Downtown Dog Rescue changes lives
Posted Apr 07, 2011 by Jen Burton
Guest post: Nick F. Carranza is a Los Angeles based creative director, writer and proprietor of PlanetSpeck.com. Passionate about “the cause,” Nick often lends his professional talents to charitable organizations, and has been a Downtown Dog Rescue volunteer for almost a decade.
Many people understand the term “dog rescue” to be the act of transitioning a dog from a dire situation to a more favorable lifestyle. Although this meaning is partially true, it’s difficult to understand the true meaning until you’ve done it yourself. After spending years immersed in Los Angeles rescue efforts, it’s become evident that rescuing goes far beyond saving dogs.
Downtown Dog Rescue (DDR) has approached rescue work through the heart and eyes of the community, or “forgotten neighborhoods” as some may call them. These are neighborhoods that are statistically deemed dangerous and off-limits to non-locals. Although there may be some truth behind those facts and statistics, DDR realizes that the people in those communities are the key component to rescue work.
DDR is as much involved with people as they are with dogs.
DDR focuses on long term strategies in everything they do. For example, Operation Safety Net is a program that offers pet owners solutions for keeping their pet rather than surrendering them into the South L.A. Animal Shelter where, more likely than not, they’ll be put to sleep. Operation Safety Net offers low income pet owners everything from free medical treatments to the more labor intense building of fences to reduce the number of strays. This program truly saves not only a dogs life but, in most cases, a family bond and, of course, saves the City of Los Angeles thousands of dollars and several man hours each year. The same helping hand is lent with no prejudice to many of Los Angeles’ homeless dog owners.
In addition to low income communities, DDR, with the help of on-staff trainers, offers classes to help all pet owners identify the characteristics of their breed through exercise and training. The classes play a vital role in maintaining a healthy, balanced and long-lasting pet/owner relationship. These classes are mobile, allowing DDR the ability to bring their training classes just about anywhere. In support of the neighborhood mom-and-pop merchants, DDR makes it a point to purchase any supplies needed for the classes (i.e. water, paper towels, party supplies) locally.
Aspiring for greatness
DDR helps community members and their dogs enter the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program. The CGC is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. The test itself is a 10 part behavior, agility, tracking and performance test. Not your standard, sit, stay, roll over routine. Since many of the dogs DDR works with have not been formally trained and/or socialized, the CGC is certainly something to be proud of. In 2011 DDR hopes to assist in certifying 100 South L.A. dogs.
In addition to the training, you can find DDR Every 2nd Sunday of the month in Compton at their spay/neuter clinic. In 2010, DDR was responsible for spaying and neutering over 700 dogs in Compton alone. Owners not ready to spay or neuter can come and get training tips, as well as free food and treats. The event is truly for the people.
To learn more about Downtown Dog Rescue, their adoptable dogs, their classes, programs and events visit Downtown Dog Rescue.