How LA is impacting the rescue community.

Whew, it’s almost Friday and I think we’re all excited about that. How’s your week been? Mine was productive and I love those kinds of weeks. It’s my first full week since I traveled to Los Angeles and to Michigan so it was definitely a long one. I haven’t had a chance to chat about my trip yet, so let’s, because I certainly learned a lot.

While I was in LA, I visited four rescues in one day. Each of these rescues pulls pets (meaning they transfer dogs into their care) from county and city shelters. One might think that because it’s such a streamlined process that all rescues would be the same. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Each one was so unique and offers something new to the rescue community. Allow me to explain…

Wags & Walks

Our day started off at Wags & Walks, an organization I’ve been eager to see firsthand. Their social media is full of cute dogs and even the occasional celebrity. They recently opened their new space and it’s what my rescue dreams are made of. It’s bright, airy, welcoming, and approachable. There are exposed wooden ceilings, natural light, and even hanging bamboo chairs. I was obsessed. And then I got to meet their dogs and the obsession was intensified. We took out one of their longer term dogs name Gingee and she was a perfect sweetheart. More on her below. Wags did something not many rescues can, they’ve created a space that doesn’t feel like a shelter. It feels like a place you can come and hang out and meet some dogs. They’ve done a fantastic job of creating a happy atmosphere, a feat for any rescue.



After Wags, we headed to No Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) one of the coolest concepts in the rescue world. NKLA is a part of Best Friends Animal Society. They have a very large facility at which they house dogs and cats from multiple organizations. Imagine if foster-based rescues here were able to have a few kennels at a facility that showed off their animals to the general population. The dogs at NKLA have a fairly short stay because so many people are coming through their doors every day. So many rescues benefit from a single facility.

What’s more, NKLA has brought something I’ve never seen at a rescue before… technology. When you walk into the dog area, there’s a large lobby with six different hallways each containing about eight kennels. Outside each hallway, there’s a monitor where you can see photos, videos, and bios for each dog in the hallway. Rescues have long been behind the curve of technology, it’s hardly a priority when you’re saving lives, but it’s what society demands. The interactive screens were a fun way to explore all the pets. The technology speaks to a generation obsessed with their smartphones and apps. Like Wags, NKLA has created something unique and the impact it’s having on adoptable pets is easy to see.

Adopt and Shop

After NKLA (and after lunch) we headed to Michelson Found Animals Foundation’s facility. If Found Animals sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve worked with them before. The foundation created Adopt and Shop, a pet store with adoptable dogs and cats. When you walk in, you feel as though you’re in any other pet supplies store. Food, collars, toys, and anything else you could want is there, and then you walk to the back and you find precious babies ready for adoption. The animals are in windows similar to what you would have found at pet stores back in the 90s. It brought back memories of my own local shop that I begged my mom and dad to buy me the doggy in the window. It was again, a concept that could reach a new audience unaware of the adoptable pets out there. Someone who stops by for their dog food might not know about all the animals waiting for homes and this is the perfect way to show them.

Vanderpump Dogs

Our last stop of the day was Vanderpump Dogs. Because, duh. If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with anything Bravo. Vanderpump Dogs is the brainchild of Lisa Vanderpump, a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills. What I admired most was that she took her celebrity platform and created something meaningful. While it was certainly the smallest rescue we visited, it’s again reaching people that might not normally step into a shelter. Vanderpump Dogs is glitzy and over-the-top just like Lisa’s tv persona. People who love her will want to stop in and visit while in LA (I did!) and it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to learn about dogs that need homes.

Overall, my trip to Los Angeles was a major success. I learned so much and was inspired in different ways from each rescue. If I’m ever fortunate enough to open my own rescue, it’s safe to say I’ll take a little piece from each of the rescues above to create my own.

Which of the above rescues would you visit? Let me know in the comments below!


Gingee – Gingee is the longest resident at Wags and I’m not totally sure why. This beautiful girl loves people and being around everyone she meets. She’s also the best fetcher I’ve met. She loves toys and her ball and is ready for her forever home to play with her. She’s about five-years-old and knows all her basic manners. Gingee such a good girl and would do well in an active household as the only dog. She’s ready for her forever home so take a peek at her here.



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