By Emily Glory Peters
Pet overpopulation remains a tremendous challenge for Los Angeles, where hundreds of animals regularly pour into already crowded shelters. In Pasadena, no-kill rescue organization Lifeline for Pets makes an impact by transitioning neglected and abused animals into beloved pets.
“For us, rescue means taking full responsibility for the lives and care of cats and dogs,” explains Darlene Papa, volunteer and web, social and PR manager for Lifeline for Pets. “All animals that come into our care are spayed or neutered, then placed up for adoption. If they’re unadoptable, we provide lifetime shelter and care. We love them for life.”
Founded in 1981 by rescuers Midge Poynter and Lynne Jordan, Lifeline for Pets is 100 percent volunteer-led and operates solely on adoption fees and the generosity of donors. Their mission centers on placing vulnerable animals with carefully screened families—and while adoption is the ideal outcome, Papa stresses the importance of fostering as a bridge away from euthanization.
“We have a great need for foster homes,” she explains, “especially in helping socialize the shy ones, or giving a senior or special needs cat a chance at life. It’s a wonderful way to give back.”
Lifeline for Pets supports other overpopulation efforts like TNR, a process where community members trap, neuter and release strays or bring them into a shelter. For those unable to foster or adopt, sponsoring an animal (to feature on your own website/social media) helps bring exposure to adoptable pets. Recent California legislation changes requiring pet stores to only sell shelter cats and dogs may also make a difference.
“The new law may favorably impact rescue organizations and shelters, while hopefully putting an end to the suffering at puppy mills and kitty mills,” says Papa, noting that reputable breeders shouldn’t be impacted. Ultimately, she views nonprofits like Lifeline for Pets as the ideal advocates for vulnerable animals.
“We are their voice. If they could speak, they’d say, “spay and neuter” to prevent the millions of unwanted kittens and puppies. They would also say, “keep me safe!” says Papa. “We want people to understand that shelter animals have done nothing wrong and many were once someone’s pet, in good health and in good spirits. They just need a loving home.”
For more information, contact Lifeline for Pets at lifelineforpets.org | firstname.lastname@example.org | (626) 676-9505 or visit their pet shows at PetSmart in Pasadena on Sundays. To view their adoptable pets, follow along on Facebook @lifelineforpets.pasadena and Instagram @lifelineforpets_pasadena.