This is Marie. She is the newest Giving Paws family member. We recently adopted her from @wagmorpets in Studio City, CA. She was left outside of a city shelter in Los Angeles, tied up and all alone. The shelter was closed but luckily an animal control officer found her the next day. She spent just a few weeks in the shelter when Wagmor Pets www.wagmorpets.org pulled her and brought her into their rescue. The city shelter she was in is extremely high kill and since she is around 11 years old with medical issues she desperately needed a rescue to save her. She spent 8 months waiting for a home with no interest. My wife and I decided this little girl needed us and deserved a loving home where she could live out her golden years comfortably and carefree. She's 11, deaf, has some slight coordination/balance issues and we think she is just perfect. Rescuing a senior is so fulfilling. She's just about the sweetest dog you'll ever meet and is so appreciative to have a home complete with 2 moms, 2 doggie siblings, and 2 kitty siblings of her very own. She is thrilled to be part of this pack and we are thrilled she is ours.
Gina & Julie, California
Toto, yes he came with that name, arrived at my home a matted, tiny, shivering mess. Fresh off transport from Tijuana, Mexico where he was found surviving on a trash heap, foraging for food on his own as a little puppy - almost blending in with the garbage and also looking rather like a large rat. It’s lucky he was identified and his Mexican angel went in to scoop him up. He was covered in fleas, scappy, un housebroken and frankly - a tiny hot mess. I took him in for Love Leo Rescue www.loveleorescue.org with every intention of being a way station for him. I watched this little guy unfold like a wildflower - discovering a dog bed for the first time, check, running around with a toy in his mouth, check, sitting and watching me make his dinner, waiting patiently, check. Then suddenly one of my most beloved dogs passed away, shockingly and in the most horrific way possible - toto’s empathy switch was turned full beam on me. He snuggled next to me when I was crying, inconsolable, was my shadow following me everywhere as if to check that I was ok at all times. The die was cast - he was staying with me - my new little boy who tugged at my heart strings and protected me at the worst possible time in my life. To this day he snuggles with me every night, sleeps at my feet during the work day and is the most amazing companion - a true rescue at heart as he KNOWS I am his forever person as so many of them do..they sense it in us…we will forever protect and cherish them and they in return us. Toto my funky punky soul brother - forever in my heart.
Our Creampuff is one of those dogs that we felt, upon seeing her photo online, was made for us. We had always been keen to adopt an older dog just because we know, sadly, that these populations can be often overlooked. We were fortunate to connect with Puffy via A Purposeful Rescue www.apurposefulrescue.org who is based in Los Angeles, CA. We went for the meet and greet, took CreamPuff on a walk, then got in the car, and decided to go straight to Petsmart because we knew we had just met our new dog. Puff's background is a mystery to us, but we know she had a rough time in all likelihood being forced, it would seem, into having many litters of puppies. She is a joy to live with and be with, and we cannot thank the folks at the rescue enough for not only connecting us but also getting her to a place where she could come live with us. Honestly we have no idea how we got so lucky.
Brooklyn & Nick, California
This is Ren, my new rescue who's beautiful and extremely smart, a McNab Shepherd, a Northern Californian herding dog, originally from Scotland. I didn't want to pick a dog, I wanted a dog to pick me and I knew I definitely didn't want a puppy "project". Maybe a dog a few years old or even a senior. I went to a few shelters to look around but no animal chose me and I was not in a rush. I then went to SPARC, (Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center), which is an amazing rescue, with an incredible and loving staff, that pipe classical music into the kennel area. That's where I met Ren, a nervous and slightly fearful dog, but he warmed up quickly. I saw a spark in his eyes and knew he had a tough time the past few months after being surrendered by his owner for a biting issue during a tug of war, the details I know little of. Sadly, he spent a month in a high kill city shelter in Los Angeles where upon admission, they gave him a high FAS score (Fear, Anxiety, Stress). I've never been there but you can tell they are overwhelmed with many, many animals and I'm sure he didn't get any personal attention, just the basics. His behavioral notes taken every few days remarked he was growling, teeth bared, hackles up so they sedated him for 2 weeks on Trazodone, with "little change" written in his remarks. Of course there would be little change in that type of environment. A month in a loud, crowded shelter must be a horrible place to be after being abandoned. After two 'meet n greets', at SPARC, Ren had a sparkle in his eye and I knew he was smart and under that fear was puppy love. I brought him home and the first night, Ren slept in my bed and has every night since! He is a bit clingy, has abandonment issues, a bit mouthy, but every day he loses more and more of his behavioral pathology and bad habits. He's learned so many new commands, he's easy to get along with, and I know that he'll be a very obedient dog with lots of love to give. I am grateful that Ren chose me to be his companion!
Nola was rescued from a high kill shelter in San Bernardino, CA. At the shelter, Nola was extremely apprehensive, likely shocked by her new surroundings at the shelter. While potential adopters might have been dissuaded by Nola’s temperament, the amazing ladies at HIT Living (www.hitlivingfoundation.org) scooped her up and welcomed her into their foundation. Once Nola was out of the shelter, her bouncy, energetic puppy personality started to emerge! Nola is now settled into her forever home where she is completely spoiled and loved. She enjoys going to the dog park with her pack, chasing squirrels, hiking with her parents, and hanging out at her grandparents’ house (they give her unlimited treats!). Adopting Nola was the best decision, and we are constantly telling her how luckily we are to have her.
Bea & Cory, California
I got Dorito from Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue (www.scgrrescue.org) but I was only meant to foster him as I had 2 other Goldens already. He was a 6 year old Golden who was neglected beyond belief. He lived his whole life in a cement run with no shade, no beds, sometimes he was fed, sometimes he wasn't. A neighbor spotted the abuse and that is how he ended up at SCGRR. He was hairless in many places, ravaged with fleas and ticks, and his teeth were grinded down from chewing on the metal gate. In the beginning he did not trust me at all. He had no reason to trust people after the way he had been treated. But as time went on he really learned to trust me and see that I was there to love him and keep him safe and healthy. My other 2 dogs really helped show him the way and taught him how to be a dog. He was so excited when he first discovered toys as I'm sure he never had a toy his whole life before coming to live with me. I work with dogs professionally and in my 17 years of doing this I have never experienced a bond with an animal so strong as what I had with Dorito. He changed my life more than I can express and I am in awe of his resilience. He is without a doubt the most amazing dog I have ever had -loyal beyond belief. I recently lost Dorito to cancer and I miss him everyday. The love I received from him will stay with me forever and I will always continue to rescue Goldens and help the underdogs.
When Dottie was 6 months old, she was found in a container outside a warehouse in Iran, with her siblings. All of them, except for Dottie, had been shot. She was found with 150 ticks in both ears, as well as 80 ticks in each eye. She was blind and deaf, and needless to say she was incredibly scared and nervous. The people that found her took her into their shelter and got her ears and eyes cleaned, her coat and nails clipped, and they started introducing her to the world in a new way. It was through their Instagram, @adoptaniraniandog that we saw Dottie for the first time. With the help of @dogswithoutborders we were able to find a sponsor that would fly from Iran to Los Angeles, with Dottie. After several weeks, we were able to pick her up at LAX and take her home. For the first couple of months, Dottie wouldn’t let us get anywhere near her. We would feed her and walk her, but it was a challenge to even get close enough to put her harness on. She would growl and shake out of fear, but through training and exercises we managed to get her on walks. She wouldn’t take any treats from our hands, and she spent all day and night hiding under the couch. It was really tough for us, as you feel incredibly helpless. But as time went on, Dottie became more and more confident in us. About 9 months into our journey, she took her first treat directly from hand. It was a moment we will never forget, and it made all the long nights and hard work worth it. Today, 3 years later, Dottie is a completely different dog. She plays with us, she loves treats (of course) and she walks without a leash whenever we go for hikes. Recently she has also become more vocal about when SHE wants to play, and when SHE would like to eat. And we love it! She is still very scared of other humans, and whenever we go to a new location she will spend the first couple of days getting used to the area before trusting it. The journey we've had with Dottie is remarkable. Going from hiding under the couch to playing and jumping on the bed is such amazing growth, and it's been incredibly rewarding. She gives us so much love, life and happiness, and it feels as if we and her have been blessed with each other.
Emily & Jonas, California
This is Tux. His previous owners surrendered him to @scadopt because they thought he had a flesh eating disease and they couldn't afford vet care. Upon arrival at the shelter, his legs were swollen, raw and scabbed with almost no hair. He was dehydrated, had worms, and was not neutered. The shelter treated him and got him healthy enough to be put up for public adoption. I met him when volunteering at a local PetSmart adoption event. He was antisocial and scared, hiding under blankets so no one would see him. I came back to see him and brought my daughters to meet him as well. He started coming out of his shell and became more outgoing with my girls, so I knew we could offer him a good home. When we first brought him home, he hid from everyone as this was his familiar soothing technique. After almost two weeks of smelling each other from afar, Tux's first introduction with his new feline siblings went well. He has 2 human sisters, a cat sister and a cat brother and they are all doing so well together. Now he's comfortable, confident and loving his new family (and has all his leg hair back)! - Mandy