Lolo & Nana

We first met Lolo in 2015 at North Central Shelter when Nana, a long time Skid Row resident, landed in the hospital. Upon release, Nana came to redeem Lolo and met our counselor, Sandra. Like many living on Skid Row, Nana suffered from some mental issues and struggled with substance abuse. 

Over the years we helped Nana with collars and leashes, dog food, an Emotional Support vest for Lolo, and the occasional redemption fee when unfortunately Nana would be arrested. Sandra even attended a court hearing with Nana in case she was taken into custody and Lolo needed a place to go.

At the end of December 2016, Lolo appeared at the shelter once again. We placed calls to Nana and got no reply, which was odd. We later learned that Nana had been taken to the hospital, and after living a hard life, we are extremely saddened to hear that she passed. 

Nana and Lolo had become a regular part of our program, and now we are making sure that we do our best to care for Lolo. Sandra is temporarily fostering Lolo until she moves to a new foster home, and Lolo is now A Purposeful Rescue dog. 

Lolo is a 4 year old Chihuahua mix. She weighs 19 pounds and is sweet as sugar and loves to snuggle. We have all fallen in love with her. She is potty trained, and we she gets on great with Sandra’s other dogs and cat. Lolo is spayed and up to date on all her vaccines. If you are interested in adopting Lolo, please contact A Purposeful Rescue.

Lola at Sandra's

Lola gets the zoomies.

Nicky

When a neighbor stopped by for a visit, they left the front door open and unfortunately Nicky made her way out and was hit by a car. Her family knew something was wrong with her leg but did not know how bad it was or what the cost would be. They came to our table at the shelter for help and advice. We sent them to our friends at North Figueroa Animal Hospital for X-rays that showed a broken carpus. This kind of break is easy to set with a cast, and thanks to a veterinary grant from Banfield Foundation we were able to help cute little Nicky, who will be sporting her cast for the next couple of months. We could not do what we do without our community. Thank you to Banfield and North Figueroa Animal Hospital!

Simba

Simba's owner, who is facing her own health issues, reached out to us about her sweet senior cat, who had developed a tumor on his back. The cost of its removal was beyond her means. She has been a regular and loyal client at North Figueroa Animal Hospital almost since they opened, a facility we work with regularly. When she asked us for assistance with the cost of Simba's surgery, we were happy to help, especially after sitting and chatting with her and hearing how much she loves her cats and has cared for them over the years. We have a small budget to work with for medical issues, but often a small amount means the world to someone and their pet. We all go through tough times and never know when we might need to reach out. Home Dog LA was happy to help Simba and his owner, and are glad to report that Simba is now doing well post surgery.

 

Jesusita & Solovino

Imagine that you are low income, have no transportation, speak only Spanish, and you love your dog deeply. That dog is now 17 years old and struggling, and you want to help him gracefully pass from this world. What would you do?

Jesusita reached out to us for help with her beloved Solovino. Our counselor, Sandra, connected with Jesusita and arranged to meet her and Solovino to assist the family with humane euthanasia so that Jesusita could be with him until the end. 

"Jesusita found this dog in Echo Park. He just showed up at her house, so she named him Solovino," said Sandra. 16 years later, Solovino had advanced arthritis and various ailments that come with aging. "He stopped being able to get up, so she knew the time had come. She lives in Echo Park in one of those steep walk ups. With the help of her neighbor we carried him to the car. Bought him one last burger...(still loved to eat). It was very emotional. We were all three crying. Me, her, and the neighbor. The doctor was a Spanish speaker, which was great. It was really peaceful."

So often low income people feel that when their pet reaches the end of life their only option is to surrender their canine family member to the shelter, which is heartbreaking for all involved. We were glad we were able to help Jesusita and Solovino stay together for their final good-bye.

Thank you Sandra for going above and beyond. And sweet next life, Solovino. You were very loved in this one.

A Time to Celebrate

We love when we can share happy stories. Here are a couple we have for you.

Serena & Magic

Magic

Magic

Earlier this year, our client Serena had a terrible accident that left her partially paralyzed on half of her body. It took her months to recover, during which time, her little dog Magic was always by her side. When Serena found transitional housing that included physical therapy, she was informed that Magic would need a certificate of obedience from a trainer in order to live with her. 

She signed up with Larry Hill's "Me and My Dog" classes through Home Dog LA's intervention program at the North Central Animal Shelter. After five weeks of diligent work, they passed the final test with flying colors. As Serena puts it, "Every step I take with Magic is like medicine. It cures me and makes me stronger. If it weren't for him, I would still not be walking. If it weren't for Home Dog L.A. I would not have a place to live with my dog." 

Thank you, Serena, for allowing us to be part of your recovery!

And a little bit more to be happy about...


Laura & Nene

Laura, & Neen

Laura, & Neen

Laura and her father adopted little Nene from North Central Animal Shelter years ago. When they lost their home to the bank, Laura moved into a mobile home with Nene.

Sometimes it's hard to keep a spunky little guy in place when you have to pick up and move your home every few days. Nene got scared by fireworks near Dodger Stadium where Laura had parked for the night, and he ran. Luckily someone was able to catch him and take him to the shelter.

Nene was microchipped, so Laura and her father got as much money together as they could and we helped with the rest to redeem him.

Now he's Home Sweet Mobile Home again!

Rex & Michael

Rex the senior pittie has special medical needs, and his owner Michael takes excellent care of him. Though Michael is on disability, even on his fixed income he manages to care for Rex. His vet pitches in with the subcutaneous fluids and meds Rex needs, and Michael takes care of everything else.  

But one day, Rex fell into the wrong hands. Since Rex is an old guy and never leaves Dad's side, Michael lets him stroll in the park, dragging his leash. A group of local toughs grabbed Rex's leash and ran off, taunting Michael. Michael gave chase and phoned the police, but by the time the police arrived, Michael had lost his best friend. Luckily, Rex ended up at North Central Shelter, where he was scanned for a microchip. There it was, with all of Michael's contact information, and Michael was immediately called.

Reunited

Michael rushed to the shelter only to learn that he would be required to pay Rex's redemption fee plus delinquent licensing fees. With Rex's medical issues, it was important to get him home ASAP. Michael only had $20 until his next check, so we helped him cover the rest so this sweet senior could go home where he is loved and cared for. Rex howled with joy upon being reunited with his dad!  And Dad will never let Rex's leash leave his hands again.

Darren & Sassy!

Darren had a year of ups and downs. And through it all, he  depended on his dog Sassy. She is his best friend, his emotional support dog, his whole world. Darren and Sassy had been living in their car for two weeks, when Darren was pulled out of his car by LAPD and arrested. While he was kept overnight, Sassy was sent to North Central Animal Shelter.

When Darren was released the next morning he walked, in his socks only, from downtown Los Angeles to reclaim her. He had $1 to his name. Luckily, the North Central Shelter Intervention Program was able to cover the $87 it cost to get Sassy out of the shelter.

Our Intervention Counselor drove home to bring Darren a pair of shoes in his size. After Sassy was released from the shelter and spayed at a local vet, we gave Darren and Sassy a ride to a Motel 6 where we covered a two night stay for Sassy to heal. 

Through donations we also provided them with dog food, a toiletries kit, a sleeping bag, a sack lunch and a gift card to Subway. 

Two weeks later, Darren and Sassy came back in to say hello and thank you. They were on their way to Northern California where a friend of Darren’s had opened up her home to them while Darren looks for work. We love this story. Because it goes to show that sometimes a helping hand can lift someone up higher than they expected. 

The missing puzzle piece was Darren’s car in impound. All of his belongings, and Sassy’s, were in that car. Thank you to our supportive community, we were able to raise the $500 needed to get his car out of the tow yard plus fill it up with gas and send them off with two bags of groceries. 

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Exactly ONE year ago today, the North Central Shelter Intervention Program began.  Kerry Armstrong and Lana Meier, pictured here with inspiration and mentor Lori Weise of Downtown Dog Rescue/South LA Shelter Intervention Program, set up our little table at the North Central shelter, not knowing what would happen next, but hoping we could do something to help the people and pets of North Central LA.  And that VERY first day, we did.

 


Josephine came in with her 10-year-old chow mix, Lucky, who she'd had since he was a puppy.  Her landlord had suddenly demanded a pet deposit, and Josephine didn't have the money.  So we paid it and sent Lucky and Josephine home together.  One less dog in the shelter, and one less person, heartbroken.  It was a beginning.

Since then, we've kept 500 pets out of the shelter and home with their families, where they're loved and where they belong.  We've helped spay and neuter many others, helped with medical and behavioral issues, and have helped families say goodbye to their beloved pets while holding them in their arms, humanely euthanized by a private veterinarian.  

If you look through all the posts prior to this one, you'll see story after story of people and pets we've helped.  But for us, one of the most amazing stories was the first one posted here, the story of Charlie Girl, the dog who defended her family from armed intruders. She was shot, and in the confusion that followed, was taken to the shelter where her condition was stabilized. But Charlie would have perished without a lifesaving amputation that the shelter veterinary clinic is not equipped to handle. Her family didn't have the money for her surgery so with the help of Annie Hart, we quickly raised the funds and Charlie went home afterwards with her family, a happy tripod dog. 

A year later, she and the North Central Shelter Intervention Program were declared Citizen Heroes by the American Red Cross. Charlie's save was one of our proudest moments as an Intervention Program, but we are more far more proud of Charlie herself, and were honored to be part of the celebration of her bravery.  

ncsip charlie girl & kerry.jpg

We'd also like to acknowledge the rescues, foundations, merchants, vendors, restaurants and organizations that have held fundraising events on our behalf.  Most are listed on the "Our Network" page on this website, with links to their own websites or facebook pages.  Without their help, we couldn't do the work we do, and we are very grateful.  Please give to them and/or frequent their businesses.  They do so much for so many.  

As does our Board of Directors.  At this year's Race for the Rescues, they helped us raise one-third of our annual operating budget.  Pictured here is part of Team Home Dog -  left to right, the Intervention Team - Sara Harris, Sally Nemeth, Lana Meier and Kerry Armstrong - along with Home Dog board members Jenny Brady, Debbie Zeitman and Tamara Brown.
 

Finally, in celebration of our first year of Intervention, we want to thank every one of you who believe in our mission and share our posts, who give money, supplies and time, and who support us wholeheartedly.  Without you, none of what we do would be possible.  Here's to another year of keeping pets and families together, one home at a time. Thank you, for ALL that you do.

Help for the Homeless

Many of us say, "I'd live in my car with my pets before I'd give them up," but the reality of that situation means that not only do the homeless people need help, their pets need help too.  Here are three stories of how we've helped the homeless care for their pets - pets they care so deeply about, they're actually living in cars.  Or in parks. Or nowhere and everywhere.  

Street Intervention at it's finest! Our Interventionist, Sara Harris, met Greta and her dog Penny near Union Station. She gave them some water and asked if they needed help with anything. Greta is homeless but has transitional housing lined up that will let her keep Penny if she is vaccinated, so she asked Sara if she knew of any resources for that. Today Greta and Penny came to visit us at North Central and we gave them a voucher for a free spay and vaccines!



We helped Juan and his dog Rocky (pictured below) last year when Rocky had a growth on his paw. Today, Juan came in with a new dog Gus.

Gus was being abused by his previous owner and Juan told the man he would take Gus on as his own. He asked NCSIP if we could help him get Gus neutered and vaccinated. We said YES and also set both Rocky and Gus up with microchips, a big bag of donated food (thank you, Donna!) and new collars and leashes. Juan is homeless but still tries to do the best for his dogs.



This is an ongoing story. A young man came into the shelter with a very injured Pit Bull. Josh was living in his truck with his dog Ozzie. When Josh was not there, someone smashed the truck window and Ozzie jumped out, causing a severe gash to his face from the glass. Having no money, Josh wasn't sure what to do and brought Ozzie to North Central Shelter hoping for medical care. We offered to help him and sent them both to North Figueroa Animal Clinic immediately. They stitched up Ozzie’s wound and kept him overnight. Though Josh wanted to keep him, he knew it was best for Ozzie to stay at the shelter while he seeks a place to live.  Ozzie is in the North Central clinic being cared for. Josh visits Ozzie almost daily.


While many people believe that if you can't afford a pet, you shouldn't have one, the devotion of these owners to their dogs speaks volumes.  They'll always do what's best for their pet, even it means they remain homeless or do without a meal.  Their pets are always fed and deeply loved, and we do what we can to help them with the care that's beyond their means. 

Interceptions and Redemptions

Much of the work we do as an intervention program are interceptions and redemptions.  It's been a busy summer for both.  Here are some examples of what that means for the pets of North Central Los Angeles and their families.  
 

Natalie's 82-year-old mother adopted fluffy little Happy from the Gardena animal shelter as a puppy three years ago. Happy was the light of her life. Eight months ago, when she broke her hip from a fall at home, Happy waited by her side until Natalie came back from work and found her mom on the floor. 
During her recovery, a visitor forgot to close the gate and Happy got out. Natalie and her mom were heartbroken, searching for her high and low. They finally gave up hope of finding her. But still, Natalie's mother refused to adopt another puppy. She started collecting little white dog toys and figurines that reminded her of her beloved Happy.  Last week, Natalie got a call from the North Central Shelter -16 miles away. Happy was there, traced back to Natalie by her microchip. Natalie couldn't believe it...and she couldn't afford to pay the full fee to redeem Happy. 
Though she was working to raise the money she was worried Happy would be adopted by another family. Shelter staff connected us with Natalie and we helped pay the difference to reconnect Happy with her happy family.

Buster and Max are beloved family pets who got out when the gate was left open during a party. After searching for them all night, their owners found them at North Central Shelter. They knew they had 10 days to raise the money to get them back and were able to come up with the fee for Max, a 14 year old German Shepherd mix. But they didn't have the money to bust out Buster and were devastated to have to leave him behind. A kind Animal Care Tech named Jose brought the crying mother and son to our table to ask if we could help. 

We were happy to pay the redemption fee for Buster so that he could go home with his best friend Max. Max was already neutered and Buster went to the vet for his neuter before going home with his family. We love this photo the family shared with us of the two dogs loving on each other in the garden.
 

ncsip barley 1.jpg

 

We intercepted Barley in April. Even though Barley was the beloved companion of the family's autistic child, his owner felt he had to bring Barley in because they could no longer afford his food. Noah Gives stepped up and offered them a year of free food. All was well until one day, playing, Barley jumped up on the son and accidentally scratched his face. The boy became frightened of Barley and the family had to find him a new home immediately.

 

Barley had always lived as an indoor dog, loved to be around people at all times, is very sweet and loves kids. He walked wonderfully on leash and knew his basic commands. He had not been introduced to other dogs but didn't react when he saw them on his walks.

So we networked Barley, and guess what?  

Barley was adopted by a wonderful family! Thank you to our interventionist Sara Harris and Larry Hill of Puppy Imprinters Academy, who facilitated the first meeting between Barley and the family's other dog, Cookie.  
 

We visited Barley in his new home and he's doing really well. Cookie and the entire family love him. Happy Trails you handsome boy! And thank you to Randolph Heard and family for adopting him. We love a happy ending, and love that there's one less dog in the shelter.  

Finally, there's Sammy, a 2 year-old, neutered male Tabby, who looks to be an Abyssinian mix with his long ears and graceful, strong body. Sammy came into North Central Shelter last weekend in a carefully crafted cardboard-and-duct-tape box complete with handmade handles. His owners had been kicked out of their in-laws' house and were living in transitional housing where pets are not allowed. 

Lucky for Sammy, Sara Harris, our Spanish language interventionist at NCSIP, is a diehard cat fancier and could not resist this character of a feline. She took him home as a foster and began looking for his forever human soul-mate.
 

Even though Sara's daughter and Sammy fell deeply in love, Sara had to be a tough mom and say 'no' to them both.  But at least she found out that Sammy loved children, purred like a motorboat, and was a complete snugglebug.  All of that just added to his appeal.

After much networking, finally Sara herself found sweet Sammy a wonderful new home. Jose took in Sammy because he looked just like Maceo, his old tabby who passed last year, leaving his little grey kitty Misha on her own. Naya, Jose's Mini Schnauzer, and Sammy seem unfazed by each other so far. With the proper introduction period, they should be just fine. Thank you, Sara, for taking in Sammy!  Fostering saves lives!  

So here are five pets who would otherwise have wound up IN the shelter instead of home with a loving family.  But each one of these interceptions and redemptions cost money. Please help us with our work by donating whatever you can or even by volunteering as a foster.  Thank you!

Why We Follow Up

Echo Park resident Anne Schwarz found this terrified little spaniel on her porch one recent morning.  Anne, an experienced dog rescuer, knew that the best thing to do for the dog was to take her to the shelter to give her owners a chance to find her.  With the help of another veteran neighborhood dog rescuer, Christine Peters, they gently nabbed the dog, and took her to North Central Shelter.  

But their involvement with this dog didn't end with dropping her off.  They placed an "I.P." on her, which meant that if she wasn't adopted within the time the owner has to find and redeem the dog, they'd make sure one of them found her a good, safe foster home so she wouldn't have to stay too long in the shelter. AND they contacted us and asked us to keep an eye out for her.  Which we did.  

The dog was microchipped and the people whose information was on the chip were notified.  But they claimed they'd given the dog away a year ago, which didn't sound quite right.  She'd clearly had a litter of puppies, and the fact that they couldn't tell the shelter who they'd given the dog to raised some red flags.  But while we counted the days until her redemption date was up, we continued to hope her rightful owner would come forth to claim her.  
 

And he did.  This is David, happily reunited with his Mimi.  He'd entrusted her to a former neighbor to take care of while he looked for an apartment where the landlord would allow her.  Finally, he found that apartment, but when he went back to the neighbors to claim Mimi, they said she'd run away.  He suspected they'd been trying to breed her, and had just sold the puppies and let her go, but he didn't confront them.  Instead he came straight to the shelter with only enough money in his pocket to pay for his car registration and half of Mimi's redemption fee.  Because he'd made the effort and found a dog friendly home, and because he so obviously cared deeply for her, we happily paid the balance and sent Mimi and David off to their new home together.  

Remember Roscoe, who bolted at late June fireworks and was hit by a car?  With the 4th of July fast approaching, his owner Jackie was afraid she couldn't keep him still and calm and he'd damage his fractured pelvis, which is still mending.  So we sent trainer Larry Hill to her.  Larry runs Puppy Imprinters dog training academy, and teaches a Sunday morning class at 11:30, open to the public,  in the park next to the shelter.  When dogs and their owners need help and can't afford it, we'll pay for up to 5 classes with Larry to solve the issues that often result in dogs being relinquished to the shelter.  Which was DEFINITELY not the case for Roscoe.  He's beloved and home to stay, but still, Jackie needed Larry's expertise, and with some calming techniques - plus a little medicinal assistance - she was able to keep Roscoe safe on the 4th.  

Maria and Cipriano Reyes did the right thing and had sweet Mama Dog, pictured here, spayed after having an unintended litter two years ago. They gave away all of her pups but the one they'd named Robbin. Then a year later, another one of the pups, Rocky, was returned to them.  They'd always loved him - he was the runt of the litter - but now at 70 pounds he wasn't a little baby anymore.   


 

 

 

ncsip rocky and robbin.jpg

After a few weeks, and even after neutering, they found the two brothers starting to fight. When we met them, they were ready to turn Robbin into the shelter, but really did not want to. Larry Hill began working with Maria and Cipriano at home on yard training and on-leash walking with the quarreling brother dogs. They've done well, and next week, they will begin taking Sunday group classes with Larry at the park next to the shelter.  

THIS is why we follow up.  Because you never know if an owner will show up, or when dogs just need training to keep everyone in the home safe and happy. 

One good deed...

This is a story that begins with one good deed, followed by another, and another, and another...

Roscoe is a two year old boxer mix, playful, joyous and beloved by his owner, Jacqueline.  She took good care of him, exercised him, and - VERY important - microchipped him.  

But one night when Roscoe was in the back yard, some neighbors set off a barrage of fireworks.  In a terrified frenzy, Roscoe jumped a five-foot fence and was gone. 
 

Jacqueline and a friend scoured the neighborhood, but couldn't find the frightened boy anywhere.  
 

That next morning, thanks to the information found on Roscoe's microchip, Jacqueline got a call from the staff at the North Central Shelter.

Roscoe had been hit by a car and brought in by a Good Samaratin.  Two of his legs were broken, his hip was displaced, and his medical care would cost far more than Jacqueline had.  But she was willing to pay everything she could to make her boy well again.

The shelter staff referred her to the Intervention Program and we found a vet who would do the required surgeries affordably.  We pitched in $300, and among her friends Jacqueline was able to come up with another $600, so Roscoe was transported to the vet. But the surgeries still exceeded the $900 she had.  

So she set up a fundraising page online, and among the many donations people sent, she received this one - 

George Magallanes was the person who found Roscoe after he'd been hit, and who took him to the shelter that awful night.  He said that in taking Roscoe to the shelter, he did what anyone else would have done, but that's not necessarily true.  Many would have left poor Roscoe to die.  But because of George's one good deed, many good deeds followed, and ALL the money was raised for Roscoe's surgery and aftercare. 

Roscoe came through his surgeries with flying colors, and just yesterday Jacqueline was able to bring him home where he'll recover on his own soft bed.  

But none of this would have happened without that one good deed that was followed by followed another, and another, plus an owner willing to do everything she could to make Roscoe whole again.  
He's a little skinny after his ordeal, but clearly comfy and happy to be back at home.  We have no doubt he'll be chasing Frisbees and romping happily with Jacqueline again soon.  Our best to them both, and our thanks to everyone who helped make him whole. 

For Amelia, who rescues others.

Meet dear Amelia and her best pal Negrito. On her last day of work at a doggie day care center and groomer that was sadly going out of business, Amelia reached out to us to vet check, microchip and vaccinate her little old man.  We were happy to help, and after microchipping Negrito ourselves, we referred her to the wonderful and affordable services at the Pet Care Vet Center.

But Amelia couldn't ignore the situation at another groomer a few doors down from the day care where she'd worked.  It too was going out of business.  She said, "I was passing by and I noticed signs on the front door -  'Dogs Go!' and 'Free Dogs!' I went in to ask what they meant. The lady in charge told me, 'Sick dogs must go!  No take - we let go in the street!' so I grabbed a Yorkie mix, and as soon as I could, I tried to go back for the others, but they weren't there anymore.  They were all gone." 



Could you leave this adorable pup to fend for herself on the streets?  Jobless and barely able to cover Negrito's bills, Amelia couldn't leave her. Now Amelia is looking for a home for this little girl. If anyone is interested, PLEASE message our facebook page, or email us using this website's contact page. Even when she was stretched to the limit, Amelia reached out to rescue another dog.  Help her find a home for this little snaggle-toothed sweetie!

Home for Mother's Day

Ruby, her rambunctious four-month-old puppy Milo, and her five-year-old daughter were living at her mother's house. 

Last Sunday, Ruby walked in to find her mom offering a bone to both Milo and her own older poodle mix. A tussle ensued over the bone, and Milo won. The poodle was fine, but Ruby, her daughter and Milo were kicked out of the house. With nowhere to stay and no other options, she brought the puppy to North Central Animal Shelter. 

Two days later, she found a house for rent where she could keep Milo, so she went back to the shelter to redeem him, not knowing how much it would cost. With her moving expenses, she had no money left to re-adopt her dog.  Ruby broke down crying at his cage. Shelter staffers José and Marissa reached out to the North Central Shelter Intervention Program to see if we could help Ruby and Milo.

This was a mom who was willing to do everything she could to keep her little family together, so we happily paid the redemption fee.  Milo went to the vet for neuter, Ruby is signing Milo up for obedience training as soon as he recovers from his surgery, and the family is together again, just in time for Mother's Day!  

Happy Mother's Day to all moms and dog-moms everywhere. 

The Long View

The North Central Shelter Intervention Team do our best to keep in touch with people who we've helped, just to be sure everything is OK.  And when it's not, we follow through on our promises.  Here are two stories.
 

We helped Jorge and Paco a few weeks ago. Initially, Jorge, who is terminally ill, came to the shelter to give Paco up, but a niece saw how devastated Jorge was without his beloved little pal, so she promised she'd take the puppy in temporarily. We paid to redeem Paco from the shelter. Soon after, Jorge took Paco back to his own home, unhappy without him. But Jorge is now near the end of his life and is entering hospice. His niece cannot keep the dog, and Jorge reached out to us again for help. We put a call in to Jessica Hughes to see if she could foster Paco, and she immediately said, "Yes!"  Here below is a note from Jessica: 

"I just watched a dying man say goodbye to his dog and place that dog in my arms. If I was a different kind of person, I would now wax poetic about...well, I don't know what because I'm not that kind of a person. So all I am going to say is be nice to people. Life is short."

We are so grateful to amazing people like Jessica Hughes who help make our program possible.  Paco still needs a forever home or a great rescue behind him so he can go to adoption fairs. But he has landed with one of our favorite people and is in good hands while he waits. Jorge is a truly good man, and it broke his heart, and ours, that he had to say goodbye to Paco.  Godspeed, Jorge.  

On a brighter note, there's Reuben and his dogs Mona and Shadow, who kept getting out of his yard because of a gap in the fence.  Eventually, they were brought by Animal Control to the North Central Shelter.  A friend and neighbor of Reuben's reached out to us to see if we could help him pay the fee to get his dogs back.  The dogs were already microchipped, spayed and neutered, and were clearly loved and well cared for, so we happily paid the redemption fee.  But we went one step further. We offered to fix the fence, and called on an old friend to do the job.  

One of the first people we helped at the intervention table was Jarvis who was living in his car with his dog Marley. Though he adored Marley, he knew he needed to find the dog a better home and try to get back on his feet again.  We helped find Marley that new home, and we've stayed in touch with Jarvis, who helps us out when he can. So we bought hardware and supplies, Jarvis went to Reuben's house and fixed his fence.  

Now the yard is secure and Shadow and Mona can't get out again.  Reuben is happy, the dogs are happy, and Jarvis was happy to pay it forward.  

This is why we never lose touch.  Because we never know when someone might need us again or when we might need some help ourselves.  Like Jessica so perfectly said, "Be nice to people.  Life is short." 

The Choice

This is your choice.  Your life has fallen apart, you've lost your home and your job, you live in your car and the only thing that's constant is your companion, Rocky.  Then your car is repossessed and Rocky, who was in it, is taken to the shelter. You only can only raise enough money for one thing or the other - your 'home', the car, which will help you find a job to get you out of the mess you're in, or the dog, your little love, a gift from a friend.  Which do you choose?  

Fortunately, for this owner, she didn't have to.  We were there at the shelter to help. With the rest of her life in shambles, this young woman needed her beloved dog back. No question in her mind.  Since Rocky was already neutered and vaccinated he could be released right away, so we paid the redemption fee. Rocky was ecstatic to be reunited.  Now they have a friend to stay with until they get their car back. And Rocky is safely 'home', where he is loved, and where he belongs.

Intervention of the Week!

Jorge is HIV positive and has been diagnosed as terminally ill. He lives with his 90-year-old mother in Echo Park. When Jorge found out last week that he had to go into hospital for a month-long treatment, he tried his best to reach out to find a home for Paco, his eight-month-old shelter rescue Min Pin. He had no luck with friends and neighbors so he brought Paco to the shelter to surrender him on Saturday. As soon as his niece heard what had happened, she agreed to keep Paco until her uncle comes back home. Jorge has no funds available at the moment so we were happy to help re-adopt Paco for him. Paco is already neutered,fully licensed and chipped and up-to-date on vaccines. Jorge knows we are there for him if and when the time comes that he can no longer care for his beloved Paco due to health issues. We are wishing the best for both of them.

A "Typical" Week in Intervention

While there is no such thing as a "typical" week at the North Central Shelter, in any given week, the Intervention Program handles many cases, some more complicated and dramatic than others.  But here are four great saves that are pretty typical for what we do.  Typical, except for the owners and pets. For them, these saves are extraordinary because they keep the family together.  

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Dogs are often frightened by a move, and Ginger was no exception. She got out of the house and ran off when her family was in the process of moving. They found her at the shelter but because of all the money this single mom had spent moving, they were short of the redemption fee. We happily paid the difference. Ginger was ecstatic to see her people. She was spayed that day, and the very next day went to her new home with her family. 

Sometimes a home is not a traditional home – it’s simply where the love is. 76 year old Martha has been living in a van with her three dogs for three years. She takes them with her everywhere and keeps them fed and healthy. She calls her dogs her “babies”. Last week her van broke down and she walked to a mechanic to get help. She left the dogs in the van, something she says she rarely does. The LAPD saw the dogs and brought them into the shelter. Martha was extremely distraught and after hearing her story, the officers actually brought her to the shelter and asked if she could get her dogs back. The shelter staff gave Martha our number and we came down to help her with the fee. All her dogs are now spayed and fully vaccinated. And back with the woman who loves them.  

Judy came to the shelter when her cat Twix developed a strange skin infection. She arrived in tears, wanting to make sure her cat would be OK.  But she had just taken over custody of her stepson and had no extra money for vet care.  We were able to send her to North Figueroa Animal Hospital for an exam and medication.  With minor treatment, Twix will be just fine!

Teresa is doing all the right things as a responsible pet owner. She is low income, so she came to the shelter for free spay/neuter vouchers so she can license her dogs Luna and Chonchi.  But she is in a rough spot financially, and can not afford to get them vaccinated. We covered their vaccine costs and also sent her home with a bag of donated dog food.

 

For people who have experienced life changes vet care can be an insurmountable cost, but we're always happy to help anyone keep their four-legged family member at home with its family, where it's cherished and adored.

The Ballad of Susie & Sadie

This is the story of a village coming together for one dog and that dog’s owner. We met Susie a couple months ago when she was driven to North Central Shelter by a friend in the hopes of reclaiming her dog Sadie. Susie was too weak to drive herself. She'd rescued Sadie 12 years ago when she saw her thrown from a moving car on the 110 freeway and loved and cherished her ever since. And then Susie became very ill with cancer, lost her home and moved to a trailer home. The manager of the trailer park told her that Sadie was not allowed to stay there due to her breed, and Susie had no option other than to give Sadie to her old neighbor in hopes he could take care of her.
 

After a while, the neighbor took Sadie to the shelter but since she was microchipped Susie was called. Sadly, Susie had nowhere to bring Sadie home to. We convinced her that given the fact the neighbor had given Sadie up, the shelter was the safest place for her and we would work to reunite them. The amazing tenants rights lawyer Dianne Prado stepped in to help, and won permission for Sadie to return home to live with Susie in her trailer.

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But Susie had taken a turn for the worse, was nearing the end of her life and had been moved to hospice care. Which meant a new plan of action was needed. A rescue or adopter was needed for Sadie, a dog who had spent the last 12 years sleeping with Susie every night. Josh Liddy of Swaylove met us at the shelter and took amazing photos and videos of Sadie and posted her story on his Facebook page. Her story touched many hearts but it was the Petaluma Animal Services Foundation who stepped up in a big way. They found a foster, raised the money for the trip and three dedicated volunteers made the 9 hour drive to Los Angeles to take Sadie home. 

They even had a comfy dog bed and bone waiting for her in the back of the SUV. The director of the Foundation wrote a heartfelt, beautiful letter to Susie assuring her that Sadie will be loved and well taken care of until the end of her days. These extremely good-hearted people want to give Sadie the life she deserves for her remaining years. Because Susie was at the end of her life, her close friend asked us not to stop by the nursing home with Sadie. There were mixed feelings on this but we felt strongly about honoring the friend’s request. But Susie knew that Sadie was in good hands.

In fact, at 11AM, the same time the wonderful women of Petaluma left the North Central Shelter to drive Sadie home, Susie left this world. Knowing that her best friend Sadie was safe and in loving arms, Susie could finally let go. 

Charlie Girl!

Charlie did what we hope our own dogs would do - she defended her family when an intruder entered their home.  Charlie and two of her canine siblings ran after the intruder, but the intruder fired four shots at the dogs as he ran off.  Two of the bullets hit Charlie, one in her front right leg and the other her back right leg.  Her owner told us "If Charlie had not taken the bullet, it would have hit one of my children." 

Because her family didn't have the resources to pay for an expensive surgery and were caught up in the moment of chaos, they felt they had no option other than to tearfully let the police officer take Charlie to the shelter, hoping she would get the care she needed.  But they desperately wanted Charlie, who had been a part of their lives since she was a puppy, back.  One of the Animal Care Technicians at the shelter called Kerry at The North Central Shelter Intervention Program, and she got the ball rolling.

Charlie's front right leg had a compound fracture low on the humerus and required amputation. Her back right leg had a deep laceration that needed treatment.  It was estimated that the surgeries and after-care would cost upwards of $3,000, and the shelter veterinary isn't set up for such complicated and expensive care.  So, through crowd funding and with the help of the Bill Foundation, the money was quickly raised for Charlie's surgery, and her family came to get her at the shelter.  It was a joyous reunion.  

Now Charlie Girl is home with her family, minus a leg, but cherished all the more for that loss.  Because the family gained the knowledge that people do care - complete strangers, who responded to Charlie's story with love and money.  

Charlie even got to give Kerry a thank you kiss.  But she'd like to give one to ALL of you who shared her story and made her reunion and recovery happen!