A letter to Francis Battista of Best Friends

On July 17th, Francis Battista of Best Friends published the blog found at this link.    http://blogs.bestfriends.org/index.php/2014/07/17/scaring-people-away-from-rescue-adoptions/

I’ve read it three times and gotten angrier each time.  Angrier and more offended.  And sad.  Yes, sad.

And now I’m standing by my fellow smaller LA rescues and writing a response because I just have to.   Because I am proud of Dawg Squad and its volunteers, sponsors, supporters and adopters.   Because we didn’t deserve his blog.


Dear Francis,

I am deeply offended by your blog post regarding LA rescues.

Yes, not all rescues are perfect, but to generalize and paint a broad picture is not only unjust, it is inaccurate. It is a huge slap in the face to the little rescues in Los Angeles like Dawg Squad whose volunteers work full time jobs every day, go home and take care of their fosters and spend their weekends sitting in a pet store hoping that this will be the day a fabulous family comes to adopt the 5 year old, 3 legged Rottweiler who likes to chase cats.

Your words hurt those that give a damn and are trying to make Los Angeles a better place for the animals one animal at a time.

The small rescues in Los Angeles work hard day and night to help animals Best Friends won’t even look at.   Old dogs, black dogs, big dogs, sick dogs, dogs that need rehab.   We don’t cherry pick and ship dogs out of state to get the euthanasia rate down and the “adoption” rate up. We work with quality not quantity.

We don’t have millions of dollars.   We have lots of small donors who stand by us as we inch our way through the medical bills, the training, the rehab.

You bet we’re going to vet our adopters.   These dogs live with us, spend every day with us and we want to make sure that they are going to be taken care of.   We don’t care if a potential adopter lives in a motor home in Pacoima….just as long as that motor home exists and isn’t some address someone made up. And if we don’t think it’s a good fit we will look elsewhere for that dog and suggest another dog for them.   We do our best to work with potential adopters and you know what….NOT ONE PERSON HAS OBJECTED TO A HOME VISIT.   NOT ONE.

Giving dogs away isn’t our thing.   May as well stand on the Strand at Venice Beach and hand them out.

We RESCUE.   We LOVE our animals. They are not INVENTORY .   We do not MOVE PRODUCT.   We RESCUE and REHOME.   So if our methods are draconian, so be it. And to say that these policies protect the rescuer and not the animal is highly offensive.

Our “outdated” methods protect our dogs.   They go into a home that is suited for them.   We know our dogs because we spend time with them.   We know who should go with cats, who hates small dogs, who will not be suited for children.   It’s a process we all love and love to do because we know when we close that door and leave our dog behind, we KNOW that we have done everything we could possibly do to make a great placement.

We’ve known each other a really long time Francis.   You know the work Dawg Squad does. You’ve sent people with disabled dogs to us.   If you didn’t approve of how we worked, why recommend us to people in need?

Carole Pearson

Proud Founder of Dawg Squad




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