Downtown Dog Rescue's Shelter Intervention Program at the South LA Shelter has prevented more than 6000 pets from entering the shelter. How do we do that? When a family comes to the shelter to surrender their pet, we ask start by asking one simple question: "How can we help you keep your pet?"
And then we listen. By offering services such as free spay/neuter, medical care support, free dog and cat food, paying for pet deposits, building dog runs, repairing fences, and sometimes rehoming a pet from one loving home to another, we have made a significant impact on reducing the number of pets entering the shelter system. More importantly, we offer a "hand up" not a hand out approach by meeting people where they're at in their lives, without judgement, and assisting them however we are able to.
Most of the families we serve live among the poorest, most underserved communities of Los Angeles. By doing our part, no matter how small, we can help them keep their commitment to their pet. And we know that feels good. Even more, we truly believe that good feeling will change the family tree from the roots on up, modeling responsible pet care and lifelong love for furry family members.
Saving animals is not only about spay and neuter or animal rescue. There is a huge piece of the puzzle most people don't want to discuss, but at Downtown Dog Rescue we know it must be spoken. Our Shelter Intervention Program is founded on the idea that the shelter euthanasia crisis is not solely a pet problem, but also a poverty problem.
We must help people in order to help animals. We must open our hearts to entire families, two and four legged alike. We must push aside the line that we think separates "us" from "them." It is an illusion. There is no line. There is only people and animals needing both help, and all deserve our assistance and compassion.
For example, consider the mother and daughter pictured above. Their dogs found a way out of the yard gate one day and ended up impounded at the shelter. The family could not afford the redemption fees to get them out and take them back home, so we listened to them tell us how much they loved their dogs. How they were like family. Sadly, we knew these two would likely not get adopted from the already overcrowded shelter. So for $400, we were able to redeem this bonded pair and watch them waltz out of the shelter to rejoin their family. That's two dogs who weren't clogging up the system or ending up euthanized, when in fact they had a forever home waiting to welcome them.
SIP exists to get pets back into their caring homes again. Because we know that what really separates "us" from "them" is merely a helping hand. Reach yours out today and join us. Everything we raise goes towards making sure more animals enjoy the good life, and more families are kept together.