A Second Chance at Love

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

There is at least one thing that all neighborhoods in Pacific Palisades have in common: They love their pets. Palisadians will go to great lengths to make sure their dogs and cats are safe, well cared for and happy.

And for those searching for a new furry addition to their home, the Palisadian-Post talked with a few local rescues and shelters to see what makes them each unique.

The Forgotten Dog Foundation

Over the past 10 years, The Forgotten Dog Foundation, based in Santa Monica, has placed many dogs in the Palisades—with over 1,500 total dogs placed.

The foundation is completely foster based, which means the founders “do not believe in caging dogs once they’re rescued,” Executive Director Linzi Glass explained to the Post while cooking fresh food for the dogs in her house.

Once a dog is picked up, they immediately receive grooming and a visit with the veterinarian. They are then immersed in home life.

The adoption process is not instant. Before a dog is placed, The Forgotten Dog requires an application. Then it will do a meet and greet with the family and the dog, as well as a home visit and an up-to-two-week trial period.

The foundation shared that it is very transparent about the dogs they are working on placing, and will take back dogs in the event that an adoption doesn’t work out—whether it is two weeks later or 10 years later.

“We love the Palisades,” Glass shared. “Great owners, responsible owners, caring people, great community. Very dog friendly.”

The Forgotten Dog works with every breed—ranging from pitbulls to three-pound chihuahuas—with a focus on little dogs.

Star Paws Rescue

Bodhi and family
Photo courtesy of Star Paws Rescue

Star Paws Rescue—which sets up shop each Sunday in the U.S. Bank parking lot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.—wants its adoptions to be a “win-win for the dog and adopter,” Victoria Burrows explained. This is why the adoption process, for both cats and dogs, includes an application, home safety check and week trial periods.

Burrows was raised in Pacific Palisades, where she established Star Paws Rescue.

“We do in-house fostering so we can share what weå know about the doggie personalities to better match up adopter to dog,” she said.

Star Paws Rescue’s mission is to work with abused, abandoned or injured dogs, providing “TLC and veterinary care when needed.”

The rescue makes sure that all animals have their current DHLPP shots, as well as spay/neutering and microchip, before being placed in a home. Adopters are offered a trial period before adoption.

Voice For The Animals

Photo courtesy of Voice For The Animals

“Voice For The Animals is special because we help animals in a variety of innovative ways,” Director Melya Kaplan explained. “We rescue elderly animals from shelters who would have no chance of being adopted because of their age.”

The rescue works with both dogs and cats. It runs a hotline where anyone can call in and talk to a live person to receive information and help for whatever animal situation they are concerned about.

It also operates a humane education program.

“We go into the schools and educate students on compassion for all life, including animals,” Kaplan said. “We have a program where we raise money to pay for food and vet bills for elderly or infirm people so they can keep their animals who are often their only companions.”

Voice For The Animals works with all breeds of cats and dogs, with a focus on mixed breeds—especially animals who are  in danger of being euthanized in the shelter. Each animal is sterilized, microchipped and vaccinated prior to being fostered or adopted.

And the rescue, a member of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce, allows children to volunteer. Voice For The Animals is looking forward to the return of its Palisades adoption days.

“We look forward to returning when Palisades Village opens in September,” Kaplan shared. “It’s been hard for us, being away from our Palisades location and all the friends we made over the years.”

Deity Animal Rescue

The founders
Photo courtesy of Deity Animal Rescue

Ellen Dante and Lindsay Birrd “refuse to discriminate on age, breed or ease of placement,” Dante told the Post. “Rather, we choose dogs based on temperament and potential to be wonderful companions.”

Dante shared that when the Deity team walks through the shelter, they are not searching for the cutest and fluffiest.

“We are looking for a vibe coming from inside the kennel and a look in their eyes.”

Deity’s adoption process includes home checks.

We truly get to know each pup—their likes, their dislikes, their quirks and the things that make them totally unique and lovable,” Dante shared.

The rescue works with families in the Palisades—Dante’s son recently graduated from Marquez Charter Elementary School.

Because the rescue is foster based, Palisadians are invited to come and meet the dogs, which are posted on Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram and Petfinder.

Dante shared one final message: “For every dog bought from a breeder, two will die in our shelters. Although we try and keep our message positive, this is a real statistic and one that many people don’t know. Millions of amazingly adoptable dogs and cats die in our shelters every year due to overcrowding.”

NKLA Pet Adoption Center

Cat yoga
Photo courtesy of NKLA

The NKLA Pet Adoption Center works with families across Los Angeles and Southern California, including Pacific Palisades.

“It’s an absolutely beautiful facility, with a Cape Cod cottage feel,” Michelle Sathe explained. “There are high-tech touches that allow adopters to preview pets via video before meeting them in person.”

Adopters are invited to meet the pets that they are interested in, fill out an adoption survey, have a counseling session to find the right fit, pay the adoption fee and take their “new best friend home.”

NKLA showcases adoptable pets from several organizations under one roof: 50 percent from Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles and 50 percent from NKLA Coalition Partner.

“The majority of our pets come from Los Angeles Animal Services, as it’s the goal of Best Friends Animal Society’s NKLA initiative to make the city no kill,” Sathe explained. “So, the pets you see here are what you would find at the six LA city shelters.”
NKLA has dogs and cats of all sizes, colors, ages and breeds.

“There are so many animal lovers in Los Angeles, and we need your help to get to NKLA,” Sathe shared. “Adopting, fostering, volunteering, donating and sharing on social media are great ways to make a difference in the life of a homeless pet.”