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

November 25, 2009 |  2:04 pm

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. 

They now must raise $250,000 by June in order to make the facility self-supporting. 

There are already well-developed plans to build a kennel for rescue dogs on the property; it's expected to be up and running by the middle of 2010 if -- and it's still a big if -- the necessary funds are raised. 

Toward that end, New Leash on Life will host an online Black Friday Auction the day after Thanksgiving, during which the group hopes to raise $50,000.  This amount would help keep The Ranch open through the spring while other funding avenues are pursued.  Interested animal lovers are encouraged to visit NLOL.org, where you can bid on items like a four-day stay in a $6,000-per-night Mexican villa.  Of course, you can also help out in a number of other ways, like purchasing pet items from the group's online store, making a donation or adopting a needy pet!

-- Janet Kinosian

Reporter and media consultant Janet Kinosian has been a freelance contributor to the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Times Magazine and L.A. Times Syndicate for 18 years.

Photo: Hogan, a standard poodle, offers a paw to a patient at New Horizons, a center for adults with developmental disabilities, as part of New Leash on Life's Lend a Paw Program. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

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