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.


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.


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Team Wags