L.A. Unleashed

All things animal in Southern
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Category: Adopt-a-Pet

Adopt-a-Pet: Lela the calico cat


Lela (ID# A1077716), a female domestic shorthair cat, found herself at the crowded South Los Angeles animal shelter when her owner decided to give her up due to a pregnancy.  Now she's in need of a new home and a fresh start!

About Lela: She's about 4 years old, has already been spayed and is declawed.  (The procedure was recently banned in the city of Los Angeles, so L.A. cat fanciers wanting a declawed cat will likely need to go the adoption route to obtain one from here on out.)  South L.A. shelter volunteer Andrea Braver describes Lela as "a wonderful girl" with "exceptional markings as if done by a makeup artist."  Braver's right -- this is one gorgeous cat!

For more information: Meet Lela in person at the South L.A. shelter, 3612 11th Ave., or call (888) 4LAPET1 with her ID number to learn more. 

UPDATE: Lela has been adopted; congratulations, Lela!

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Mindy Schneider

Adopt-a-Pet: Strummer the one-eyed pit bull

Strummer1Strummer, a male pit bull puppy available for adoption through Downtown Dog Rescue, hasn't had the most auspicious of beginnings. Fortunately for him, he has a new life to look forward to. Now he just needs someone to share it with!

About Strummer: Slated for euthanasia at the crowded South Los Angeles animal shelter, he was rescued in the nick of time by Downtown Dog Rescue. Adding to Strummer's troubles -- and undoubtedly a factor that prevented him from being adopted from the shelter initially -- was the fact that he is blind in one eye, which had become dislodged from its socket. 

"He was hit so hard in the face that the person knocked his eye out of his socket is the vet's best guess," says Downtown Dog Rescue founder Lori Weise.  "He has already adjusted to his new happy life with only one eye. Everything about him is normal and healthy, happy puppy energy!"

According to Weise, Strummer gets along well with children and other dogs (he'd be an especially good fit for a family with another energetic, playful dog), is crate-trained, walks well on a leash and has learned some basic commands including "sit," "stay" and "come." 

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Pet rescue group New Leash on Life faces possible closure of its sanctuary, hosts online fundraiser

This Thanksgiving, we're thankful for all of the good people going to great effort to help Southern California's animals.  We're not so thankful, however, about the effects of the economic downturn on many rescue organizations and others who are working on behalf of needy animals. Guest blogger Janet Kinosian shares the story of one local group struggling to keep its doors open:

Nlol If you're aware of the great work that rescue group New Leash on Life has done in Southern California for the last 12 years, you’re sure to be saddened by the prospect of the proposed closure of the group's 13-acre Santa Clarita Valley sanctuary, The Ranch, come January. 

Any animal-rescue closure is an unhappy event, but the idea of closing The Ranch seems even more unhappy than most.  Since opening in 2002, the facility has been responsible for saving over 5,000 animals while hosting, among other things, Lend-A-Paw, a therapy and assistance-dog program for rescued pets. 

Unfortunately for the rescuers and the animals they serve, New Leash on Life has lost its major funding and its board of directors recently made the difficult decision to close The Ranch. However, after loud groans from members of the animal-loving community, the same board stepped up to the plate and quickly raised enough funds to keep the facility open through December 2009. 

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Adopt-a-Pet: Toby the terrier mix

TobyWhen we first saw the photo of Toby (ID# A4060857), an adoptable male terrier mix at the Baldwin Park animal shelter, we felt our hearts skip a beat. That face!  Those ears! How, we wondered, could his owner have given him up? We'll never know, but what we do know is that this sweet-faced fellow needs a new home.

About Toby: He weighs less than 10 pounds, so he's definitely on the small side -- but don't let his diminutive stature fool you.  This little guy is curious and independent, according to the Baldwin Park shelter's head volunteer, Ric Browde. He's also "extremely sweet and gentle" with people, Browde says, and gets along with other dogs like a champ.

For more information: Meet Toby in person at the Baldwin Park shelter, 4275 N. Elton, Baldwin Park, or call (626) 962-3577 with his ID number to learn more about him. Check out a video of him in action after the jump!

UPDATE: Toby has been adopted; congratulations, Toby!

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Reader photo of the day: A broken back didn't slow down Anna Marie, a rescued dog from Romania


Submitter Nancy Janes shares this wonderful shot of Anna Marie, a rescued dog with an amazing story we couldn't keep to ourselves. 

Janes found and rescued Anna Marie in Galati, Romania, when she was just a puppy; Anna Marie had suffered a broken back as a result of being hit by a car. "Now, she is the 'wild child' of our family," Janes says of Anna Marie, who lives alongside six other rescued dogs from Romania.

Janes, a California resident, founded the group Romania Animal Rescue after visiting Romania on a hiking tour in 2001. In the capital city of Bucharest, she took time out to feed some stray dogs -- an abundance of strays is one legacy of Nicolae Ceauşescu's rule -- and encountered a young Romanian woman who was also feeding the animals. 

"I told her I would go back to America and help Romania's dogs," Janes explained of the encounter. "She said, 'Everyone says they will help the Romanian dogs. Then they go home and forget.' Well, having heard this, I had to keep my word!"

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Adopt-a-Pet: Tails the poodle mix

TailsTails (ID# A1072914 ), a male poodle mix, found himself at the South Los Angeles animal shelter "horribly matted and filthy on the outside -- so shy yet so sweet underneath," according to shelter volunteer Andrea Braver.  (He got his name because, in addition to his unkempt condition upon entering the shelter, he also had a large, raw wound on his tail.  He's currently on medication for the spot, but it will need continued treatment to ensure it heals properly.)

About Tails: He's around 2 years old and, thanks to the shelter's staff, is freshly groomed, trimmed and bathed (so he looks a sight better than he did at the start of his shelter stay).  Braver describes him as "a snuggler and a sweetheart" who loves nothing more than the comfort of sitting in a friendly human's lap.  And his favorite volunteer isn't his only fan -- shelter staff are so smitten with this little guy that they called him out in a special tweet Tuesday.  Unfortunately for Tails, the South L.A. shelter is one of the most crowded in Southern California, so he needs a new home (and a lap of his own) stat!

For more information: Meet Tails in person at the South L.A. shelter, 3612 11th Ave., or call (888) 4LAPET1 with his ID number to learn more. 

UPDATE: Tails has been adopted; congratulations, Tails!

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Mindy Schneider

Halloween fun for a good cause: Costumed pets strutted their stuff, got new homes at shelter event

We were honored to help judge Long Beach's Howl'oween dog-costume contest Saturday, but while we were having a blast with L.A.'s most pampered pets, our colleague Lu Parker of KTLA News was busy helping homeless pets find new adoptive families. We had a great time -- but three guesses on which of us had a more fulfilling Halloween! Here's Lu's account of the adoption event:

Spider Cop Hot dog

A spider, a cop and a hot dog. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but what I'm about to tell is no joke. It's reality. For thousands of homeless dogs, reality means living in a cage day and night. It's a fact that keeps me awake many nights, but I'm happy to say that for one special day this past weekend things were different.

It was billed as Howl-O-Ween at the South Los Angeles animal shelter, a day to come see the beautiful dogs and cats who need a home. We wanted to spread the word: Adopt; don't buy. What it turned into was a day of many moments we will never forget.

For this one day, dozens of dogs got a chance to leave their cage and feel sunshine on their faces. They got a chance to smell the grass and to experience a little affection outside the cage. Volunteers and employees gathered to make it all possible. Local firefighters showed up to line a parade route. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa led the pet parade. We all ate candy. I was lucky enough to be able to emcee the event, and as I was talking on the microphone about each dog passing in front of me with a human attached to them, I couldn't help but smile inside.

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Adopt-a-Pet: Marley the terrier mix

MarleyFemale terrier mix Marley (ID# A4045910) found herself unceremoniously dumped at the Baldwin Park animal shelter last month, and she's now in need of a brand-new home.  Did we mention she's adorable?

About Marley: She's between six months and one year old, weighs around 30 pounds and is described by the Baldwin Park shelter's head volunteer, Ric Browde, as calm and sweet.  Marley has probably received some training already, walks well on a leash, and word on the street is that she may already be housebroken.  "Marley is eager to please and super affectionate," Browde says.

For more information: Meet Marley in person at the Baldwin Park shelter, located at 4275 N. Elton in Baldwin Park, or call (626) 962-3577 with her ID number for more information.  Want to see more of Marley?  Check out a video of her in action (complete with adorable, slowly wagging tail) after the jump.

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Adopt-a-Pet: Frik and Frak the tabby kittens

Cat lovers looking for a new pet are in luck: Meet Frik (a male, ID# A1067997) and Frak (a female, ID# A1067996), two domestic shorthair kittens available for adoption now at the North Central animal shelter right here in L.A. 

These kittens, as evidenced by the video above, are playful and full of fun -- but they're also in trouble (the North Central shelter is one of the city's busiest, and their time there is running short).  Both have brown tabby markings and are approximately 8 weeks old.  They're available for adoption either together or individually, and they sure seem like wonderful pets to us!  

Meet Frik and Frak in person at the North Central shelter, 3201 Lacy St., Los Angeles (off the 5 Freeway in Lincoln Heights), or call 888-4LAPET1 with their ID numbers for more information.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: BoundAngels via YouTube

Arizona pet rescue group faces foreclosure -- and an urgent need to re-home its needy animals

We've heard countless stories of animals suffering as a result of the economic downturn, but the story of an Arizona pet-rescue group racing against time to save the animals in its care while facing foreclosure just might be the most unsettling yet. Guest blogger Janet Kinosian has the scoop on Robin Hood Animal Rescue -- and what like-minded rescuers around the country are doing to help:

Honey Bear So I'm just this hour home from viewing Michael Moore's new film, "Capitalism: A Love Story," and I'm distraught from watching bankers and the monied elite evict hardworking Americans from their homes every 7.5 seconds in this country. I'm certainly in no mood to hear about the foreclosure of an animal rescue in Arizona.

Arizona residents Bob Spangler and partner Shellie Denne run Robin Hood Animal Rescue near Phoenix, Ariz. For the past five years they have struggled to save hundreds of sick, abandoned and abused animals and find them new, loving homes. This rescue apparently takes on the animals many other rescues bypass, like pit bulls and pit mixes, disabled animals and other pets deemed "undesirable" because they may be difficult to place in permanent homes.

Two banks will change all that within the month, as they have set eviction notices for two properties the couple own and where the rescued animals reside. Each of their homes is in foreclosure, with one to evict Oct. 20 and the other on Nov. 5. The rescued animals have nowhere to go.

"We gave our promise to these animals that we'd keep them safe and find them new homes but it looks like that promise is turning into a nightmare," says Spangler, who, along with Denne, lost his job earlier this year.  "We are desperate to find these innocent animals good homes, but time is clearly running out."

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