Wagging Tail Wednesday: Aspen

This week we are highlighting Noelle Belling and her journey to becoming a dog pawrent to the happy-go-lucky Aspen. Noelle always knew she was destined to give a permanent home to a pup in need, and we are thrilled to share her story with you today.

Family pets were always a staple of Noelle’s childhood, so it was obvious to her that she would eventually have a dog of her own - it was just a matter of when. Noelle fostered rescue pups from a local organization a few years ago, but finally decided it was time to give one a permanent home. Noelle first found out about Wags and Walks through Adopt A Pet.  Although the first dog that caught her eye was already pending adoption, it worked out for the best because she met Aspen and immediately fell in love with her personality.

“She was just happy as a clam,” Noelle says to describe her first encounter with Aspen. Aspen was just so happy to see people, very playful and loved her boyfriend’s dog - which was a big deal! Noelle’s boyfriend is also a dog owner to an 108 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback, Emma, who isn’t normally playful with other dogs. When Aspen and Emma first met, they immediately started playing and running around together, which was a pleasant surprise and a clear sign to Noelle that she had found her perfect pup!

Aspen was a natural fit to Noelle’s extremely social and active lifestyle. The pair go on morning runs, frequently visit the dog park, and love dog beaches.  Aspen has even become a weekend brunch-goer too!

Although puppy training is not an easy walk in the park, Aspen and Noelle have come a long way. Aspen’s natural good habits, such as lying down near the dining room table without begging for food, sharing her toys and food with other dogs, and her natural intelligence, have pleasantly surprised Noelle.

Noelle continues to learn patience and calmness from Aspen, and is always excited to come home to her loving pup. Every morning, Noelle wakes up to Aspen sneaking up on the bed and greeting her with a big wet kiss. Aspen has become her little alarm clock, but unlike an iPhone, this one never hesitates to show her unconditional love and affection.  

We love heartwarming stories like Noelle and Aspen’s, and we are always so thrilled to hear about the strong bonds that our adopters form with their new pups. Like Noelle mentioned, training isn’t always easy but the unconditional love that you will receive in return is truly priceless.

If you’re a dog lover like Noelle and looking for your doggy soul mate, please visit our website to see our available dogs and fill out an adoption application.

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Foster Friday: Anaele Moore

Summer is officially upon us and we couldn’t be any happier! A little extra sun and warmth is just what we need after our long, rainy winter here in LA. With that said, we are so excited to share a little ray of Wags and Walks’ foster sunshine with you: Anaele Moore.

Anaele is a girl after our own hearts who found herself in LA after chasing the sun and never looked back. Since then, she’s changed the world for eight dogs through Wags and Walks’ fostering program, and we are eternally grateful for the time, effort and love she has given to these pups.

Without further ado, learn more about our foster spotlight of the week, Anaele:

Wags and Walks_Foster Friday_Anaele Moore

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in a small town in France where I lived happily amongst the cows, horses and sheep before my family decided to move to Vancouver, Canada, where I would live out my high school years. At the age of 17, I decided I needed more sun in my life so I left for school at Loyola Marymount University. I’ve been in LA for around 3 years now and love to explore the city and the outdoors, I definitely don’t see moving away from the beach in my near future!

What got you started fostering for Wags & Walks?

Animals have always been a huge and important part of my life. I have always dreamt of working with animals and I always enjoy life more when they’re around. Being a student with no concrete plan of where my life will take me in the next few years, I wanted to find a way to make dogs a bigger part of my life without committing long term until I knew that I was ready. Wags & Walks has given me the best of both worlds by allowing me to fall in love with so many different dogs of different sizes, breeds and personalities while knowing that they are going to wonderful forever families who are ready and able to take them in.

Wags and Walks_Foster Friday_Anaele Moore

To date, how many dogs have you fostered for Wags? Do you have a favorite? (Don't worry, we won't tell the others!)

I started fostering around February 2017 and since then I believe I’ve fostered 8 dogs. I fall in love with all my pups, but my two favorites would probably be my first foster and my last. They also happen to be my smallest pup and my largest pup to date. My first was an 11 week old Chi/Beagle mix named Sprite and he was to die for cute; he totally melted my heart. My last was a gorgeous Siberian Husky named Jacob, and I seriously didn’t want to let him go!

What has been your biggest challenge fostering?

I foster a lot of puppies and live in a fully carpeted apartment, so cleanup can be stressful! I’ve definitely found ways to make this more manageable (including having a Dexter-esque section of my apartment that is covered with plastic wrap!) In the end, the payoff of having such sweet and loyal companions is always worth the extra time spent cleaning my carpets, and it has never deterred me from wanting to save more pups.

Wags and Walks_Foster Friday_Anaele Moore

How has fostering affected you?

I have always known I had a passion for giving back and fostering has allowed me to do just this. It is an incredible and bittersweet moment when a dog you’ve grown so attached to has to leave to a new home, but seeing my fosters with their new families and knowing how happy and loved they will be is an intensely fulfilling feeling. Fostering has definitely reaffirmed my love for animals and my want to continue working alongside people who share the same values as I do.

What has been your biggest surprise as a foster parent?

I have found out that I have no idea what I want when it comes to a dog of my own. I have fallen in love with dogs that I never thought I would have. For example, my idea of a “dream” dog in the past had always been a Husky or a German-Shepherd, but since fostering I have found out that I love little dogs like Chihuahuas just as much! Each dog, no matter the breed or size, has such a unique and incredible personality.

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in becoming a foster?

Be diligent and be prepared! Fostering is not always easy and it can be stressful at times, but it is so rewarding that any bumps in the road are insignificant in the grand scope of things. If you have been debating it, do it! You won’t regret it, and you will change the lives of so many families and dogs alike!

Wags and Walks_Foster Friday_Anaele Moore

Thank you so much, Anaele, for sharing your fostering experience with us. If she has inspired you and you’re interested in getting involved or learning more, please check out our foster page.

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Celebrate International Day of Yoga with “Doga”!

Today is the International Day of Yoga, which is a celebration of the popular exercise known for its array of mental, physical and spiritual benefits. While yoga is an activity many enjoy alone, you can also include your pup - which has become known as “doga”!

Both you and your pooch can benefit from practicing yoga together. In addition to more sound sleep and increased circulation, your pup will love the quality time spent with his/her favorite human!

If you are interested in shaking up your pup’s routine, here are five doga poses that dogs of all sizes can easily perform.

Forward Bend

Stand with both feet under your hips. Roll and bend forward, hanging from your waist, with your hands and head low. Scoop up your dog to add its weight and bend further to increase the stretch.

Chair

Have your dog sit on its hind legs while holding the dog from behind. Raise the dog’s front paws in the air.

Puppy Paw Mudra

Have your dog lay on its stomach with their front legs extended outward. Kneel down behind the dog and place your head on its back while holding its front legs outward. Turn your head to the side.

Wheelbarrow

Stand behind dog and lean slightly forward. Gently pick its back lets up, supporting hip joints with both hands. Slowly encourage it to stretch and flex its torso.

Savasna

Have your dog lay on its back. Pet its exposed belly.

If you’re ready to do downward dog with your dog, there are some upcoming doga classes happening at various Healthy Spot locations in Los Angeles.

Remember, quality time with your pup doesn’t have to be limited to walks and couch cuddles. If yoga isn’t your thing, there are lots of other ways to workout with your pup. Read about some of our favorites here!

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,
Team Wags

Wagging Tail Wednesday: Sherman

This week’s Wagging Tail Wednesday is a heartwarming story about first-time dog owners Karli and Haiyang and a very special dog, Sherman (formerly known as James Brown). Even in just reading their story, you can see how much the love and affection of a rescue pup’s new parents can help even the most timid of pups blossom and thrive.

Wags and Walks_Wagging Tail Wednesday_Sherman

Karli and Haiyang found Wags and Walks via Karli’s time volunteering at Wags Club. Before Wags, Sherman clearly had few positive experiences with humans; he was found on the streets alongside his brother, but Sherman has an inexplicable energy that Karli and Haiyang felt from the very first moment they met him.

They say you just “know” when it’s the right time to adopt a dog, and that is definitely the case for Karli and Haiyang when they adopted Sherman in October. They had wanted a dog (their first one!) for quite some time, but hadn’t yet found the right fit. When they met Sherman for the first time at an adoption event in Mar Vista, they had already scoped him out online quite a bit.

When they arrived at the adoption event, Karli and Haiyang saw many many cute and friendly dogs, but the only one who stood out to them was Sherman. He and his brother were hiding in the back corner under a table, and his fosters were trying - and failing - to get him to come out and socialize. Karli and Haiyang said they were drawn to Sherman immediately; they felt deeply sad that Sherman was sad, but he seemed so gentle. He had the sweetest face and eyes and was so unique looking, and from first sight, they just knew he had to be a part of their family.

Wags and Walks_Wagging Tail Wednesday_Sherman

Like with all adoptions, Karli and Haiyang’s journey with Sherman has been a unique one full of its own series of challenges and surprises. As Sherman is a very shy dog, Karli and Haiyang have been slowly building trust with him.

While they were on vacation this past February, Sherman got away from his sitter and ran away during a horrible rainstorm in L.A.. Karli and Haiyang were away in Cambodia and felt inconsolable that Sherman was lost; they felt helpless. Thankfully, due to their friends and kind people in LA, Sherman was found and made it home safe and sound.

Their biggest surprise with Sherman came from a different moment together in their early months as a family. Late one night, Karli was home alone with Sherman. Sherman is a very quiet dog and they had never heard him bark or growl for 5 months before this moment, but when Haiyang came home unexpectedly, Sherman started barking at him...loudly!

They had never heard his voice before, and while they knew they were adopting a sweet and gentle soul, they didn’t know they were also adopting a guard dog! They were able to see the their growing bond by Sherman’s protecting Karli and the house in that moment.

Wags and Walks_Wagging Tail Wednesday_Sherman

Karli and Haiyang have learned so much from their time with Sherman thus far, and while they have had their challenges, much of what they’ve learned is how wonderful of a dog he is; he just needs some extra love. Everyone who meets Sherman comments on how gentle and sweet he is, and he even takes his treats gently!

Karli and Haiyang love getting to know Sherman’s personality and building trust and their relationship with him. They especially love coming home to his smiley face and watching him play with his toys. Some of Sherman’s favorite things are throwing around his stuffed penguin...and stealing the dish towels off the counter and playing with them!

Karli and Haiyang can’t imagine a time when Sherman wasn’t a part of the family; they take him everywhere with them - the beach, road trips, breweries etc! Sherman has expanded their family in the best way possible, and they love him more than they could ever imagine.

Wags and Walks_Wagging Tail Wednesday_Sherman

As with their story, adopting a new pet is just the beginning of your journey. Each of us has our own unique experience, and so does every dog. Learning each other’s habits and triggers takes time and patience, and Karli and Haiyang are doing exactly what you’re supposed to do - learning and absorbing every experience and giving Sherman all of their love...and receiving his love in return.

We at Wags and Walks are so lucky to be able to foster these forever bonds between amazing humans like Karli and Haiyang and wonderful, deserving, loving pups like Sherman. If you’re looking for your doggy soul mate, visit our website to see our available dogs and fill out an adoption application.

Please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat (username: wagsandwalks). Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter and check our website for available dogs. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Our Favorite Summer Dog Products

It’s not a pool party without your pup! As the summer months are finally upon us, we can start planning outdoor activities to take advantage of the warm weather with our furry friends. Here are some of our must-have doggy products for the summer, whether you’re hiking, on the lake, at the beach, or simply soaking up sun in your backyard.

TheraCool Gel Cooling Bed

Concrete can get too hot for your pup on a summer day, so this innovative bed makes sure they can lounge with you outside - without overheating! The gel cooling pad utilizes charcoal-infused, odor-absorbing technology to safely and naturally dissipate excess heat away from your pet. The Tri-Core gel cells add additional cooling power, while two extra foam core layers provide maximum support for rest and rejuvenation.

Wags and Walks_Summer Products_TheraCool Bed

Shark Life Vest

Your dog will be the center of attention with this fin-tastic life vest. Not only does it keep your pup safe while swimming, but it will keep you entertained for hours as well!

Wags and Walks_Summer Products_Shark Life Vest

Flamingo Float Toy

Anything flamingo-themed reminds us of tropical paradise, and therefore is perfect for summer! Keep your dog engaged and entertained with this fun toy while you sip pina coladas by the pool. It comes in the shape of a flamingo and actually floats in water, but it’s real calling card (as far as your dog is concerned) is the playful squeaking sounds it makes when squeezed.

Wags and Walks_Summer Products_Flamingo Float Toy

PawTector Wax

We get to wear shoes, but dogs have absolutely no protection when walking on things like hot pavement. PawTector is an organic, all-natural blend of carefully selected waxes and oils that creates a nourishing barrier to protect soft and delicate paw pads against the elements. It’s perfect for use before outdoor activities like hikes, walks and the beach.

Wags and Walks_Summer Products_PawTector Wax

OllyDog OllyBottle

We all love taking advantage of these beautiful summer days by going on a long hike with our canine friends. During these warmer months, it’s important to make sure our pups are staying hydrated. The OllyBottle, a water bottle with a detachable bowl, is the solution to sharing water (but not slobber) with your dog when you're out on those long hikes.

Wags and Walks_Summer Products_OllyBottle

Dog Pool Float

For those diva dogs, this pool float lets your pup lounge in style. Vinyl-coated fabric and nonporous foam make this lounger ultra-buoyant and strong, and puncture-resistant, woven vinyl mesh ensures it won’t stain, fade, or mildew.

Wags and Walks_Summer Products_Dog Pool Float

Dog-Friendly Burger

Your pup doesn't have to worry about their summer body, so don’t leave them out during your summer barbeques. This doggie “cheese burger” is perfectly safe for your pup - and delicious!

Wags and Walks_Summer Products_Doggie Cheeseburger

We hope you enjoy the dog days of summer with these products that are guaranteed to provide endless fun. If you are looking for something to do with your pup, check out some of our favorite outdoor activities in LA here!  

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Foster Friday- Elise Tate

Hello to June and hello Elise Tate - one of our amazing foster moms! Elise is truly one of a kind, as she’s somehow found the time to dedicate to fostering dogs despite her busy work schedule and traveling every month. One thing we’ve learned from her story is that if she can do it, you can too!  

Elise recently fostered the sweet Evie, who was treated like a queen before finding her forever home. Fosters like Elise put in so much time and effort to make our pups feel special and loved, and that’s what fostering is all about! Without further ado, here is Elise Tate:

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m recently married, have two jobs, I love to travel, and of course, I love rescuing animals.

What got you started fostering for Wags and Walks?

It was a God send! My husband and I live in Michigan for half of the year (and foster animals there) and live in California the other half of the year. After fostering in Michigan, we were hoping to do the same here in Los Angeles! One of my neighbors happened to be Megan, who works for Wags and Walks. I was introduced to her via a mutual friend who knew we shared the same passion for helping animals.

To date, how many dogs have you fostered for Wags? Do you have a favorite? (Don't worry, we won't tell the others!)  

I’ve only fostered two dogs from Wags and Walks - one last year and one this year. My sweet Evie, who was my most recent foster, would have to be my favorite foster yet. All rescue pups have a distinct appreciation and loving yet thankful demeanor to them, but Evie was just on another level. She was so easy to take care of and was instantly my best little bud. I took her everywhere I went!

What has been your biggest challenge fostering?

Honestly, the biggest challenge with fostering really doesn't have to do with any of the dogs, it's more so my schedule and overcoming my out of town obstacles. I am never in town for a month at a time, so just nailing down a few weeks when I’ll be home is my issue. The flexibility of Wags and Walks has made it possible for me to foster whenever I am in town. The staff and other volunteers are just so amazing and accommodating. If I can make time to foster being  newly married, moving two times a year, having two jobs, and running a non-profit then…. trust me… I promise you can do it too!

I thought the most challenging part of fostering would be a number of things including:  training and breaking habits, or even giving the dogs back after growing attached, but honestly all of these things weren’t issues. When you foster an animal, you just become so connected to them, feel for them, and can see how grateful they are that you are showing them love. I think all foster parents can agree that you just have this innate drive to nurse them back to health and find them a forever home. The challenges I thought I’d have turned out to be motivators. I cannot say enough good things about fostering. If you do have any type of issue or need assistance during the process, the Wags and Walks staff are there to guide you every step of the way.

How has fostering affected you?  

Sounds corny, but it has definitely made me a better person. I have a different level of empathy and patience for all animals, which has actually translated into a great level of empathy and patience for people!!

What has been your biggest surprise as a foster parent?  

I could not have predicted the level of fulfillment fostering would give me. People are always saying, “oh I could never let them go, I couldn't do this I couldn't do that”… well yes you can!  I  have become so proud of the dogs I foster for every little accomplishment, because you see SUCH a drastic change in the animal every day. Fostering is beyond rewarding… and addicting!

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in becoming a foster?

Do it. Push aside all of your possible excuses such as not having time, fear of getting attached, or not having a big enough yard or even a yard at all, etc. Trust me, these dogs are just thankful to be with you, and you’ll  figure out a way to make it work. The fulfillment you get as a foster parent is indescribable, but it keeps you coming back for more! 

Thank you, Elise, for sharing your foster experience with us! As she said, fostering is “beyond rewarding” and we can’t agree with her more! Like so many fosters, Elise has given so much unconditional love and care to her fosters, which truly helps the pups in their journey to finding their furever home.  

If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, please check out our foster page.


To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates? 

XO,

Team Wags

2017 Pet Appreciation Week: 5 Benefits to Owning a Dog

In honor of Pet Appreciation Week this week, we want to focus on all the amazing ways dogs make our lives better. There are plenty of ways that we can celebrate the week with our dogs, but taking the time to really recognize what they do for us each and every day is the best appreciation there is. You might not even realize all the effects they are having on your life. Even if you do, here are a few of Wags and Walks’ favorite benefits to having a dog:

Dogs Help Relieve Stress

Having a dog around to play with and to pet is known to increase the levels of the stress-reducing hormone known as oxytocin and decrease the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. It’s also thought that petting dogs lowers your blood pressure, which is a physical measure of stress. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that having dogs around keeps things more fun and keeps you smiling, all of which impacts your overall levels of stress.

Meet Zeus, our sweet 1 1/2 year old Rottweiler Mix.

Meet Zeus, our sweet 1 1/2 year old Rottweiler Mix.

Dogs May Help Depression

Much like stress, having dogs around may help relieve anxiety and depression. In addition to an increased level of oxytocin, having a dog offers a soothing presence. They also offer unconditional love and acceptance, so you can talk to your pet, cuddle, and coexist without any judgement from them. Plus, they will always be happy to see you when you come home, and they seem to know just exactly when you need a little extra attention. Even your best of friends and family may not be able to offer that type of support 24/7.  

Dogs Keep You More Active

Dogs make you go outside and stay active. They require exercise and make it more fun to leave the house and work out. Whether you are just walking around the neighborhood or taking your dog with you on a hike, they keep you on track with your fitness goals. Taking your dog on one 30 minute walk a day can make a huge improvement on your overall health, while also keeping them in shape. Try finding new ways to incorporate them into your fitness, so that you get to spend more time with them while also focusing on your health!

Meet Shea, our 4 year old fawn Pit Bull.

Meet Shea, our 4 year old fawn Pit Bull.

Dogs Make You More Social

If you haven’t already noticed, having a dog around makes you more social. Whether you’re making friends with other dog families in the neighborhood, going to local dog parks, or just stopping to talk to people while you’re on a walk, it’s easier to talk to people when you get to talk about your favorite thing in the world: your dog. People always seem more approachable with a dog, so it’s an easy ice breaker to strike up a conversation.

Dogs Make You Feel Safer

Having a dog around can make you feel safer, which is good for your physical and mental health. Depending on the type of dog you have, they often can detect prowling or odd behavior before you can, so you feel safer from burglars whether you’re home or away. Plus, they react faster, and you know they will protect you if/when the time comes. Even if nothing ever happens, having a dog in the home is good for peace of mind.

Meet Canyon, our 8 month old Lab/Pit mix.

Meet Canyon, our 8 month old Lab/Pit mix.

These are only a few ways that our dogs make our lives better. We could go on for days why our dogs are amazing, but it’s important to recognize that there are health benefits to owning a dog and take a step back to think about these more important impacts.  We would love to hear how your dog impacts your life! If you don’t have a dog right now, we hope we’ve convinced you why you need one. Check out all of our cute Wags and Walks pups available for adoption right now!

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Wags and Walks at NKLA Super Adoption

This weekend, Wags and Walks is excited to be part of the annual NKLA Super Adoption event. Spanning all day Saturday, June 3rd and Sunday, June 4th in Woodland Hills, the event will feature more than 1,000 adoptable dogs and cats who can’t wait to find their forever home!

All available pets are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Adopters will receive pet food, leashes, collars, coupons and other pet goodies while supplies last, and L.A.’s most popular food trucks will be on-site. Admission is free and you can bring the whole family - even well-behaved pups!

Wags and Walks_NKLA Event

Here are just a few of our dogs who will be attending this weekend and can’t wait to meet you!

Wags and Walks_NKLA Event_Bailey

Bailey is a 5 year old loving yellow Lab mix who is full of puppy energy and has so much love to give. Weighing about 55 pounds, she is eager to please, treat motivated and toy motivated. She is a total sweetheart who is good with children and just yearns for companionship. Bailey is super smiley, affectionate and all around a fun loving companion. She will thrive in a loving and active home looking for a walking, hiking or running buddy.  

Wags and Walks_NKLA Event_Darlene

Darlene is as sweet and bubbly as she is tiny. Just shy of 8 pounds, this 4 month old white Jack Russell Terrier/Chihuahua mix will steal your heart with her silly personality and gorgeous green eyes. Darlene can be a bit timid at first, but once she comes out of her shell she loves to run, play and snuggle. She gets along with other dogs once she spends a little bit of time with them and would do great in a home that's ready for the rewards and challenges of raising a new puppy!

Wags and Walks_NKLA Event_Indie

Indie is a gorgeous 7 month old pup who was listed as a Pit Bull at the shelter, but we believe she is more likely a Rhodesian Ridgeback or Lab mix. At 32 pounds, this sweet girl is extremely well behaved and mellow for a pup. She loves playing with toys and she's very affectionate. Indie wil give you all the hugs and kisses you've ever wanted!  She is great around all humans and dogs and would be best in an environment that is willing to give her the basic training any puppy needs!

Wags and Walks_NKLA Event_Buttercup

Buttercup is the kind of silly shaped, soulful eyed, squatty little pit bull mix you immediately fall in love with. She is only 1 year old and 28 pounds, and is as adorable as her tiny little legs. She is a gentle and loving girl who just needs to feel safe and loved. Buttercup didn't mind the other dogs at the shelter and warmed up to all of the people evaluating her. She likes being held like a baby for as long as you are willing and is treat motivated.  

Wags and Walks_NKLA Event_Jones

Jones is an adorable, charcoal grey Shih Tzu/Poodle mix. At 2 years old, this sweet and gentle soul is a total lap dog and seems to like other dogs. Weighing about 15 pounds, this sweetie is quiet and unsure, but the minute he is shown love he warms up instantly and becomes your best friend. Jones would make a wonderful addition to a home that is looking for a loyal and loving companion.  

Wags and Walks_NKLA Event_Hunter

Hunter is a ridiculously cute 4 month old white and tan spotted Cattle Dog that wants nothing but to love you and give you kisses... LOTS of kisses. He is as smart as he is spunky. Hunter is looking for an active forever family that wants to raise him and give him training to be the best dog he can possibly be!

Wags and Walks_NKLA Event_Cooper

Cooper is a 1 year old Papillon mix with ears for days! At 10 pounds, Cooper steals the heart of anyone he meets. He is a happy go lucky little guy, who loves to play and cuddle alike. He gets along with all people and dogs and would be great in any home that will welcome him into their family.

Wags and Walks_NKLA Event_Penny Lane

Penny Lane might not be in our ears, but she's definitely in our hearts! This sweet Frenchie/Boston Terrier/Boxer mix is 3 years old, 26 pounds and a total ray of sunshine. Penny Lane takes a minute to get used to her surroundings and get to know people, but once she does she'll give you all the kisses and love you could ever want. She loves to relax with her human, is very soulful and would thrive in a home that gives her a lot of affection.

We hope you visit us this weekend to find your new best friend. As you can see, we will have pups of all shapes, sizes, breeds, and ages. Adopt one to help save them all, and help us make L.A. a no-kill city! If you already have plans this weekend, you can always fill out an adoption application online.

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Foster Friday: Isobel and David

This Friday before Memorial Day we are shining the spotlight on a foster duo coming to LA and Wags and Walks all the way from Australia - Isobel and David Lawrance. Memorial Day is a time often spent with family and friends, and while everyone is heading off to their long weekend, we are starting ours with a happy story of foster success! 

Isobel and David were the loving foster parents of Henry, before he recently got adopted to his forever home! The story of Isobel, David and Henry is a great example of how fostering dogs not only saves the dog’s life, but it can change yours as well! That’s all from us - we’ll let Isobel and David tell you the rest.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

We are a couple of Australians who moved to LA around 3 years ago. Isobel is an architect and I write for television.

What got you started fostering for Wags & Walks?

We love animals and have 3 pet birds back in Australia. They’re being cared for by family while we’re gone, and we miss them a lot so figured caring for an animal in need here in the US would be rewarding for us and for the dog too. So, we signed up to become fosters and have so far found it to be an incredible experience.

To date, how many dogs have you fostered for Wags? Do you have a favorite? (Don't worry, we won't tell the others!)

We have fostered one dog, the incomparable Henry. He has definitely been our favorite. He was with us for over 12 months.

 What has been your biggest challenge fostering?

Henry had a few behavior problems, which we worked through with a trainer. We persisted with the trainer’s methods and we feel like this really paid off. It made Henry much more confident during the meet & greet with Maggie, who ultimately adopted him!

How has fostering affected you?

For a start we now have a newfound appreciation for large dogs (Henry weighed nearly 100 pounds). We always gravitated towards small dogs but now we can only imagine spending time with the big ones. And, it’s made us a lot more confident with handling dogs in general. Henry’s fearfulness presented some challenges that we now can address in other dogs.

What has been your biggest surprise as a foster parent?

Isobel: My biggest surprise was looking forward to face-licks.

David: And mine was probably how proud I felt to see my foster dog get adopted into a great forever home.

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in becoming a foster?

I would say go for it. There may be some tough times (the hardest part is saying goodbye when your dog finds his or her forever home) but the happiness you’ll experience at seeing a new owner fall in love with your dog is well worth it.

While most foster relationships don’t continue for 12 months before the dog is adopted, David & Isobel’s dedication to Henry and his training was crucial to his being ready for a forever home. We are so happy that Henry found his forever home with Maggie and it would not have been without the endless love and support of Isobel and David!

Fostering is a  truly unique experience, and we are thankful to all of our fosters for helping us find our dogs their forever homes. If you are thinking about fostering and are still hesitant, you can find plenty more info about our foster program on our website. Like Isobel and David said, you will be surprised by what fostering can show you about the possibilities of dogs of all breeds and sizes.

With that, we hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend full of smiles, laughs and hopefully some doggie playtime and “face-licks”! And be sure to follow Wags and Walks on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (username: wagsandwalks. Because, really, who doesn’t love seeing photos of adorable dogs like Henry?

 

XO,

 Team Wags

Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease

May marks the arrival of warmer weather and more outdoor activities, which is why this month is also dubbed as Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

Lyme Disease is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the world and can affect both dogs and humans. Our pets are constantly lounging and playing in conditions readily exposed to ticks, like going on a hike or taking a walk through long grass, so it’s important to understand what Lyme Disease is and how you can prevent it in your pup.

Lyme Disease is caused by a bacteria that gets into the bloodstream through a tick bite. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria can travel to different parts of the body and cause problems in specific organs or locations, such as joints, as well as overall illness. A tick can transmit the disease once it has been attached to the dog for 24 to 48 hours, which is why prompt removal of a tick is crucial.

While there are various flea and tick products on the market (which we will dive into later), the best way to prevent Lyme Disease is to physically check your dog for ticks every day - especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors. Ticks tend to crawl into harder-to-spot places in an attempt to hide, so it’s important to really go through hair by hair, making sure to check the ears, the muzzle, the face/neck, and in between the toes.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease:

  • Fever between 103° and 105°
  • Lameness (abnormal gait or stance)

  • Lethargy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Difficulty breathing

If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme Disease, the veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics (usually Doxycycline) and often the symptoms will resolve within a week. While Lyme Disease can usually be cured easily, there can also be more serious complications including damage to the kidneys, and rarely, heart or nervous system disease.

Preventative Products:

The fear of Lyme Disease is not a reason to keep your pup from enjoying the great outdoors. As long as you make sure you are taking the proper precautions and are attuned to any abnormalities in your pup, you can continue enjoying this beautiful LA  weather with your dog!

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

 

Travel Safety Tips for Pets

Summer is almost upon us, and that means there are more weekend trips in the near future! With Memorial Day Weekend only a week away, marking the unofficial start of summer, we thought it would be a great idea to go over some of our favorite pet travel safety tips. Between planning, packing, and actually getting to your destination, it’s easy to forget about all of the things your pets need on a vacation to stay safe. It would be so much easier if they could pack for themselves, but as far as we know, that isn’t something dogs know how to do just yet (though we wouldn’t put it past them)!

Wags and Walks_Pet Travel Safety

Here are a few ways to travel safely with your pets:

Make a Pet Travel Bag

Much like yourself, your dog should have his/her own bag of essentials while you are away on your trip. Make sure you have enough food, bowls, water bottles (like this dog travel water bottle), all medication, an extra towel, poop bags, a first-aid kit, some treats, toys, and an extra leash. Just a small bag is all your dog needs to have a perfect vacation alongside you!

Bring Their Papers

It’s important to bring your pets’ papers whenever you are traveling away from home, especially when crossing state lines. Having an updated health certificate and additional documents included in your travel bag can never hurt. Your vet can provide all of this information to you.

Pack the Correct Wearables

Even if your dog is microchipped, make sure that you have a separate collar with an identification tag in case your pup gets loose. We always recommend that your dog has an additional collar or harness with an ID tag attached to the leash in the event he/she slips out of one. Although it may seem excessive, we know that things can happen, especially when your dog is somewhere unfamiliar.

Keep Your Pet Secure

It’s important to make sure your pup is secure in the car while you are driving - for both of your safety! A crate is an easy way to do this, but you can also use a dog harness with a seat belt clip or a hammock seat cover to give your pet a little more freedom. You can also use a pet barrier to keep your dog from jumping around to different sections in the car. While we love having our travel buddies sitting next to (or on top of) us, it’s more important to keep them safe and focus on the road.

Adjust Their Feeding Schedule

Before leaving for your trip, make sure to adjust your dog’s eating schedule. Especially for long trips, don’t put them in the car right after breakfast on a full stomach and bladder. Instead, feed them smaller meals throughout the trip. This will act as a reward at rest stops and also ensure there are no accidents or upset stomachs while you are driving. Once you get settled at your destination, you can resume their normal schedule.

Never Leave Them in the Car Alone

Although this may be common sense, it is always worth mentioning: never leave your dog in the car alone. It’s getting warmer out and it’s incredibly dangerous for them to be stuck in a car. Make sure to plan out your trip so you can bring your pup with you everywhere, or bring another human buddy along so you can take turns walking your dog on breaks. A trip can be stressful enough for your dog, and leaving them locked alone can only lead to more stress and potential serious issues.

Traveling with your dogs is fun, but it’s important to keep them safe at the same time. A few small additions to your trip will do just that!

Wags and Walks_Pet Travel Safety

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Wagging Tail Wednesday: April and Ashley

After celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend, we are reminded that there are many types of mothers out there - and dog moms deserve recognition too! This Wagging Tail Wednesday, we are excited to share the sweet story of Ashley (dog mom of two) and April the pit bull.

Ashley Niedzwiecki is one of Wags and Walks’ dedicated foster parents who turned permanent dog mom once she met April. Keep reading to learn how fostering turned permanent for Ashley, why she’s now an advocate for pit bulls, and the health scare that made her know it’s real.

Wags and Walks_Wagging Tail Wednesday_April and Ashley

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your dog.

April was my 5th foster through Wags and Walks. I was volunteering at the NKLA Super Adoption event and saw that we pulled her from the shelter as the event was ending. As I was staring at her, I got a call from our foster coordinator, Megan. She asked if I saw the big pittie we just pulled and asked if I could foster her. I picked her up the next day and my dog and I instantly saw she was a special girl.

After fostering her for about 3 months she suddenly got really sick, blue in the mouth. I rushed her to the vet (amazing how light this 80 lb pup became in the moment of panic) and they said it didn’t look good. They put her on fluids and took X-rays and ran blood tests. I got an update that she probably won’t make it through the night. I prepared for the worst. The next morning I got the call from the vet and they said she was as good as new! They think she had some sort of allergic reaction. I went to pick her up and she was so happy to be going home. Once we got home my dog, Keely, jumped with joy that she was back. I knew she was here to stay. I couldn’t imagine anyone else having her after that experience.

How did you find out about Wags and Walks?

I heard about Wags and Walks through social media and knew I wanted to be involved in any way that I could.

How did you know your dog was “the one”?  

When I saw the girls together as best friends, I knew it was permanent. Plus, April is the type of amazing dog people tend to overlook - pit bull, cropped ears, over bred, 6 years old. She’s an angel!

Wags and Walks_Wagging Tail Wednesday_April and Ashley

Have there been any challenges or setbacks you’ve had to overcome? What was your biggest surprise?

Separation anxiety…. We worked on it and she’s now crate trained and loves her crate. Crate time = treat time!

What is your favorite thing about your dog? Does he/she have any funny quirks?

She is like a little hippo. She jumps around when I come home and it’s the cutest thing. Her purrs are pretty adorable too.

Wags and Walks_Wagging Tail Wednesday_April and Ashley

What is your favorite thing about being a doggy parent?

Having unconditional love. They are always excited to see me, even if I just leave to go check the mail.

How has your dog changed you?

April has taught me patience and to be an advocate for pits like her.

Wags and Walks_Wagging Tail Wednesday_April and Ashley

As you can see from Ashley’s story, fostering is a wonderful way to test the waters if you are considering adopting a pup. If it’s meant to be, like it was for Ashley and April, then you will know. If you are interested in becoming a dog mom (or dad!) please check out our available dogs - and remember, this page is constantly being updated with new pups.

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Foster Friday: Jorja Tikaram

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we wanted to feature one of our amazing foster moms, Jorja Tikaram! Jorja has proven that even with a baby on the way (and with that same baby as a newborn), you can still make time to foster a dog. Her passion and love for animals is truly inspiring to us and we can’t wait for you to hear her story!

Fostering isn’t always easy, but it’s so rewarding and greatly appreciated, by not only our wonderful rescue pups, but by everyone at Wags and Walks.  We hope that Jorja’s story will encourage all of you animal lovers to make time in your busy schedules to foster a wonderful dog.  You won’t regret it!  

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm Australian and moved to Los Angeles with my husband for his job.  I love animals, yoga, the beach, hiking and exploring new places!

What got you started fostering for Wags & Walks?

I've always loved dogs and being here in Los Angeles and I noticed that there were a lot of dog rescues looking for fosters.  My heart jumped at the opportunity to help a dog in need, so I applied straight away. I came across Wags and Walks while searching for various foster programs that were in need of support.

To date, how many dogs have you fostered for Wags? Do you have a favorite? (Don't worry, we won't tell the others!)

I've only fostered two dogs with Wags and Walks: Sweetpea being the longest, over one year!  Sweetpea of course was my favorite, as she stole my heart in the long time we took care of her.

Downward dog champ!

Downward dog champ!

What has been your biggest challenge fostering?

Letting go would have to be the biggest challenge for me.  It’s so easy to get attached to these dogs that you’ve spent so much time with and are so used to seeing.  Though letting go is such a challenge, knowing that these dogs have found their forever home is so satisfying.

How has fostering affected you?

Fostering has definitely broken my heart a couple times, as it’s so hard to say goodbye to the pups once they’ve been adopted. Though it can be heartbreaking, fostering has also made me love and appreciate pitbulls.  After fostering a pitbull and adoring her for how sweet and loving she was, I have become an advocate for the precious breed.

What has been your biggest surprise as a foster parent?  

The length of time it can take for a beautiful dog to be adopted has surprised me the most. I feel that dogs with certain challenges are looked down upon and people miss out on their best qualities- like pit bulls who are simply judged based on their breed.

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in becoming a foster?

My advice would be to keep an open heart, be patient, and be kind. These animals have been through alot and just want your love and care.  

Thank you Jorja, for sharing your foster experience with us!  We are so happy that you decided to foster with Wags and Walks, and we can’t wait to hear about your next foster experience.  You are truly an amazing foster mom to our pups and amazing new mom to your sweet baby! As Jorja shared in her story, with an open heart, fostering makes you realize the amazing qualities that these animals truly have- we can’t agree with her more!  It’s fosters like Jorja, that make it possible for us to continue our mission to save more dogs.  

We are eternally grateful to all of our fosters who have dedicated their time to show unconditional love and care to our rescue dogs who are in the process of finding  their forever homes. If you are interested, you can learn more about fostering or apply to foster directly online through our foster page.

Wishing all of the amazing doggie moms a very Happy Mother’s Day! We hope you are spoiled on this special day with lots of doggy kisses, snuggles, and quality time with your pup!

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Celebrating National Chip Your Pet Month

Why Should You Microchip Your Dog?

May marks National Chip Your Pet month, and no that doesn’t mean it’s national dress your pet up like your favorite chip month or make your pet into a chip meme month. While those are both cute ways to celebrate the word chip with your pup, this month’s purpose is to raise awareness for the importance of microchipping your furry friend for safety!

Although an increasingly common procedure used by owners to help make sure their dog can always return home, not everyone microchips their pets. At Wags and Walks, we make all our dogs are microchipped before they go to their forever home. To help raise awareness for the importance of microchipping your pet, we thought we’d give a rundown on what it means to “microchip” your dog!

What is a microchip?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, you may be wondering what a “microchip” even is. In this case, a microchip is a tiny cylinder, about the size of a grain of rice, that is inserted just under your pet’s skin - normally between the shoulder blades behind the neck. It takes just a few seconds to insert the chip, and inside of the chip is an antenna that registers an identification code when scanned.

While the dog may feel uncomfortable in the moment that the vet is placing the chip under his/her skin, the chip is too small to feel after it is placed! The process doesn’t hurt any more than a routine vaccination, and it is a one-time procedure. After the chip is placed, you can then link your contact information to the chip online or through a form that your vet or shelter provides you.  

From the moment your pup has been microchipped, he/she will always be able to find home as long as he/she is brought to a veterinarian, animal shelter, or any organization with a microchip scanner. It’s as easy as that!

Meet Popeye. Popeye is nothing but smiles; he is also microchipped!

Meet Popeye. Popeye is nothing but smiles; he is also microchipped!

Isn’t the purpose of a microchip the same as getting a doggy tag?

Yes, a microchip and a dog tag are both meant to help you keep your dog safe, and a doggy tag placed on your dog’s collar or harness is a great and important form of immediate identification. If your dog is ever found by someone who doesn’t have a scanner on hand, that person can quickly contact you using the info on the tag, but it is more common for lost dogs to be found without collars on.

People often take their dog’s collar off when the dog isn’t on a leash, or the owner will keep the collar loose on the dog’s neck for comfort, which can lead to it falling off or the dog slipping out of it. If your dog becomes lost without his/her collar and isn’t microchipped, it becomes much harder to bring your pup home!

Meet Max. Max is good to go on any adventure - he’s got a harness, a dog collar and he’s microchipped!

Meet Max. Max is good to go on any adventure - he’s got a harness, a dog collar and he’s microchipped!

Can only certain dogs be microchipped?

The quick answer is no, dogs of all ages, breeds and sizes can be microchipped. If you rescued a dog who does not have a microchip and you aren’t sure if your dog is eligible, just ask your vet! The vet will be able to find out if there is any medical condition that prohibits you from microchipping your pet, but in most instances, any type of dog or aged dog can be microchipped for safety.

Meet ChaCha. ChaCha is an 8-year old love muffin, and she’s happily microchipped!

Meet ChaCha. ChaCha is an 8-year old love muffin, and she’s happily microchipped!

Is it more important to microchip some dogs versus others?

Everyone knows the neighborhood dog who can’t be left alone in the backyard, or the high-energy pup who just loves to run out the door after the mailman whenever he/she gets the chance. Then there are the couch potato dogs who are perfectly content lounging all day. Many people only think that ‘high risk’ dogs should be microchipped, but the reality is any dog has the potential of getting lost.

Dogs, like humans, get spooked by different things and revert to their “animal instincts.” For a dog, that could mean getting scared on a walk and trying to get free from his/her collar. This is something we see with newly rescued dogs who are nervous or anxious in certain social situations.That doesn’t mean that it could not happen with a little puppy or with a beloved pet of over 15 years! Microchipping your dog helps you ensure his/her safety at all times.

What people don’t realize is that many dogs that turn up in animal shelters were actually beloved family pets who got loose or ran away without any identification. Microchips help shelters return dogs to their homes or learn more information about the dog if the owner does not want to take the dog back. By microchipping the dogs we rescue, we are helping reduce the number of dogs that end up in shelters.

Who has endless love and a microchip? Colby does! She hopes you enjoyed this pupdate!

Who has endless love and a microchip? Colby does! She hopes you enjoyed this pupdate!

Happy National Chip Your Pet Month! If you want to learn more about the services Wags and Walks provides the dogs we rescue, check out our FAQ page! And, to stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Mayday for Mutts

This Sunday marks Mayday for Mutts, a national holiday established to celebrate one of a kind pups and to promote the adoption of precious mixed breeds! According to the Humane Society of the United States, approximately 75% of the six million dogs entering  U.S. animal shelters each year are mutts. These canines, are some of the most underappreciated pups, as many people praise pure breeds.  

Why Adopt a Mutt?

  • Adopting a mutt means less purebred puppy mills.
  • They’re one of a kind, even if you meet one similar, no two are the same physically or behaviorally.
  • Mixed breeds usually have fewer genetic health risks .
  • You’ll raise awareness for the rest of the loving mutts that need homes.
  • They’re full of personality and adaptable, since they’re not bred for a specific purpose or skill set.

Many of the pups we rescue are mutts, all very unique, with one thing in common: They’re all seeking their one of a kind furever home. Here are some amazing Wags and Walks mutts we would like you to meet who will also be available at our next adoption event this Saturday, May 6th, at The Original Farmers Market:

Meet ChaCha, the 8 year old mini Poodle/Havanese mix.  She has beautiful non shedding grey and white fur and loves every person she meets. She has limited vision due to cataracts, but that doesn't stop her from enjoying life! She is loyal and gets along with other dogs!

Our sweet Evie is only 3 months old!  She is one of the most portable, sweet lap dogs we have had the pleasure of saving.  Listed as a short haired Chihuahua, we all can see that she’s mixed with Min Pin.  She is everything you can ask for if you want to bring your dog pretty much everywhere you go.  Evie is a pup, so please be prepared to work with her on training, but it will be the most rewarding relationship you could ask for. 

Ezra is the sweetest, kindest, snuggliest lap dog. This hunk of love is an 8 month old, 21 pound Tibetan Terrier mix. He wants nothing but to be loved and give love.  As he builds his confidence, he would do best in a home with no other dogs.

Meet Popeye, our adorable 4 year old Basset/Pit mix.   He has great energy to hike, walk and run, but he also loves a good snuggle.  Popeye loves the companionship of people and is great with kids!  

Virgina is a 1.5 year old adorable piglet like white Chihuahua mix weighing 10 pounds. This sweet low rider is very affectionate and sweet. She loves to sit in her person's lap and just be held. She does well with other dogs of her size and would fit great in any variety of homes.

Meet Layla, a soulful, young, playful, eager to learn and gentle pup.  W  Layla is a 10 month old darling little pit mix who weighs 45 pounds.  She is a pup, but also has a calmness about her and is very wiggly and friendly.  She adores children of all ages and loves to play with dogs of all sizes.  She is a great hiking or running buddy, but please note she also loves sleeping in bed with her humans for snuggle time.  Layla is very treat motivated and is ready to learn her basic commands.

Meet Einstein the cutest, soulful 1 year old Norfolk Terrier mix. This 30 pound cutie is an adorable tri-colored scruffy doll.  Einstein has a very gentle personality. He is happy go lucky, has a tail that never stops wagging and a face that never stops smiling.

Nova is an adorable 5 month old grey mini Terrier mix. She is very lovable and snuggles into you when picked up. Nova is friendly, calm tempered and the perfect little size to take with you everywhere.  She does well with other dogs and would fit great in any variety of homes.  This adorable and healthy girl is looking for her furever home!

Meet Mona, an adorable and sweet 6 year old Pug/Terrier mix weighing 22 pounds.  She is a peppy and happy go-lucky girl who gets along well with other dogs and loves everyone she meets. Her corkscrew tale and wirey fur makes her totally adorable and completely unique.  You can't meet this girl and not fall in love.

Join Wags and Walks at The Original Farmers Market (at The Grove) to meet our amazing mutts looking for their furever homes! The event takes place from 11 AM - 2 PM at the end of the trolley tracks in front of Kip's Toyland.  Sponsored by The Dog Bakery. The Original Farmers Market is at 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Foster Friday: Courtney Rohde

This week’s Foster Friday is an extra special one. Today we are chatting with Courtney Rohde, an all-around dedicated volunteer at Wags and Walks and a 15-time foster parent! Courtney is an unbelievable contributor to the Wags and Walks mission in so many ways, and her generosity is never ending.

Courtney’s journey into fostering really exemplifies how unique of an experience it is. Every time we interview another one of our fosters we learn something new, and we hope that Courtney’s story teaches you something new about the highs, lows, and above all, beauty of fostering!

Without further ado, meet our Foster Friday spotlight, Courtney Rhode.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am originally from Illinois, went to school at The University of Iowa, lived abroad sometime in there, and ended up in Los Angeles! I currently work as a Marketing Specialist for a durable medical equipment company but spend my free time volunteering with Wags and Walks, visiting the beach, traveling, and cooking.

What got you started fostering for Wags and Walks?

I grew up with numerous dogs throughout my childhood of all sizes and breeds. Animals were always part of my life, but through college and my early adulthood, it was hard to have pets. When I moved to Los Angeles, I knew I wanted a dog but was traveling a ton for work and couldn’t commit long-term. I decided that I would start fostering for a few weeks at a time in between trips. I’ve been fostering for about a year and it has fueled a passion for a rescue.

To date, how many dogs have you fostered for Wags? Do you have a favorite? (Don't worry, we won't tell the others!)

Since April 2016, we have had 15 fosters. I might be biased, but my favorite would have to be my foster fail, Pippen. She came to us as an anxious pup terrified of men, yet we had an instant bond. She fit seamlessly into my life and I knew it would be impossible to say goodbye so we adopted her a few days later. She ended up being my perfect match. Other than Pippen, we have fostered many incredible dogs. It’s hard to pick just one. My first foster, Marnie, will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’ve been able to watch her grow up which is fun!

What has been your biggest challenge fostering?

While we love having puppies around, they are tough! I can’t leave the house as regularly, never get enough sleep at night and am constantly cleaning up, but it’s worth it. When you invest so much time in these dogs, it’s hard to say goodbye. The reassuring part is knowing they are going to the perfect family. Receiving text and picture updates always makes it easier to let them go.

How has fostering affected you?

Fostering is incredibly rewarding and has changed my life in so many ways. I have become more passionate about rescues because I see the direct impact that it has on the dogs’ lives. It’s hard to put it into words how much happiness it will bring you until you foster. Throughout my time fostering and adopting Pippen, I found myself wanting to invest more into Wags and Walks. I have found a passion through volunteering so that more pups have a chance at finding forever families.

What has been your biggest surprise as a foster parent?

I’m shocked I haven’t wanted to adopt all of my fosters! While each of them is incredibly special and unique, I know my lifestyle isn’t perfect for all of them. I’m now more confident that each dog has the perfect home out there.

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in becoming a foster?

If you’ve been thinking about it, do it. You won’t know how it will change and affect you until you take the opportunity to welcome a foster into your family. Yes, it will be challenging and frustrating at times, but it is one of the most special things you can do.

Thank you for sharing, Courtney! As Courtney said, if you have been thinking about fostering, don’t be afraid to try it out! Fostering is crucial to helping save dogs who otherwise may not have the chance to find a forever home, but we often forget how big of a positive impact these rescue dogs have on their foster parents’ lives too.

Many people, like Courtney, start fostering because they would like to adopt their own pup one day, but are not ready yet, for whatever reason. And there are definitely those foster stories that end like Courtney and Pippen! The foster experience is so diverse and unique ,that it is truly hard to capture in just words - or pictures.

We are eternally grateful to all of our foster parents who have dedicated their time and love to caring for and helping our rescue dogs find forever homes. If you are interested, you can learn more about fostering or apply to foster directly online on through our foster page.

We hope you enjoyed Courtney’s story! To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,
Team Wags

The Volunteers Behind Wags & Walks

This week is National Volunteer week, and Wags and Walks wouldn’t be the same without all of our volunteers. They are what help us save more dogs, take care of the ones we rescue, and help them get adopted. These are just a few of the ways we would be lost without our volunteers, and believe us, those examples only scratch the surface. Don’t take our word for it though, see what the Wags and Walks team has to say about just a few volunteers and fosters:

Christian Shenouda

If you’ve seen any of the amazing photos of our dogs, then you know why Christian is one of our most valuable volunteers. Through his great energy and amazing photography skills, he has helped so many Wags & Walks dogs find their forever homes. A picture is worth a thousand words and Christian's pictures definitely speak to adopters. They capture the heart and soul of our dogs.  Thank you, Christian, for your passion and vision.

Karen Benko

Our mission is to find the perfect home for our dogs. No one is more passionate or experienced at ensuring Wags & Walks dogs find the best adoptive homes than Karen. Karen does not stop at her interview with potential adopters. She goes above and beyond to ensure each adoptive family feels prepared to take their new dog home. From collars, harnesses, crating and even home insurance, Karen answers every question and then some. We are so grateful to Karen for her hard work and dedication.  

Erica Gatley

Erica Gately holds an extra special place in our hearts -- she is our very first volunteer! Since 2012, Erica has been a major part of our efforts to save and adopt Wags & Walks dogs. When she's not working and traveling for her “real job”, she can be found caring for her own three Wags & Walks dogs, fostering at least one at any time, leading our weekend adoption events, helping with meet and greets, and helping keep our website updated. She first came to Wags & Walks to foster an American bulldog and found herself as one of the biggest parts of our volunteer team. She is loyal, kind, dedicated, and of course is so passionate about our mission to save as many dogs in need as we can. Thank you for being the one who helped get our mission off the ground.

Kadie Bogart

We met Kadie Bogart at an event she attended to recruit more fosters for Wags & Walks. The day after July 4th, she saw a pitbull was being dumped at the shelter. The dog’s eyes were nearly swollen shut -- likely due to being near fireworks. Without hesitation, Kadie took "Pearl" in and became infamous for her “foster fail” ever since!!!  In all sincerity, Kadie has saved hundreds of pitbulls through fostering and all have found homes except Pearl and Millie. In addition to being a stellar foster, Kadie is also a psychologist. which If anyone has been involved with a rescue, this asset has helped not only our team, but many adopters and fosters struggling with the issues that arise when caring for our dogs. Kadie has never complains, is a great listener and sounding board, and of course we so appreciate her loyalty to the Wags & Walks team. Thank you, Kadie, for being the best “foster fail” and listener-in-chief!

Kelly Vaughn

Kelly Vaughn came to Wags & Walks by adopting her beautiful dog Clyne. She was so thankful for him that she asked if she could help Wags in any way. Just like that, she became our Facebook social media lead and our amazing coordinator and facilitator of litter reunions. No matter what kind of day Kelly has, including long days at the office with a toddler and a dog to care for, Kelly amazes us with her positive attitude. She always has a smile on her face and impresses us with her hip hop Karaoke skills. We are so lucky to have Kelly on our team.

Rachel Rosenbloom

The minute Rachel Rosenbloom fell head over heels for her Wags dog Winnie, she became part of the Wags & Walks team. With her strong background in social media and marketing, Rachel took over our Twitter feed and helps out with our newsletters. We love Rachel because she is so easygoing and likeable. She's a true team player, always willing to pitch in for the love of the dogs,

Wags and of course her first love Winnie!  

Lynne Heslov

Lynne brings fun and laughter to even our hardest days at the rescue.  She is one of the most beautiful women (inside and out) and she’s  not afraid to get her hands dirty.  She is dependable, trustworthy and someone we can count on for whatever we need. From countless shelter trips and saves, doggie vet trips, intake and tlc days to mentoring fosters and donating toys and blankets to all our fur babies, Lynne is an all around, one of a kind special volunteer and friend.  Her generosity is endless and her huge heart knows no limits.  Everyone at Wags and Walks adores and loves to be around her infectious passion and lightheartedness.  Like most of us, Lynne is a foster fail to our sweet senior Ralph and could not be a better mommy or Wags & Walks alumni. Thank you for everything you do, Lynne! We are lucky to have you.

Casey Boshae

There is so much to say about Casey.  After adopting her adorable pitbull Olive from us, she has been a wonderful, consistent, reliable and strategic volunteer.  Casey is a huge advocate for pitbulls as shown in her new business the Gentle Pit, and she is always there to lend a helping hand. From supporting a fundraiser, fostering dogs, helping plan volunteer appreciation events to using her creativity to build ideas to save more dogs and even visiting our dogs at the vet, we can always count on Casey. She always has a great, can do attitude and her positivity is contagious. We owe so many lives saved to Casey… and Olive!

Eric Weiss

Eric Weiss is someone to easily love!  Eric and his wife Shannon fostered a deaf pitbull named Donut for us and from there the relationship blossomed.  Eric and Shannon always go the extra mile to help Wags & Walks. They loved Donut so much they wanted to make sure she was comfortable in her forever home so they  sent her favorite toys to her! They were so committed to Wags & Walks that Eric joined the Board of Directors as our Treasurer and Shannon helps out on the grant team.  Despite their busy lives as two working parents with one human child and one fur baby, they are always there when we need them to provide sound advice to help grow the rescue and save more dogs in need. We love you, Eric and Shannon!

Leann and Scott Gibson

Leann and Scott Gibson are the “first family” of  Wags & Walks.  After adopting their stunning pitbull Cooper during the first year of Wags & Walks’ existence, they reached out for other ways to help.  Immediately, they became an integral part of Wags & Walks’ growth.  Generous with both their time and finances, they have never failed to give or help when needed.  In fact, even their company provides matching donations and opportunities to donate to Wags when Leann and Scott donate their time to volunteer.  As a recipient of our Wag-a-tarian award, they have since become a two-time Wags & Walks alumni with their newest family member. We are so lucky to have the Gibsons as part of the Wags & Walks family.

Betsy Rosenfield

Betsy Rosenfeld has been with Wags and Walks from the very first day.  Betsy has played a very special role in the rescue wearing so many lifesaving hats!  She has given so many life saving rides to so many dogs in need as well as creating as creative a task force to catch dogs in danger on the street.  She has been generous with giving of both her time and her community outreach to assist Wags and Walks connect with more animal welfare groups and individuals. Her skill sets of coaching and writing have certainly come in handy throughout the years!  

Marian Mallari

I volunteer because it gives me a sense of purpose. And I volunteer specifically with Wags because I love animals especially dogs. The great thing with working with dogs is that they truly show how appreciative they are when you just give them a little of your time and care. Their mood changes dramatically once they feel like they can trust you and I absolutely love that feeling. Some of the Wags dogs come from rough beginnings so it feels great when you see them come out of their shell and just generally want to be around people who they can trust. I've volunteered with other rescues but I feel like Wags and Walks are more organized in terms of reaching out to their volunteers and training them. It also feels like a small community, seeing everyone at adoption events or at Wags club.

A thank you from our Chief Animal Lover, Lesley Brog:

Pitties of Wags and Walks

Did you know that our Founder, Lesley Brog, started Wags and Walks because of her love and inspiration from her beloved Pit bull? You heard that right. Lesley described her pit, Dunkin, as “soulful, fun, snuggly, gentle, loyal, a great hiker and ball catcher and just over all the best friend I have ever had.” Many people may be surprised to hear that about a pit bull, as there are many unfair stereotypes and negative attention surrounding the breed. Dunkin’s loving personality changed Lesley’s view of pits and inspired her to love pit bulls and drop the stereotypes. We hope Lesley’s story will inspire you to give one of our available pitties their forever homes!

In 2017 alone, Wags and Walks found homes for 38 pit bulls (and counting!) who are now thriving in their new homes. Here are some of the newly adopted pit bulls and their loving new families:

(L-R): Nancy Drew, Brooklyn, Denver, Stella, Juliet, Rex, Krieger, Molly

(L-R): Nancy Drew, Brooklyn, Denver, Stella, Juliet, Rex, Krieger, Molly

If you’re considering adopting a wonderful pittie, we still have some who are looking for their furever homes. Here are some amazing pups we would like you to meet.

Wags and Walks_Available_Pit Bull_Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts is a beautiful auburn girl with stage presence! This 3-year-old, 58 pound boxer/pit mix has graduated from our 5 paws training course where she excelled in her obedience training and knows all of her basic commands. We love this happy girl for her loyalty, affection and overall easy going behavior as well as her amazing nanny qualities - she just loves children (especially babies). She is just a joy to be around and we would love her to find her forever home!

Wags and Walks_Available_Pit Bull_Ava

Meet Ava, a gorgeous 4-year-old, gray and white pit bull weighing 46 pounds. She wags her tail nonstop and loves getting belly rubs. Ava is very treat driven and eager to please. This pocket pitty is the perfect size to take everywhere you go.

Wags and Walks_Available_Pit Bull_Megan

Meet the mushy and squishy Megan!  This absolutely stunning and sweet girl is only one and a half years old, but has an old soul about her.  She melts into your lap and loves everyone and everything.  Megan is clearly beautiful with a contagious smile and her adorable grey patch and little black polka dots.  Megan enjoys long walks, car rides and is nice, quiet and polite.  This sweet girl is a people pleaser and a complete love bug!  

Wags and Walks_Available_Pit Bull_Frankie

Meet Frankie, a 5-year-old lover of all treats, licker of all faces and overall sweetie. This sweet velvet hippo is so gentle when taking treats and has not met a human he doesn't love. He has such a big heart and is patiently waiting for his forever home.

Meet Tiger, the most loving and lovable 6 year old brindle pit bull mix weighing 73 pounds. He is good with everyone and everything he meets, and that is so obvious when you meet him!  Tiger is eager to please, thinks he is a lap dog and is full of affection. This gentle giant is ready to meet you!

Meet Ruby, a jolly, happy go lucky, tail wagging 3 year old pit bull that has the happiest smile and most soulful eyes!  She is in love with every person she meets, big and small. The most important thing to Ruby is her human companion and she is eager to please them more than anything else. You can be that person!

We hope that these success stories may inspire you to rethink those pit bull stereotypes or even adopt one of our available pitties! Every Wags and Walks dog undergoes a temperament evaluation to ensure we find the best fit for our dogs. This not only leads to successful adoptions, but also helps spread the word that shelter dogs are the best dogs! If you’re looking for your doggy soul mate, check out our dogs available for adoption and fill out an application.

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

 

Wags and Walks Celebrates Earth Day

Earth Day is a day to celebrate our planet and remind ourselves that we must all work together to keep it clean and healthy, today and every day. There are many ways to help the environment, from using reusable shopping bags to riding your bike to work instead of driving.

Environmental protection and sustainability should be rooted in every aspect of our lives, including how we care for our pups! To celebrate Earth Day, here are some of our favorite eco-friendly dog products that are good for the Earth and for your pups.

Wood Chuck with Recycle Ball from Planet Dog

For those of you who have a ball-obsessed pup, this is the perfect product. Made with sustainable bamboo and reused cork scraps, this ball-tossing device will keep your dog - and our planet - happy for years! It even includes the Recycle Ball with your dog’s new motto -  “reduce, reuse, rewoof”.

Wags and Walks_Earth Day_Planet Dog Earth Chuck

Pet Tent from Olive

Not only are all of Olive's products environmentally friendly, but Olive itself strives for zero waste. All orders ship in low-impact packaging, from recycled boxes to biodegradable packing peanuts. Olive also seeks out partners and vendors who share these same goals and values. This stylish pet tent is handmade from American-made waxed cotton canvas - and it’s trendy too!

Wags and Walks_Earth Day_Olive Pet Tent

Honest Clean Organic Dog Shampoo from Honest Pet Products

Honest Pet Products uses materials in their most natural form to promote sustainability and carbon footprint reduction. We love this vegan shampoo for dogs, which is made without artificial foaming agents, synthetic preservatives or dyes. The ingredients include organic coconut, olive and jojoba oils, organic lavender oil and organic aloe vera - which sounds so good, we want to use it on ourselves!

Wags and Walks_Earth Day_Honest Pet Products

Lounge Bed from Healthy Spot

This snooze-worthy bed is filled with Sustainafill™, a US-made, eco-friendly, hypo-allergenic green fiber. Healthy Spot is committed to providing pet owners with a full range of wholesome, organic food lines as well as a wide selection of safe and eco-friendly toys, treats, training tools, grooming products, and services. Even better, Healthy Spot has a partnership with Wags and Walks that includes discounts on grooming and daycare for our foster dogs and discounted rates on first time grooming and retail for recent adopters.

Wags and Walks_Earth Day_Healthy Spot Lounge Bed

Dog Treat Canister from Earth Doggy

These chic storage canisters by Harry Barker are made from powder-coated recycled steel. Earth Doggy is a great website that compiles their favorite eco-friendly dog products, dog clothes, and organic and all-natural dog food that are consistent with the philosophy that a healthy dog and a healthy planet go hand in hand.

Wags and Walks_Earth Day_Earth Doggy_Harry Barker Treat Canister

Whole Grain Dog Food from The Honest Kitchen

This minimally-processed, 100% human grade food is created from non-GMO produce and organic seeds and grains. Better yet, the company is dedicated to reducing their environmental paw print by promising green ingredients, green production, green packaging and green business.

Wags and Walks_Earth Day_The Honest Kitchen

bioDOGradable Dog Waste Bags from Amazon

Every dog owner knows that you pick up a lot of poop throughout your pup's life - it's just part of the job as a doggy parent - but did you know you can help the environment by doing so? These waste bags are made from a bioplastic compound containing cereal flour and biodegradable substances. They are compostable, GMO-free and perfect for your pooch!

Wags and Walks_Earth Day_BioDOGradable Bags

In addition to these fun and practical products, there are many other ways you can get involved in Earth Day with your pup, like taking them to the park to plant a tree or walking along the beach to pick up trash. These small efforts can help make our planet and our homes safer, cleaner and greener for us - and our pups - for years to come!

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags

Behind the Scenes: A South LA Shelter Visit

If you don’t already know, April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. At Wags and Walks, we celebrate Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, every day. We make it our mission to give dogs a second chance on life by pulling them from shelters all around Los Angeles. While we don’t celebrate this holiday on just one single day, we did think it would be fun to give you a behind the scenes look at what goes into finding all the amazing pups that eventually become our beloved alumni. The blog team was able to join in on a Sunday visit to South LA Animal Shelter. Here is what we learned:

 

Wags and Walks South LA Shelter Visit

South LA Animal Shelter is a massive facility with around 300 dogs available for adoption, in addition to cats and other types of animals. This is only one of the many shelters around the area that we visit on a regular basis to evaluate and rescue dogs. You might be asking yourself what that exactly means. Well, our talented and trained team walks around to visit each dog, carefully study their behavior, note their reactions towards other dogs and people, and get any additional information on these dogs. If they find one that they believe could be a great fit, they will ask to take the dog out of the cage to interact with them further. This can be any size, breed, or sex of dog. The main goal is to find dogs with great demeanors and potential, regardless of breed.

wagsandwalks_dog_evaluation.jpg

We weren’t the only ones at South LA Shelter that day either. There are several organizations on-site at the shelter working for various causes:

How Do Dogs End Up at the Shelter in the First Place?

Not every dog you see at a shelter came off the street. There are in fact a variety of ways a dog can end up at a local facility, in addition to strays being brought in. Many times people will bring in their own pets and surrender them to the shelter. This can be done for a variety of reasons: not enough time for a pet, moving, lack of training, lifestyle changes, cost of ownership, biting, or even health issues. These are only a few of the many reasons that people drop off their own pets.

In 2008, Los Angeles passed an ordinance to require all dogs to be neutered by 4 months of age, with specific exemptions allowed. This was done in hopes that we can continue to decrease the number of abandoned pets each year and help reduce the overpopulation of dogs in our shelters around the city. With that said, many dogs are still euthanized due to lack of space in shelters and “interest” in those dogs. NKLA, an initiative by Best Friends Animal Society, is working to make Los Angeles a “No-Kill” city. They hope by the end of 2017, to make all of LA No-Kill and stop the euthanization of dogs simply because they don’t have a home yet; the number of pets being killed have already been decreased by 82% due to their efforts. Let’s keep it going!

What Happens After We Rescue a Dog

Once we have rescued a dog from the shelter, all dogs are seen by the shelter vet before they leave the shelter. At that appointment they receive all their vaccines and are spayed/neutered/chipped if healthy. Of course if the dog is not healthy for whatever reason we handle the vetting from there on out. After their visit to the vet, we get them into a foster home so that they can start getting much deserved TLC, while we find them the right family. Our amazing group of volunteering and fosters make all of this possible by giving up their time and opening up their homes to take care of our pups.


There are a variety of ways that you can honor National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day. One unique experience is attending our Finding Shelter Event in DTLA on Saturday, April 29th. Here are all the details you need to know:

 

About Finding Shelter Event

Join Wags & Walks for an unforgettable book signing with photographer and author Jesse Freidin! See our amazing director, Lesley Brog and her rescue dog on the cover of the book, meet the author, bid in the silent auction, meet adoptable dogs and enjoy wine and delicious vegan bites. A percentage of every book sold benefits Wags & Walks!

Make a donation at one of the below levels:

  • Exclusive: $200- Entrance to event + private photo booth with Jesse Freidin (5 min. photo shoot, includes (2) 8x10 digital photos) + swag bag

  • VIP: $100- Entrance to event + swag bag

  • General Admission: $50- Entrance to event

Catering generously donated by Panini Kabob Grill.

 

We hope you enjoyed your behind the scenes look at one of our shelter visits. Our experience only briefly touched the surface of what the Wags and Walks team does every day. It was truly an incredible experience for all of us on the blog team.

 

To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags