Levi’s Story

The day my sweet little foster girl went to her new home up in Oregon, I was already thinking about my next foster. After a few days, I decided to go to the East Valley Animal Shelter and "just see."

I got there and went into the area where the kennels are. It was so overwhelming, I came close to running back out in tears. But, I knew that in order to save another life, I would need to prepare myself and forge ahead. It was truly heartbreaking seeing hundreds of amazing dogs being held in these cold, concrete cages. Mostly, huskies and shepherd-type dogs. No dog does well in a shelter setting, but these two breeds, do exceptionally bad in cages. They were pacing, howling, jumping and in general distress. Again, I was broken-hearted for all of these dogs.

I had gone in looking for a smaller dog, since I am in an apartment, with three other dogs. Two of which are elderly, blind and one is both deaf and blind. There were not many small dogs there at all, and the ones that were there, all had adopters that were coming back to get them once their hold time was up. So, I ended up just roaming around in the kennel area for about two hours. I was trying to figure out which dog needed me the most.

Most of these dogs would bark and run up to the kennel door, jumping for attention. I noticed one kennel that appeared to be empty. But when I looked deeper into the kennel, there was a dog curled up on a cot inside the cave-like part of the cage. I called him, but he just looked at me, not moving. He seemed shut down and, as if, he knew there was nobody coming for him. I read his kennel card. No behavior issues, goes by Levi, male, neutered, 1 year and 3 months old, owner surrendered.

Levi in the animal shelter
Levi in the East Valley Animal Shelter

I continued to walk around until I found a volunteer to ask about Levi. She acted very shocked. She peppered me with questions. "Has someone told you about Levi? Why do you want information about Levi? Do you know this dog?" My answer was no and I was surprised at her reaction. I thought the reason the shelter existed is for people to view the dogs and adopt them. Perplexed, I asked why she was asking these questions. Was there something wrong with Levi? Did he have a bite history? What was it?

It turns out, she, being of an elevated age, couldn't handle him. She also told me he had gotten into a fight with his kennel mate once. I wasn't disuaded. Shelters are extremely stressful places for animals.

So, she said she would get another person to bring him to me to meet in the play yard. I waited for a very long time, but finally he came around the corner, looking very happy to be out of his kennel. The girl that brought him to me told me his entire story.

Levi in the play area
Levi in the play area of the animal shelter

Levi's owner had a female dog that had gone into heat. At six months old, Levi, just being a baby and a male dog, was humping the female dog. His owner decided to surrender him at six months old to the shelter. Nobody, during the entire 8 months of his time there, had ever shown any interest. Since nobody had shown interest in all that time, Levi was put on the red list. He had a date for execution and it was that Friday.

Well, that did it for me. This dog was 100% not going to be put down. So, as it was 5pm, by the time I got to meet and play with him, I left. I had to speak to Ryan with the rescue group. I had to speak to my boyfriend. Everyone said SAVE THIS DOG.

So, that is what I did the very next day. I flew over there after I got off work at 4, and we finalized the adoption into Free Animal Doctor. The entire time I was doing the paperwork, the shelter staff was trying to talk me out of adopting this dog. Why they didn't want me to get him and save a life, is beyond me. But I didn't listen.

First night out of the shelter
Levi on his first night out of the animal shelter

We took him home and he is the perfect dog. He has a big personality, a goofy puppy, but smart as a whip. How he became house trained in a shelter setting is miraculous. But he has never had an accident in doors. He loves hikes and walks, but he could also be a big potato on the couch. Levi gets so much attention on the street. Everyone tells us what a gorgeous dog he is. I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree.

Levi relaxing
Levi relaxing after getting out of the shelter

Levi is currently up for adoption. Click on the adoption application on this site and apply to adopt the most beautiful boy ever. Adoption Application

Levi's first puppy patty
His first puppy patty at In & Out

Levi's first hike with the dog rescue
Levi on his first Runyon Canyon dog rescue hike



Poppy’s Story

The Blind Rescue Poodle

One day, on a Friday, about 8 months ago, I was sitting at my desk job, scrolling through Facebook on my lunch break. I came across a shocking picture of a little white dog in a cage at the North Central Los Angeles Animal Shelter. I immediately burst into tears looking at this dog. His eyes were completely crusted over with a black colored discharge, so much so that you couldn’t even see his eyes at all.

Poppy in the North Central Animal Shelter

The shelter description said he was blind and in pain. I knew he had to get out of that cage straight away. I contacted Ryan at Free Animal Doctor and sent him the photo I had seen. He too was shocked at the appearance of this little dog. Ryan contacted the shelter right away to ask about this little male dog that was in such bad shape. When he called the shelter, he learned that this dog had been in the shelter for over a month in this condition, covered in fleas and was actually micro-chipped. The shelter had called his family, who declined to come get him. They had called him Pops and he was about 16 years old.

We both knew we had to save this dog from further pain and discomfort, plus the very real possibility of being euthanized. Neither of us could get over to this particular shelter that day, so Ryan found a transport to pick him up and bring him to me. By the end of the day, this dog was in my arms.

Poppy dog after a warm bath
Poppy on his first night out of the shelter

I picked this dog up out of the transporter’s car and he smelled really bad. It was about an hour before I could leave work to take him home. Tears were waiting to fall from my eyes, he was in horrible condition. When I walked through the door to my apartment, tears were rolling down my face. I put him in the shower and gave him a good scrub. He slept like a baby that night in his soft new bed on a warm heating pad for his old doggy aches.

Fortunately, Dr. Adams, at Westside Pet Clinic https://westsidepetclinic.com was able to get us in the very next morning. Ryan and I met there at 10am that next day. I had decided to call Pops, Poppy. Because he was about to embark on a brand-new happy life and Poppy is a happy and uplifting moniker. But he was still in extreme pain due to the black crust covering his eyes. We couldn’t even touch his face.

Poppy at Dr. Adam's office

The vet said Poppy has a mild heart murmur, needed to have dental done and teeth removed, plus anesthesia to shave the gunk from his eyes, since nobody could touch it. Poppy had been through the ringer, but was about to come out on the other side. When I picked him up from the vet, he was even more pitiful than when he came out of the shelter.

Poppy dog
Poppy after his vet appointment

He again came home and went straight to bed, slept all night in his soft, warm bed. The next day is when I could really get a good look at his eyes. One was completely missing from the socket, as if it had been gouged and the other has a cataract.

Poppy healed up very nicely and today, he is happy and healthy, warm and cozy at my home as my forever foster baby. Technically, he is up for adoption, but we don't expect anyone to adopt an older gentleman with no vision. He is perfectly welcome to stay with me for the rest of his happy days.

Happy Poppy
Poppy now

Poppy now
A distinguished gentleman