October is officially recognized as Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. FWIW: it is also Bat Appreciation Month—do with that information what you will. But back to dogs. With less than a week left in the month, it’s not too late to pick up a pup who needs a forever home, and there are plenty of rescues around Los Angeles that could be harboring your future furry BFF. Here are a handful:
For decades the woman who scared the pea soup out of the entire world (and earned an Oscar-nom at age 13) in The Exorcist has been advocating for animals. Currently, her two-and-a-half acre facility in Acton provides lifelong homes for dogs, many dubbed “bully breeds,” like pit bulls and boxers (she fights tirelessly against Breed Specific Bans). They also look for perfect homes for many of their four-legged charges—they usually have 75+ pups up for adoption in their facility in the mountains. When you spot a pup on her website you fill out an application with questions like, “how long will the dog be left alone?” and a volunteer will even come scope out your home to make sure it’s fit for a dog. Then you see if you make the cut.
10061 Riverside Drive #1003, Toluca Lake, lindablairworldheart.org
The No-Kill Los Angeles Pet Adoption Center in West L.A. (operated by Best Friends Animal Society) looks like somebody’s casually luxe home. They are also behind the No-Kill L.A. initiative that hopes to end the killing of animals in Los Angeles shelters by 2017. It is home to tons of dogs looking to be adopted, and there is even a boutique. They also have an Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Mission Hills.
1845 Pontius Avenue, 424-208-8840, nkla.org/adopt-a-pet/pet-adoption-center
This no-kill shelter has been in the business of connecting dogs and people for 100 years. The small facility only lets you see a dog after you fill out an application and make an appointment. Potential pet owners first “meet” the dogs in Maggie’s Bark Yard (a play yard donated by Dr. Phil). If they have another dog already, a second meeting is arranged for the dogs to meet. They even do home visits. Your $345 fee also includes a canine parenting class before the pup even gets in your car and a one-hour training class after they are in your home. Also included? Spaying and neutering. The place isn’t playing—except when it comes to raising money. They actually take the dogs in their care on regular outings to socialize them and get them used to riding in cars. You’ll thank them later.
717 Ivy Street, 818-242-4565, glendalehumane.org
This is one gorgeous adoption center and retail space in Culver City that rescues pups from local shelters and provides a place to shop for supplies, grooming, and doggie daycare (we’re talking doggie Gymboree). They also offer micro-chipping at this location, with a $10 micro-chipping special on Mondays (it normally runs $25) and free registry. And, most importantly, whoever is taking snaps of their critters that need homes has terrific technique.
4235 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, 310-933-6863, adoptandshop.org
In 1996, Lori Weise decided to do something to help both the homeless humans and homeless dogs she saw everyday on her way to work at the Modernica Factory in DTLA. She founded a shelter in South L.A. and she and her staff work with the homeless community and low-income residents to help them keep their pets, have them spayed/neutered, and find homes for the pets in her care, many of which are strays from the area. The org holds weekly free dog-training classes with Cornelius “Dog Man” Austin at the L.A. Coliseum. They also operate a weekly pet resource center at the Inner City Law Center.
PO Box 90035, Pasadena, 818-407-4145, downtowndogrescue.org
Kari Mozena is the Special Projects Manager at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @karimozena. She owns a set of matte black coffee mugs from the Coroner’s Office and wrote 9 Unexpected Placed in L.A. With Great Gift Shops.