Max and his foster Mom, Claudia
Cindy and Chaya
Buddy was a stray in our neighborhood, and our friend Angie came to his rescue. She fostered him for quite a while until a friend of hers saw her post on Facebook about him and wanted to adopt him. They live on several acres in Arizona with other dogs, and horses. We were happy to be a part of his journey by sponsoring his medical bills. Buddy is now living the good life with his new family!
Chaya was abandoned at the South LA Shelter fifteen years after being adopted from that same shelter as a puppy. We were told that she needed a hospice foster, as she was quite elderly and was most likely in her last days. The lovely Chela Landau couldn't bear to see her die in the shelter, and sent out a plea for a foster. We agreed to take her temporarily until another foster could be found, as we already had another foster dog at the time. Chaya was frail, and covered in bumps and scars. Our friend Anna saw the plea for a foster, so between the two of us, we were determined to keep this darling girl safe. A few days after Chaya went to stay with Anna, I received a friend request from a woman named Cindy. Within a few minutes of glancing at Cindy's page, I noticed that she commented that she planned to adopt a senior dog in the near future. I sent her an email and said "I realize we literally only met seven minutes ago, but I have this lovely senior who desperately needs a home". She immediately emailed back and said she wanted to meet Chaya. It was love at first sight. Chaya blossomed under Cindy's love and care, and even walked a mile or two each day around their lake. Cindy had been going through a difficult time before meeting Chaya, and repeatedly said that Chaya saved her life. Tragically, about six months after adopting Chaya, Cindy unexpectedly passed away. As expected, Chaya soon followed her beloved mom ... and we believe the two were once again reunited.
Animals that we've had the honor of helping
Marvin! (now Mikey)
Parker and Momo (formerly known as Mamas and Papas) lived for three years on the streets of Riverside, California, with their homeless companion. They never knew the comforts of a real home, or when their next meal would come, and lived most of their life on a leash. In December 2013, a volunteer who helps the animals of the homeless put out a plea for a foster for a few nights, as it was below freezing, and their companion was unable to properly care for them. We came forward and originally said we could only foster for a few nights, as our own dog had cancer and we were advised by her oncologist that she needed to avoid any unnecessary stress. We tried to find another foster, to no avail. We couldn't bear the thought of them being turned back onto the street, so we eventually decided to have them signed over to Kisses and Paws. They are the most delightful little dogs. They wake up with smiles every morning, and it's clear that they are truly grateful to be waking up in a comfortable bed instead of on the hard cement on the cold and scary street. Parker is outgoing and social, and loves people! His favorite things are giving kisses, and his babies. Momo is more quiet and reserved, but equally loving. Her favorite things are treats (hers, and everyone else's!), and snuggling under the covers. They are very easy dogs to have around; they entertain themselves, and are incredibly well behaved, especially considering their past history. We tried for over a year to find them a home together to no avail (and much to our surprise because they are such fabulous dogs!), so we have removed them from our networking pages at this time. If a perfect family comes forward, we will consider adopting them out - but for now, they are home.
Mack was saved from a Los Angeles Shelter by a local Jindo Rescue. He needed transport from the puller's home to the foster, so Jim picked him up and drove him to our house, where we met his fosters. Mack was very near and dear to our hearts, because we adore the Jindo breed, and because he was such a sweet boy! We were thrilled when he was adopted by a family who adores him.
Tania was at the Carson Shelter, and another rescue posted a plea for a puller, transporter, and temporary foster. Jim picked her up and brought her home, and a volunteer stepped in as a long-term foster. As often happens in rescue, Tania was a "foster failure", meaning that her mom loved her so much, she couldn't give her up and ended up adopting her! She and her canine siblings adore one another.
We adopted Bella in 2009. She was a stray, and had been living for at least a year in an elderly woman's backyard in a dangerous neighborhood, with very little human contact. When the woman realized she could no longer properly care for her, she reached out to a Palos Verdes rescue group. We found Bella on petfinder.com, and she immediately settled in and became part of our family. Bella and Sasha were the best of friends, and were inseparable. Bella is a happy girl, a bit guarded and protective at first, but quite loving once she gets to know a person. She is currently in remission from cancer (mast cell tumors). Bella is our love dog!
Jim had the honor of transporting this adorable dog for our friends at BFF K9 Rescue to his foster in the Temecula area. In a happy turn of events, we learned shortly thereafter that this darling dog became another foster failure!
I received a plea from my rescue friend Colleen from Ruff Riders Rescue to pull and transport this tiny little one from the South LA Shelter to her foster. She had been thrown from a car, and her leg was broken and the bones shattered, but her family never took her to the vet to have it repaired. She ended up in the shelter as a stray, and when her family was contacted, they were instructed that they needed to take her to the vet and provide proof that her leg had been examined and treated by a veterinarian. Instead, they opted to leave her at the shelter. Colleen came to her rescue and saved her. Sadly, her leg ultimately had to be amputated, but she didn't seem to mind. In fact, it was probably such a relief to her! She is happy, and dearly loved by her new family!
We saw a post on Facebook about a 500 pound pig who was living in a backyard in Culver City. The family was getting evicted from their home, and wanted to find somewhere safe for him to go. This was my first experience in pig rescue. After much research and contacting quite a few pig rescues, the wonderful Sue Parkinson from Lil' Orphan Hammies said she would take him into her rescue in Solvang. We did some research into transports and found a fabulous transporter, and the plans were set! Charlie settled in quickly and started eating healthy foods (as opposed to the bean burritos he had been living on for most of his life), and ended up weighing 900 pounds! Charlie was one of the catalysts that started me on my journey to become a vegetarian. He will always hold a very special place in my heart, as does Sue, who does so much on behalf of the pigs.
Joy and Trixie were abandoned in their backyard when their family moved away. They survived for six weeks on grass, and the occasional food and water brought over by a neighbor. When it was finally decided that the family was not returning for their dogs, the neighbor took them to the Carson Shelter. They were starving, and frightened. Our dear friend Gina from Animal Crackers Pet Rescue said she would take them under her rescue if she could find a foster. She put out a plea, and received no response. I saw the email, but we were relatively new to rescue, and weren't sure we could take on two dogs at once. We decided that if we saw the plea a second time, we would offer to take them. Another plea went out, this time to over 10,000 people thanks to the assistance of the Mayor of Gina's town, who was a personal friend of hers. Again, no one came forward. Jim and I brought them home, and they were with us for two months until they found the most perfect home. We had the honor of assisting them through their transition of being scared little dogs, to being two of the happiest dogs we've ever met.
First day out of shelter
We learned about Jia through a Facebook post. Our rescue friend was at the Lancaster Shelter as Jia and her brother were being turned in by someone who knew their owner. The family was homeless and living out of their car. Jia's brother looked just like our Sasha. We contacted a local Jindo rescue, who said that they would take these two into their rescue if a foster could be found. We already had two fosters, but couldn't stand the thought of these two losing their lives at this very high kill shelter. We volunteered to foster the two of them, however learned that the brother had already been pulled, and the sister was left behind. The next day, I drove out to Lancaster to pick her up. She was a tiny little thing, but we thought she was most likely a Jindo/Shiba Inu mix. While at my vet's office getting an exam, I decided to have her DNA tested. Much to our surprise, she wasn't a Jindo at all - she was a Husky/Corgi mix! It really shouldn't have come as much surprise, because she definitely has the Husky personality! We developed a very special bond with her, and are grateful to her new family who has given her a perfect home. She now lives at the beach in a dog-friendly community, gets several walks a day, and is loving her new life. We are so thrilled for her!
Chrystal Belle was on the euthanasia list at the Orange County Shelter. Charlotte from Meade Canine Rescue said that she would take her, along with Wendy, if we could pull her. What a little character! For such a tiny thing, she had a very loud (and constant) bark! She rode with us along with Wendy up to Meade. Much to our surprise, she was adopted within the first few days of her arrival at Meade!
Ella ... all grown up!
Darling Greer was yet another sweet dog on the euthanasia list at the Carson Shelter that Meade Canine Rescue said they would take into their rescue if someone could pull and foster pending transport. I brought her home, and she was with us for a couple of weeks. Shortly after her arrival at Meade, she was quickly adopted by a family who lives on a farm in Connecticut, and now her days consist of happily running around the fields, hanging out with her horse friends, and being loved and spoiled by her new family!
Gracie was with us for a week pending transport to a rescue in Oregon. She only had three legs, but she didn't seem to notice! She was a perfect houseguest. When we received word that she arrived safely in Oregon, the first question they asked us was whether we knew she was pregnant! We did not know; it came as quite a surprise. I'm sure she had the most adorable puppies and was a wonderful mama to them! We met Gracie through my friend Eileen, who was instrumental in introducing me to rescue through social media networking.
Parker and Momo!
We met Jane Dog when we were headed to the dog park, with our car filled with four large, excited dogs. She was a stray, and running down a busy street. We were able to catch her and squeeze her into the tiny bit of room that was still available in the car. We quickly found out that she was a runner, and would escape if given the opportunity! Through networking on Facebook, after about two months, we found her a great home.
Cupcake and Paulie!
We were contacted by one of our neighbors who told us that they had taken possession of a duck that their friend had purchased at a swap meet. They weren't in a position to keep her, but felt that they needed to help get her into a better environment. We reached out to several possibilities, and then remembered that Jim's uncle has a bird sanctuary in Phelan, and he agreed to take her! Ella is now happily residing with other duck friends, and spends her days swimming around the pond.
Sadie was dying at the Carson Shelter from starvation and exposure to the elements. She weighed only eight pounds, and her ideal weight is around 17 pounds. The veterinarian at the shelter said she wouldn't survive another night. We were contacted by Gina from Animal Crackers Pet Rescue and asked if we could foster. We met the transporter, and Sadie - named in honor of our friend's dog - came to stay with us for a couple of weeks. Every day, she got stronger, and happier! Our dear friends (who also happen to be our neighbors) came by to meet her, and immediately fell in love! They adopted her a couple of weeks later. She now has the most wonderful life!
Sissy was on the euthanasia list at the Carson Shelter. She looked so much like Sadie who we had fostered the year prior, so I shared her photo and mentioned the resemblance to Sadie's family. They agreed, but weren't sure they were quite ready for a second dog. After several discussions about what could be done to save her, I contacted the lovely Skye Swan from Cause 4 Paws, who agreed to back Sissy through her rescue, and our friends agreed to foster. Long story short, she quickly became a foster failure! Sadie and Sissy have become the best of friends, and are inseparable! They are living the life that every dog deserves. As an added bonus, they are our neighbors, so we get to see them on a regular basis!
Rocky belonged to a friend of a friend. His family was moving and they were going to take this darling senior to the shelter because they said they didn't have room for the five pounds of him in their new home. We took him in, and after substantial veterinary bills due to the lack of care from his original family, he was in perfect shape and ready to find his forever family. Surprisingly to us, and thanks to Facebook networking, within just a couple of weeks, a friend of a rescue friend saw him and adopted him! He now is living with several other Pomeranians, has a luxurious fur coat, and goes wherever the family goes, including their vacations to the lake. He's one lucky Pomeranian, and we were lucky to make some lovely new friends!
Cupcake and Paulie were on the euthanasia list at the Baldwin Park Shelter. Meade Canine Rescue saved Cupcake, and another rescue up north agreed to take Paulie. We pulled them both, and kept them here for a week pending transport. Cupcake was quiet and reserved. The poor little darling was most likely used as a breeder dog and then dumped when she was no longer considered useful. Paulie, on the other hand, just wanted to be where he could find the most action! Both were equally sweet in their own ways, and a pleasure to have here with us.
We saw Wyla's photo on the euthanasia list at the Devore Shelter, and we pulled her with only twenty minutes to spare. She was such a delight. Always happy, always doing something silly to make us laugh. Wyla was with us for six months before a friend of ours adopted her. He decided that for personal reasons of his own, he could no longer keep her. However, during that time, his friend had fallen in love with her and said that she wanted to adopt her. So Wyla is living at the beach, and gets to hike for miles along the coast nearly every day. And she is loved and cherished by her mom. Wyla is living the dream!
Lola's life on the street
Max's 'home' on the streets
While en route to pick up Max from the shop owner, I was driving on the 60 Freeway and saw something fly through the air past my windshield that looked like a tiny kitten. I was in the fast lane, so I pulled to the middle shoulder and watched out my rear view mirror. Sure enough, I saw this tiny little thing start to run down the freeway. I jumped out of my car and went in search of him. I walked a substantial distance, but couldn't find him, and didn't see him in any of the lanes on the freeway. I looked over the center divider, and there he was - terrified and shaking. I knew if I reached over, I only had one shot to grab him, because otherwise he would most likely run into traffic. I took a deep breath, climbed over the divider, and quickly grabbed him. He wasn't too happy about it, and started biting me, but I just told him "It's ok, little fella ... bite me if you need to ... I know you're scared - I'm scared too!" Cars were racing past us, honking their horns, undoubtedly wondering what this woman was doing out of her car in the middle of the freeway. When I got back into my car, I sat him on the seat next to me and he bolted under the seat. I wasn't sure if he was injured. I went into a state of shock. I wasn't sure what to do - I was en route to pick up an 80 pound stray Ridgeback who was shelter-bound if I didn't arrive by noon, and now I had this tiny kitten, loose in my car. As I sat on the freeway, I was in a panic, and wasn't quite sure what to do. As I sat on the shoulder on the center divider, I posted on Facebook to ask some advice - I couldn't think clearly, and wasn't even sure where I was located at that point. I decided the first thing to do was to get him to a veterinarian, so I drove to one that was located down the street from my office. They gave him an exam and determined he was about eight weeks old. Fortunately, he didn't have any major injuries other than some abrasions from the cement. I posted our ordeal on facebook, and was contacted by Channels 2 and 9 news for an interview! They came to the house that evening and interviewed me, and the interview was aired later that night. Marvin was adopted by one of our best friends, and he is now known as Mikey!
Ruby's back surgery
Joy and Trixie! (now Trance & Yeti)
One summer day as I was driving down La Brea, a busy street in Los Angeles, on the way to my office, I noticed a dog roaming the streets and dodging between cars. I made a u-turn and went back to find him. He allowed me to approach him, and lead me to an auto body shop. I was informed that his name was Max, and his family who had lived in the house next door had moved away two years prior, and left him behind. The owner of the shop had been feeding him and keeping him locked in the gates at night, but he had planned to take him to the shelter the following day because he kept getting out and into traffic. My heart broke. I begged them to give me until noon the following day to find a place for him to go. I contacted all of my usual rescue contacts, but all of the rescues were full. In desperation, I told the shop owner that I would get him the following day, and would figure out what to do with him thereafter. I brought him to my veterinarian's office for boarding, but didn't have the heart to leave him. I called my mom in tears, and she told me to bring him over, and said that she would foster him until we could find another foster, or a forever home. Max was with them for several months. A friend on facebook tagged a Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue, and they kindly shared him on their website. A family who had lost their Ridgeback a couple of years prior came to meet him, and Max went from living on the streets, to a loving home! He now has several acres to call his own, with plenty of room to run and play!
Ramona's flight with Pilots N Paws
Sara! (now Sasha)
Norman was on the euthanasia list at the Devore Shelter. Our friend (and Bella's rescuer) Laura said she had a friend who wanted to adopt him, but lived several hours from the shelter and it wouldn't be possible for her to get there before it was too late. Jim and I drove out to the shelter and met him. Norman had a wonderful disposition, but it was obvious that he was quite sad being in the shelter. We completed the paperwork to have him pulled and sent to the veterinarian for his neuter, and he was picked up the next afternoon by his new Mama. He now lives with several other animals, including a parrot and guinea pig, who as his mom puts it, he "watches incessantly like a television set". We love receiving updates from his lovely mom. He is such a fortunate dog to have been rescued by such a loving family, and his mom says she is so blessed that he came into her life.
We received an email that this special little girl needed a foster pending transport to a wonderful rescue up north, Muttville Senior Rescue. She stayed with us for about a week. Poor little thing had a primary and secondary skin infection, and an infection in both of her ears, resulting in a great amount of discomfort. We immediately got her in to see the veterinarian and started on medication, and within a few days we could already see a huge improvement. About six months later, we received an email from her new family, and they reported that she was their first dog adopted together as a couple, and she has brought them so much happiness and joy! As a side note, we named Cindy after the lovely soul who adopted Chaya.
To view Tanner's shelter video
First day out of shelter
This adorable senior was on the euthanasia list at the San Jacinto Shelter. We received an email from Meade Canine Rescue stating that they would take her, but there was less than an hour left to find someone to get to the shelter to pull her. We had just lost our beloved Sasha to cancer a few days prior, and I wasn't quite ready to leave the house, but I knew if I didn't, we would lose another precious soul. I drove out to San Jacinto and pulled her, and brought her back to the house pending transport to Meade. She was the sweetest little girl. Very feeble, but still tried her best to run around the yard because she was so excited to be out of the shelter! We could see the gratitude in her eyes. I can't help but think our Sasha had a "paw" in Charlotte contacting me that day, getting me out of the house, and reminding me why I am here, and what I am meant to do. It was like Sasha said "Mama, no more sadness. There are dogs who need help". Charlotte gave me the cherished honor of naming this beautiful little girl after me.
Lola Brown was found on the side of a Los Angeles freeway. I helped network her on Facebook, and a friend of a friend saw her photo and adopted her! She is loving her new life, and her family absolutely adores her!
We received a plea about a goat who was scheduled to be sent for slaughter if a new home wasn't found. We figured it was a long shot, but we contacted our friends Ty and Maria and asked if they might be interested in adopting him, as we knew they previously had goats. Much to our surprise, they said yes! Gino the Goat is now living happily on several acres, along with many other animal friends! And just recently, the family adopted another goat who was being sent to slaughter, so he now has another goat friend!
Wendy was on the euthanasia list at the Devore Shelter. We received a plea from one of our most special rescues, Meade Canine Rescue, who said they would take her if they could find a foster pending transport. Jim and I pulled and fostered her, but instead of sending her with the transporter, decided to drive her to Creston, CA ourselves to check out the rescue and to meet Charlotte, the rescue's founder. Wendy was a delightful guest. So easy and quiet. The only way we knew she was around was by the constant thumping of her happy tail! When we arrived at Meade, we let Wendy out of the car, and she found a shady spot under a lovely tree and immediately made herself at home. It was like she belonged there. It was bitter-sweet saying goodbye because we adored her, but we knew she was in excellent care with Charlotte and the rest of the dogs. Several months later, we received a message from Charlotte that Wendy had been adopted by a lovely woman who had recently lost her beloved husband, and dog. She said there was now a joy in her heart that hadn't been there for quite some time. She went to Meade to adopt a different dog, but apparently Wendy had something else in mind. Wendy hadn't shown much interest in anyone else who visited Meade, but for some reason, she decided that this woman was her new family. And she made her feelings known. So Wendy, and the other dog, found their forever home that day!
Jake was another fortunate senior to be saved by Meade Canine Rescue. We had another foster at the time, so we boarded him at our veterinarian's office for the two nights prior to his transport to Creston, CA. Jake's family abandoned him at the shelter because he had some serious medical issues - he needed thousands of dollars worth of dental work, and had some other lumps and bumps that were cause for concern. He enjoyed his time at Meade, and became quite famous around the rescue for his Beagle "wail". He was a vocal boy who had much to say! Jake was scheduled for surgery, but just before his surgery date, he peacefully passed away in one of his favorite quiet spots among the trees.
Gino and Frankie