we take the person’s name and phone number. On Sunday morning, we had a 40% “no show” on our appointment list but the good news was that I had 15 dogs waiting on standby from the day before. Many had been cited by animal control and needed the free spay/neuter service to comply with Compton’s mandatory spay/neuter policy.

To my great surprise, Erica came back again on Sunday with more puppies. Three months ago, she and her daughter brought their papa and mama dogs to be fixed. At the time, the pups were too young. Like most of the Compton dog owners, they did not want their dogs to have a litter of puppies but could not afford to get them fixed. Unlike most Compton dog owners, Erica did not want the puppies to go to just anyone and was prepared to “do the right thing”, spay/neuter, vaccinate and microchip before adopting the dogs out, not selling but adopting. The pups are now 5 months old and need homes. “Jolly and Molly” are two of the four puppies that we hope to find homes for by this weekend. The photos of the pups were taken just after surgery. Downtown Dog Rescue paid to have all 6 dogs spayed/neutered, vaccinated and micro chipped. Even though Erica has agreed to work with us, the longer that it takes us to find small breed rescues, foster homes or adopters for these puppies, the more likely the dogs will go to a home that may not be prepared to own a dog for the next 15 years! Downtown Dog Rescue does not have a foster network and does not take in small dog or puppies because our kennel would not be a safe place for these pups.

Working with the community is part of mission statement. Keeping dogs out of the shelter is our ultimate goal. Encouraging people to think adoption instead of selling or “getting rid of dogs” is a process, which happens over the course of months, even years in a community like Compton, one dog at a time. […]

LORI’S CORNER: Spay/Neuter program works – A community responds

Last week was another very busy week for Downtown Dog Rescue.

On Friday, I met Alex at his spot and we drove over to the North Central Animal Shelter to get his third dog, “Fire” out of the shelter. Both Sunshine and Magic are doing very well since leaving the shelter last week and being spayed/neutered. They really missed Fire. Unfortunately, Fire bit an ACT while in the shelter so she had to be quarantined. She is a fearful little Pit bull -Chihuahua mix. She only loves her Daddy Alex although she is now OK with me since she seems to understand, I was there to help her. I took this photo of her just before we started our drive back to the spot where Alex lives with his dogs. All of the dogs were strays, starving, in very poor condition when he rescued them off the street. These are not the first set of dogs that he has rescued and it won’t be the last. Alex is a dog lover, a very kind person, who can’t see an animal suffer. Since he has been part of our DDR family since 2007, he has helped many dogs live a better life, including our Rex, a dog that he rescued but turned over to us because he knew we could find him a “better home”.


On Saturday, we were back in Compton, in the park, offering free spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations and microchips for dogs living in the City of Compton. This was our second consecutive Saturday this month. Two week total, 58 surgeries, which comprised of a lot of large breed dogs including some beautiful pit bulls! BARK dogs came out again and read to the children in the park, which is a highlight for a lot of children who are terrified of dogs but through this program are learning that not every dog wants to chase and bite them.




LORI’S CORNER: PITBULL family galore: Why Spay/Neuter is essential in our communities

On Saturday, Downtown Dog Rescue was back at East Rancho Dominguez Park in Compton, offering free spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchips to dog owners living in Compton. Our day was booked solid, people on the waiting list had to be turned away there were so many dogs. We will be in Compton again next Saturday. Being in the clinic every month, we develop relationships with people in the community, as does any good business and our mobile clinic program is a business. We are in the business of getting every Compton dog spayed/neuter, a monumental task but one we are slowly chipping away at.

Sometimes, spaying/neutering is just not enough. I had a dog owner talk to me about “getting rid of her dog” last month. She was adamant about not taking the dog to the shelter or just giving the dog away to someone who might want to fight him. Her son bought “Max” a 90 pound Bandog, as a puppy and then he dumped the dog on mom, who is a senior and can’t handle Max, a very loving but out of control “youngster”. I had told her that the true test of a good home in Compton is going to be someone taking him although he is fixed. I offered to neuter the dog and help her find Max a home. To my surprise, she showed up with this big boy in a really small car, with her neighbor’s son Chris, who instantly became another DDR youth volunteer. Joel, who rides his bike over to the park every time we do a clinic also helped get Max in control, while we all waited for his name to be called by the vet tech. With these two boys and of course Edgar, my key volunteer and terrific dog handler, we were in good shape.
Max needs a forever home. He is eight months old, very social with all people, even young children. He seemed fine around all of the dogs, no growling, not even at the small dogs. This is a dog that just needs to learn some manners!
On Sunday, I was back at class, where I met our new volunteer handler, Barry, owner of Blue Collar Dog Supply, a terrific dog supply store in Echo Park. He worked “Pearl” in the class and I was handling “He Man”. When class was coming to a close, a […]

FRIDAY SHOUT OUTS – Giving Thanks!

After a short break, FRIDAY SHOUT OUTS is back with more thank you’s to give!

We would like to thank the awesome FOUND ANIMALS FOUNDATION for their sponsorship of the cost of vaccines for our JUNE Compton Spay/Neuter Clinics. Their sponsorship is crucial to keeping pets protected and keeping our costs down and so we are really happy that they’ve stepped up and chose to sponsor our clinic.

Well, that’s it for this week!
We’re rescuing dogs, one dog at a time!!!
With YOUR help!!!
See everyone next week!!!!!

LORI’S CORNER: “Get Your Pet Bull Spayed” Compton Spay/Neuter Clinic

“Lori, I want to get my Pet Bull fixed,” yells out Shortie, riding his bike across the parking lot towards me at 6:30 in the morning at East Rancho Dominguez Park in Compton. One of the cast of characters who call the park home, Shortie is a long time friend of DDR. When I write Pet Bull, no, that’s not a typo, he really did have a Pet Bull named Sherry, a 5 month old brindle sweetheart who we did spay + vaccinate + microchip but did not go back “home” with Shortie on his bike, since home is wherever he happens to land that night.

Chances are pretty good that he will never pick up Sherry because he will find another stray puppy who got too big for someone living in an apartment or maybe got too “hyper” and the former owner threw her away. People like Shortie are no different in many ways than people like us, who rescue dogs. For Sherry, Shortie was an important part of her chance for a stable home where she would never be sentenced to life in a back yard on a chain, being bred until she wasn’t worth anything. This way of life for many pit bulls in Compton is common but not for a Pet Bull like Sherry. I had to learn the difference between a Pet and a Pit and I guess you could say, I’m still learning. It’s sort of like yard dogs and house dogs, another theory about dogs that is something that leads to high numbers of dogs being euthanized at the shelters every day.

I originally met Shortie through David and Swanee, two men who drink too much for their own good and live in the park. All of the men are dog lovers and have helped me rescue countless dogs that have tried to live the street life and failed. Our feelings are all the same for dogs, we can agree that we don’t want to see a dogs fought, tortured, or man handled and disrespected, as these men call what we in the humane community might call animal cruelty. They, feel the same way that we do when it comes to dogs, we want to save them from the unspeakable harm that often awaits them in places like Compton as a street dog, dodging cars on Rosecrans Blvd, staying clear of the men who fight dogs on the weekends socially, or the gang members that spray paint and torture the street dogs just for fun. Taking a street dog to the shelter is sometimes the most humane option, compared to what the dog may face on the street.

After Sherry’s surgery, a young man […]


by Irene Soriano Brightman

When Downtown Dog Rescue founder Lori Weise, put out a call for used Children’s books to distribute to children attending the 1st ever Compton Pet Fair that happened two weeks ago, I remembered right away a Facebook posting from one of my animal rescue friends of Broadway/Screen star and animal Welfare veteran and Broadway Barks co-founder, Bernadette Peter’s latest book project called STELLA IS A STAR!

Bernadette Peter’s own pitbull, Stella!

I thought, it would be great to be able to give the children that were coming to the the PET FAIR this new book about a dog and more specifically about pitbulls that had a positive message about the breed and a wonderful story about developing one’s positive self-image! I knew right away I would need to contact the publisher and get them involved with the Spay/Neuter clinic!

About the book (write-up from Chronicle Books):

Stella Is a Star! — Bernadette Peters and Liz Murphy—the terrific team behind the New York Times best-selling Broadway Barks—are back with a story about Stella, a pup who would rather be a graceful pig ballerina than what she really is: a dog no one seems to like.

Bernadette Peters’ lovable Stella learns the lessons of self-acceptance, following her heart’s desires and, most important, that it’s okay just to be herself. The book includes a CD with an original song written and performed by Bernadette Peters.

Bernadette Peters has led a dazzling career on Broadway and in theaters and concert halls around the world, playing such memorable roles as the witch in Into the Woods and Mama Rose in Gypsy. She is the cofounder, with Mary Tyler Moore, of Broadway Barks, a charity that finds homes for shelter animals. Her passion for animals is the inspiration behind this book.

Liz Murphy was born in England and lives with her family in Montclair, New Jersey. She is a graduate of the Kingston Art College, where she majored in graphic design.

LORI’S CORNER: The Key to Combating Pet Overpopulation: Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic Program

Downtown Dog Rescue has always been very active in assisting homeless and very low income dog owners get their dogs spayed/neutered free of charge. Over the years, we have all volunteered at lots and lots of free spay/neuter events and have supported all the mobile clinic providers. Without The Amanda Foundation, Sam Simon and the newest mobile clinic Angel Dogs Foundation, most of the clients who get their dogs spayed/neutered would never get it done. Coupons, vouchers, Clinico and other low cost clinics are great, but going into a park, church, or school parking lot with a mobile clinic is the best way to get the dog owners that are the highest risk for allowing their dogs to have multiple litters of puppies.
Do we do these clinic because we just love dogs? We do these clinics because we care about the dog owners in some of the most violent neighborhoods in Los Angeles County, areas like South Central Los Angeles, Watts, or Compton. Even though the mobile clinic is right there, just across the street from the guy with four pit bulls and it’s free, it might not be enough to get him to walk over and ask for information. What we’ve found to be successful is to become a presence in the communities that we serve.
In 2010, Petsmart Charities awarded DDR with a grant to pay for 50% of the cost to spay/neuter 680 dogs living in the City of Compton. The other 50% was supposed to come from the County of Los Angeles Animal Control. We contract Sam Simon or Angel Dogs Foundation the second Saturday of each month, to spay/neuter at least 35 dogs in East Rancho Dominguez Park. Last month, we did a double day, operating our Clinic on Saturday and Sunday and July and August will also be double day months. The challenge is getting the agreed upon funding from the County of Los Angeles. It sure sounded simple when we started this project, provide proof of income for each dog owner and include a surgery receipt.
What we didn’t plan for were all the clients who have no income, are homeless, get paid in cash, are not entitled to any government services, don’t have any form of ID, refuse to give us a copy of their ID and people who just walk up to the clinic while walking their dog in the park and after a long conversation, talking the dog owner out of breeding their dog, we load the […]

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